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Down Area Winter Football League round-up, January 24

With Brentwood not playing this week, Greenwell Star had the opportunity to move into the outright lead at the top of the DAWFL Premier Division, as they took on Moat Park Rangers at Westwinds Playing Fields.

Both sides created plenty of chances, but Greenwell dug in and showed the type of resilient and hard-working play that has seen them record 10 wins on the trot. The game ended 5-2 to the Ards side and, although Brentwood may have two games in hand over their closest rivals, it seems sure that there will be a photo finish in the race for top spot come the end of the season.

Another side that have been pushing for the title are Corrymeela. They have been this season's surprise package and, after another victory on Saturday against Willowfield, it seems that they will be ready to pounce if there are any slip-ups at the top of the division.

Abbey Villa III and North Down were promoted last year from Division 1 and they have enjoyed spells of good form, however, it is no surprise that both clubs are now fighting it out at the bottom of the league. They were both on the losing end of a 3-1 scoreline on Saturday, against Comber Star and Oakfield Breda respectively, and with the two sides facing off next week, this is a rivalry that is sure to continue till the end of the campaign.

Vision Athletic's struggles this year have been well documented. From finishing fourth last season, this year has seen the Blanchflower side flirting with relegation since the opening weekend. On Saturday, however, they faced off against 8th OB at Henry Jones, and earned a much-needed victory to climb away from the battle to avoid the drop.

In the Premier Division's remaining fixture, two of the early season pacesetters, Ravenhill YM and Comber YM drew 1-1 at Parkway Playing Fields.

In Division 1, Bangor Swifts III recorded a rare victory with a 2-0 win over 43rd OB, Agapé were 5-4 winners in their game against Ards Rangers III and Newtown Forest defeated 82nd 5-3 to move level on points with 3rd Bangor OB at the top of the league.

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Queen's Graduates III defeated Bryansburn Rangers III 2-0,  Ballygowan were 4-3 winners in their game at Stranmillis 37th OB and Bangor Rangers III got their promotion push back on track with a 3-1 win at Bangor YM III.

Dropping down another tier, Vision Athletic II were 3-1 winners in their game against 43rd OB II, Ravenhill YM II defeated North Down II 7-0 and Greenwell Star travelled home with three points after a 3-1 away win at Newtown Forest II. One of the weekend's biggest upsets arose with Bryansburn Rangers IV earning a well deserved point against Division 2A leaders Moat Park, as their game ended in a 1-1 draw.

In Division 2B, Queen's Graduates IV drew 1-1 with 82nd II, Bangor YM IV drew 2-2 with Bangor Rangers IV and Abbey Villa IV defeated 8th OB II 3-1 at Valentine Playing Fields. Oakfield Breda II recorded a 2-1 away win at Ballygowan II and, division leaders, Comber Star II defeated Agapé II 6-1 to stretch their lead at the top.

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