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Focus on Steelweld Park as Lisnagarvey take on Cookstown

This season’s premiership campaign reaches the half-way stage this weekend and things are shaping up nicely for the second half of the season.

Banbridge lead the charge with eight wins and draw under their belt.

But the focus will swing to Steelweld Park where second place Lisnagarvey are the visitors. And this game doesn’t come any bigger.

Cookstown were unceremoniously kicked out of the Irish Senior Cup by Pembroke Wanderers last week going down 7-3, and they know that if they lose, they can in all probability kiss the title goodbye.

And that would leave the IHL the only avenue remaining for Cookstown to return to Europe, but in their current form that seems a big ask.

Keith Black is struggling to make the game as he is carrying an injury, whilst Raymond Millar is definitely out for the Reds.

Garvey have already inflicted a 4-1 defeat on Cookstown this season, but that was back in September. And the Reds will be determined to make amends for their embarrassing home defeat last week as they can not afford another one in front of the Cookstown faithful, especially against Garvey.

James Lorimer is still out injured for the visitors and Stuart Dowling will also be missing for the crunch game.

Banbridge welcome Annadale to Havelock Park, who dumped them out of the Kirk Cup.

But it will be a surprise of Dale leave Havelock Park with any points, but then we thought Bann were going to waltz into the Kirk Cup final.

Bann have Owen Magee out injured, whilst Dale, welcome back Gareth Maybin, John Edgar and Connor Allison. But it is the return of William Edgar that will please Dale coach Andy Smyth most, as Edgar has recovered from his serious hand injury.

Raphoe must take something from their game against Kilkeel as they could be sucked into the relegation battle. Richard Patterson will undergo a late fitness test. But Kilkeel are hoping Eddie Agnew will be travelling for the game.

Neil Anderson returns for Belfast Harlequins visit to Civil Service. A win for Harlequins may just pull them further away from the drop zone.

And in the Friday night game, third placed Instonians are off the Glade where they play a full strength Mossley.

The chase at the top of the table should remain unchanged with North Down, Portadown and Newry all expected to win against Campbellians, Antrim and Bangor respectively.

 

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