& Sons Cup final
Ards 0-3 Glentoran Seconds
was disappointment for Ards in the Steel & Sons Cup
final, as Niall Currie's team failed to sparkle at Seaview, allowing
Glentoran Seconds to capitalise and put their name on
the famous trophy for the 14th time.
domination and flair that had so encapsulated Ards'
season so far was absent in front of the Christmas
morning crowd as they passed up early opportunities to
take control of the game and ultimately surrendered
the cup to a slick Glentoran team who were crowned
winners with an albeit flattering scoreline.
regular Andy Smith suspended, Currie looked to Ben
Browne to lead his team's charge from midfield and he
was instrumental in the first half chances that Ards
made. After Ryan Moffatt had forced Glens' keeper
Aaron Hogg into an early stop, his cross from the
right a minute later had Browne laying the ball off to
Neil Dougan, who drove the ball well and again
demanded a stop from Hogg.
busy Moffatt then sent a 21st minute free kick all the
way through a crowded box to just miss the left-hand
upright before he soon supplied Browne on the edge of
the Glentoran area, but the cup winner from last year
curled a shot inches wide of goal.
Ards well on top for the moment, Glentoran's first
effort of the match didn't arrive until the 30th
minute when a punch out from Graeme McKibbin landed
the ball at the feet of Carl McComb but the winger
shot over the crossbar. Glentoran would be back
however to take the lead seven minutes later. Whether
with a shot or cross, Stephen McCullough provided the
assist from the left and Richard Gibson was able to
meet the flight of the ball to power a header past
dominated for large periods of the first forty-five
minutes, all eyes were now on how Ards would react to
being behind at the start of the second half. They
enjoyed the first opening of the period three minutes
in, with Ross Arthurs denied by a low stop from Hogg.
Niall Currie's first change wasn't long in coming as
Kyle McDowell replaced McMillen, who was on a yellow
card, and for a time Ards looked like losing their way
as first keeper McKibbin and then skipper Darren Nixon
were noted by the referee.
Glentoran played Ards more and more out of the game,
Currie introduced Paul McDowell as a third striker,
but the chances had all but dried up his team. As the
game moved into the final ten minutes, it was
Glentoran who had the momentum with them and
substitute Jordan Stewart was unlucky with an
attempted lob of McKibbin.
second goal came on 85 minutes with McComb collecting
a long punt out from the goalkeeper and combining with
Daniel Burns to evade the challenge of two Ards
defenders. A final pass saw the ball squared to
Stephen Gordon on the edge of the Ards box and he
found the corner of the net with an early strike.
over for sure and the misery for Ards was compounded
as the Glens stole a third three minutes later. Slack
marking to blame as a long corner from the left went
all the way through to Gibson at the back post and he
headed in his second to earn the man of the match
deserved win for Glentoran's reserve XI, who took
their chances when their opponents did not. Ards will
have better days, with the focus now on how the
players will respond to their biggest reverse of the
It has since been confirmed that Glentoran II fielded
an ineligible player in an earlier round and the
decision was taken by the cup committee to therefore
withhold the Steel & Sons Cup for this season.