With a full programme of fixtures this week in Championship 3, Paul McIntyre of Back of the Stand has a look at the upcoming games.

It looks like being a two horse race for the one automatic promotion spot. Donaghadee and Lurgan have both recorded nine wins from nine games played, but the Mid-Ulster outfit lead the way by four points after nine bonus point victories. Both will be expected to get the better of their opponents this weekend to set up the first big battle between the two next week at Pollock Park.

This week the Dee will use home advantage to help get the better of Belfast High School Former Pupils while Lurgan will go to Monaghan for a much more tougher afternoon. After going off the boil for a couple of weeks Monaghan got back to winning ways away to Belfast High School F.P. last week. Greenisland is never an easy place to get a win and they will be looking forward to welcoming the league leaders to Rafeenan.

Third place Strabane will be expected to record another home win against Newry, as will Virginia against lowly Donegal Town. Cavan haven’t travelled too well this season and the Gordon West Cup holders could face another tough afternoon on the road in Holywood.

There is a big relegation battle taking place on Saturday as 11th place Civil Service welcome 10th place Letterkenny to Stormont. Results and performances have improved for the Donegal side of late, but their form on the road continues to be abysmal. If they can bring their full squad to East Belfast on Saturday, then there is no reason why they couldn’t leave with a win and stay clear of 11th place and the end of season relegation play-off that comes with it.

All these games  kick off at 2.30pm.

Current standings.

TEAM P W D L PTS
Lurgan 9 9 0 0 45
Donaghadee 9 9 0 0 41
Strabane 9 6 1 2 33
Monaghan 9 6 1 2 31
Virginia 9 4 0 5 21
B.H.S FP 9 4 0 5 20
Newry 8 4 0 4 20
Holywood 9 4 0 5 20
Cavan 8 3 0 5 15
Letterkenny 8 2 0 6 9
Civil Service 9 0 0 9 1
Donegal Town 8 0 0 8 -5

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