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Dungannon Swifts vs Warrenpoint Town: Game on after pitch inspection at Stangmore Park as Storm Barra hits Northern Ireland


Swifts boss Dean Shiels. Credit: David Maginnis

Swifts boss Dean Shiels. Credit: David Maginnis


Swifts boss Dean Shiels. Credit: David Maginnis

Dungannon SwiftsDanske Bank Premiership clash with Warrenpoint Town tonight has been given the green light after a pitch inspection.

As Storm Barra batters Northern Ireland, it’s one of three local games due to be played along with the County Antrim Shield semi-finals, in which Cliftonville host Linfield and Larne welcome Ballyclare Comrades, both on synthetic surfaces.

A yellow weather warning is currently in place with heavy showers and strong gusts expected of up to 75mph in coastal locations, particularly in County Antrim and County Down.

The weather warning will be in force until 9am on Wednesday but there is as yet no indication that either Shield semi-final will be postponed either.

Should Dungannon’s game go ahead, captain Oisin Smyth insists they are focused on moving up the table — not being dragged into trouble.

If they win tonight, they can go nine points clear of the struggling Co Down side approaching the midpoint of the season.

For Smyth, however, the focus is very much on catching Carrick Rangers and Ballymena United, the teams above them in the table.

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“It is definitely about catching the teams ahead of us because they are in reaching distance,” the midfielder said.

“That is our only aim — we have to be positive.

“It is not about looking behind us, it is looking ahead of us and seeing who we can catch.”

After beating Carrick on Saturday, Dungannon have moved four points clear of the relegation places.

A win tonight would take them within three points of Carrick and within four of Ballymena and Glenavon.

And Smyth knows the importance of another victory to build momentum heading into the busy Christmas period.

“It is massive and this season we haven’t been able to put a run of games together,” he added.

“We really need to focus now and try to push on again. It is a must-win game — psychologically, it would be massive for us.

“If we could win, it would really help us push on as the new year approaches.”

Saturday’s win over Carrick at the Loughview Leisure Arena was the Swifts’ fourth of the Danske Bank Premiership season — the same number they managed in the whole of the last campaign.

Smyth (21) feels progress is being made, but admits they have plenty still to do.

“We only look to move on from here now,” he added.

“Last season wasn’t good enough and at times this year it hasn’t been good enough, so we need to strive for more.

“We hope to keep looking up the table and pushing on.

“We have a young squad but there are a lot of young players there with a lot of minutes in the league, and there is no reason why they can’t step up.

“I think on Saturday we proved that, as we have in other games this season.”

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