Crucial weekend ahead in Premier League

Adam Berry
Adam Berry
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The Robinson Services Premier League returns for the first time in almost three weeks today with Lisburn traveling to CSNI (2.30pm start) as they look to take another step towards preserving their top-flight status.

Adam Berry’s side are sitting sixth in the eight team league after winning three of their nine matches to date but are only four points ahead of Instonians and bottom side Muckamore, who will play each other at Moylena on Saturday.

That will mark the biggest league game of the weekend as both clubs try to avoid the dreaded drop.

Muckamore have played two more matches than their Shaws Bridge counterparts and have lost out twice to the same opposition so far this season – once in the league and also in the Gallagher Challenge Cup semi-final.

Neil Gill’s men have three of their remaining four matches on home turf, and they will be hoping to take advantage of that as they try to improve their current record of two wins from 10 matches.

Not many would have expected Instonians to be sitting in this position towards the end of August, but with the weather and cup commitments, they have played just over half of their league fixtures so will have ample opportunity to set the record straight.

It promises to be a busy period for them as they try to get caught up with a trip to CSNI next Saturday followed by a home clash with high-flying North Down the following day.

CSNI will be in action again on Saturday against defending champions and league leaders CIYMS. CIYMS are in a similar position to Instonians in that they have only played eight of their 14 league matches to date, but having won seven of them they are sitting clear at the top on net run-rate with two games in hand.

They haven’t played a league match since July 27 when their 20-match unbeaten run in the competition was brought to an end by Carrickfergus. Carrick are the form team having won their last four matches and have the chance to climb into second with a victory against Lisburn at Wallace Park on Saturday.

North Down and Waringstown won’t be in league action this weekend due to the latter’s involvement in Saturday’s Irish Senior Cup final at Milverton against Pembroke.