READY FOR BIG KICK-OFF

Banbridge v QUB: Acting Caretaker Manager Ryan Watson at the first home game   � Paul Byrne Photography INBL39-244PB
Banbridge v QUB: Acting Caretaker Manager Ryan Watson at the first home game � Paul Byrne Photography INBL39-244PB

The big kick-off is here for the district’s intermediate clubs with Championship, Mid-Ulster League and the Amateur League getting underway.

Banbridge Town start the season under the management of Ryan Watson at home to Moyola Park - the first of three back-to-back games at Crystal
Park.

Watson has been busy rebuilding a side which saw a number of key players leave following the departure of Brian Adair.

The new man in charge has attracted local talent and it’s hoped that the camaraderie amongst the new-look squad will drive the team forward.

Elsewhere in Intermediate A of the Mid-Ulster Intermediate League Banbridge Town start with an away tie against Markethill
Swifts.

Rangers will be looking to perform better than last season where they lot 8 out of 9 games in the opening three months.

They did turn things around to finish in the top five and with several new recruits there is more than enough reason to be optimistic. Andy Frazer has added goalkeeper Davy Crawford, defender Jeff McClure, midfielders Ryan McIlroy, Craig McVicker and Jonny Gilchrist to his squad along with strengthening his front line with the additions of Glenn Moffett and Chris
Crawford.

In the same division Seapatrick have a tough start when they make the short trip to title hopefuls Tandragee Rovers.

There’s a home fixture in Intermediate B for Chris Beattie’s AFC side against Richhill. The new manager has employed a new style of play which, he hopes, will improve the side’s fortunes.

Moneyslane head to Dungannon to play newboys, the Tigers, in their opening fixture.

The club is looking forward to locking horns with three new entries in total in this season’s division, the others being Newry City AFC and St Marys from Portadown.

Finally Dundonald provide the opposition for Rathfriland Rangers, this season managed by Ian
McDowell.

Rathfriland play four out of their first five games at Iveagh Park with their second game the following Tuesday (August 13) when they travel to Derriaghy while on Saturday August 17 they host Downpatrick FC.

On Tuesday August 20 they then host Derriaghy in a league fixture while they play Grove United at Iveagh Park in the first round of the Border Cup on Saturday August 24.