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Bluefin Premier Intermediate League

Sport and Leisure FC Sport and Leisure FC
By Paddy Tierney

Armagh City 3 Sport and Leisure Swifts 2

From Paddy Tierney at Holm Park

SPORT and Leisure Swifts face an uphill battle to retain their place in the Irish League following Saturday’s dramatic 3-2 defeat to Armagh City at Holm Park.
The Premier Intermediate League’s bottom two sides met in a proverbial ‘six-pointer’ as the season draws to a close.
The West Belfast men led twice but a second half brace from veteran striker Shea Campbell gave the home side a vital win to move them seven points clear of Sport and Leisure, who still have three games in hand.
Centre-back Padraig Lynch, who was making his first appearance since serving a six-game suspension, was sent off in injury-time for dissent.
The fact that Campbell’s winner on 68 minutes looked offside only added insult to injury for Sport and Leisure manager Packie McAllister

“I’m led to believe that the winning goal was offside, but we haven’t won the game because we haven’t taken our chances,” stressed McAllister.
“We had chances at 2-1 to make it three and chances at 1-0 to make it 2-0.
“I think if we had have got that two-goal lead, we would have killed the game off. Our defending in the second half wasn’t good enough. We defended too deep, especially playing with the wind.
“The amount of chances we had was enough to win two games. It was the same last week (against Dollingstown) – we can’t concede three goals and expect to win matches.

“We’ve lacked it all season. Even at 3-2 with five minutes to go, we had two great chances. We wouldn’t have taken a point and move on. At this level, we have to take those chances. I’ve said before, the commitment hasn’t been there this season, we hadn’t trained enough and we’ve been found out.
“I can’t make excuses for the players anymore.

“We are seven points behind with four games to go. We need to win three of them. It is up to myself to lift the team. We play Portstewart twice, Annagh is obviously a tough one and hopefully we can take it to the last game against Distillery. It is still mathematically possible, so we’ll keep fighting.

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