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Smyth turns attention to title tilt

H&W Welders' Championship One title hopes received a boost ahead of tomorrow's game against Lurgan Celtic, with highly regarded manager Gary Smyth remaining in the hot seat.

The former Glentoran, Glenavon and Ballymena United centre-half had been heavily linked with vacant managerial position at Glentoran following Eddie Patterson's sacking last weekend.

Smyth even held discussions with the Glens board on Monday, but the east Belfast club did not offer Smyth the job, with the promising manager keen to continue his work at Tillysburn.

Smyth's focus will now return to the Welders, who are currently top of Championship One on goal difference.

They are set to face Colin Malone's Lurgan Celtic, who currently sit in sixth position.

Second placed Ards will make the long journey to Castlederg to take on Richard Clarke's Dergview without the injured trio of Ben Browne, Emmett Templeton and David McAllister.

Ards manager Niall Currie can take solace from the fact that his side have already won at Darragh Park this season, the Red & Blues beating Dergview 2-1 in the second round of the JBE League Cup just last month.

Arguably the game of the day is at Inver Park, fourth placed Larne hosting third placed Annagh United.

The Invermen have been in fine form in recent weeks, claiming wins over the Welders and Loughgall.

Last season's runners-up Bangor are back in form after a slow start to the current campaign.

They will be aiming for another three points against Ballyclare Comrades at the Bangor Fuels Arena.

Nicky Maye's Donegal Celtic are still without a league win this season.

They travel to Drumahoe to face fellow strugglers Institute.

Elsewhere, managerless Lisburn Distillery travel to Lakeview to play Loughgall, while Knockbreda play Armagh City at Breda Park.

It's first against second in Championship Two as leaders PSNI take on Limavady United at Newforge.

CHAMPIONSHIP ONE FIXTURES (all Saturday 3pm): Bangor v Ballyclare Comrades, Dergview v Ards, Institute v Donegal Celtic, Knockbreda v Armagh City, Larne v Annagh United, Loughgall v Lisburn Distillery, Lurgan Celtic v H&W Welders.

Belfast Telegraph