Belfast Telegraph

Championship: Around The Grounds, April 12

By Keith Bailie

Carrick Rangers had an unusual day in Castlederg on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Brian Neeson was held up on his way to Darragh Park, so the referee delayed the game. With no sign of Neeson, the game kicked off at 3.20pm. As Carrick had named Neeson on the teamsheet, they started the game with just 10 men on the field and forward Adam Dick in nets. Neeson eventually arrived 15 minutes into the match, taking his place between the sticks with Dick returning to his regular outfield position. The match eventually finished 0-0, with Carrick's Aaron Harmon and Dergview's Niall Coulter both picking up red cards.


Institute will be a Belfast Telegraph Championship One team next season. Stute's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Ballymena United mean they will finish last in the Premiership. With Carrick Rangers and Ards suffering a similar fate in the past, that means three of the last four Championship One winners have been relegated in their first season in the Premiership. The only club to escape this fate is 2012 Championship winners Ballinamallard United.


Warrenpoint Town are likely to be in this year's promotion / relegation play-off. Yesterday's Premiership results mean that Town will finish 11th in this season's top flight. As a result, they will play whoever finishes second in this season's Championship One, assuming there are no unexpected issues with licencing.


Larne midfielder Scott Irvine is still recovering from a head injury he picked up during January's Irish Cup fifth round clash with Carrick Rangers. To help aid Scott's recovery, there will be a benefit game for him this Sunday. Two Irish League Select sides will come face-to-face at the Hammer, on the Shankill Road in Belfast, kicking off at 1.30pm. One team will be managed by Scott himself and Larne boss David McAlinden, while the other will be led by Digger Whiteside and David McAlinden Snr. Following the match, entertainment will be laid on at the Pony Club, beside the Hammer complex. Entry is £5.


Lurgan Celtic will be aiming to increase their lead at the top of Championship Two on Tuesday evening when they play Newington at Knockramer Park. Elsewhere in the division, Banbridge Town host Queen's University, Dollingstown play Portstewart and Tobermore United welcome promotion-chasing Sport & Leisure Swifts to Fortwilliam Park. All four games kick off at 6.30pm. 

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