Busy festive season for local Amateur League clubs

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Division 1A’s bottom two go head-to-head this weekend as Wellington Rec take on East Belfast at Brookvale Park.

East have only won once in the league this season, 4-3 against Wellington in August. The have, however, slowly been hitting a bit of form with a scoreless draw at Rosario.

Wellington have also one league win to their credit at home to UUJ in November. Nine points adrift of third-bottom Barn United, it’s a match Wellington just can’t slip up in. No doubt manager Graham McConnell will be keeping a watchful eye on what players are being released by clubs, hoping to strengthen during the transfer window.

Even if Wellington do see off East, the deficit on Barn could still be nine points if Jim Pherson’s side beat Orangefield Old Boys at Haslett Park. Barn are unbeaten in their last four league games and they’ll be looking to avenge a 5-1 caning when the sides last met in September. Pherson’s boys will be out to take something from the Orangefield, as coming up in January are tough home fixtures against Derriaghy CC and Rathfriland Rangers.

Elsewhere in 1a, UUJ, who have been stuttering after a promising start, travel to the Billy Neill Centre to meet fifth-placed Dundonald. UUJ manager Darrach Teague has resigned after a few short months in the job, with his assistant Steven McIvor now holding the fort.

In Division 1c, Mossley FC will be hoping to show some of their ‘Cup form’ when they travel to Aircraft Park to meet a Shorts side who have risen to fifth in the table.

Division 2B’s Grange Rangers will be aiming to keep up their winning momentum when Civil Service visit Foundry Lane while stablemates Whitehead Eagles are at Castleview Road where fifth-placed Temple Rangers are the visitors.

In the Clarence Cup Rathfern Rangers welcome 1C side Colin Valley to the Diamond. Just up the road, Nortel should have enough to see off Ballynahinch United.

Davy Rollo’s Newington Rangers will be up against it away to Malachians an Kilroot have their last chance to secure their first win of 2013 when they take on 1b side Ballywalter Rec.

There should be a close encounter at Cloyne Crescent where 18th Newtownabbey Old Boys entertain 1c stablemates Ballynahinch Olympic.

At Dennis Harvey Park, Larne Tech Old Boys, even allowing for their injury crisis, should have too much for 2a side Kircubbin.