With the season around the half-way mark, we take a look at how our local sides are progressing.
Rangers are again around the upper echalons of Intermediate A, the top Mid-Ulster League division.
It’s been a Jekyll and Hyde season so far, they’ve won five of their opening 11 league games, but lost the other six. No time for draws.
That means they’re 10 points behind league leaders Newry City AFC, who look on course for the title and a possible route into the NI Football League.
Further down the Intermediate A table, Seapatrick boss Davy Dawson always said this season was about escaping a relegation scrap.
And while things have been a struggle again this season, Dawson’s side are two places off the bottom.
They’re only two points ahead of basement side AFC Craigavon but, having played three games less, they’ll be hoping they can stave off a battle for survival.
Slane manager David Johnstone hasn’t been backwards at coming forwards.
He outlined at the start of the season and again before Christmas in the ‘LEADER’ that there would be ‘no hiding place’ at Jubilee Park this season.
He, and the club, are demanding promotion to Intermediate A.
So far, they’ve perhaps been victims of their own success as their Cup runs have meant they’ve played just eight league games. They’re 12 points off pace-setters Dungannon Tigers but they have played a massive seven games less. Still all to play for.
After last season’s tough Division One campaign, Division Two has only been slightly less gruelling for the Gers. They’ve won just two of their nine league games so far and sit 10th, just three points off the bottom.
Another relegation battle awaits barring an upturn in fortunes.
Helping Scarva stay off the foot of the table are Gilford Crusaders, who are rock bottom of Division Two with just three points from their opening eight games.
In the Amateur League, Clifford Sterritt’s Rathfriland Rangers are in with a real shout of promotion from Division 1A.
They’re just six points off top side Abbey Villa but have played three games less. If only they could ever get that Intermediate Cup fixture played.
Does the Premier Division beckon?
At the opposite end of the spectrum are Dromara.
They’re rock bottom of 1A, having lost nine of their opening ten league games and drawn the other one. Add to that a three point deduction, and they sit on -2 points.
In Division 1C, Dromore are just six points off the bottom. By the same token, they’re the same distance off the mid-table security of eighth place. It’s all very tightly packed and a good run would soon they them escape the relegation dog-fight.