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Danske Bank Premiership

Ards 1 Glenavon 0

Ards collected all of the points against Glenavon thanks to a late winner from Michael Ruddy.

Ards secured their Premiership status, in all but name, with a low key 1-0 win over Glenavon in the final Danske Bank Premiership game before the split.

It was a dreary match where entertainment was at a premium, but Ards supporters weren’t bothered too much at the finish. Technically the three points gained does not guarantee anything, but in reality, only a mess-up of immense proportions will stop Ards from strutting their stuff again among the big boys.

There was much pre-match hype that Glenavon would field a weakened team, with their more important Irish Cup semi-final on the horizon. Although manager Gary Hamilton did make a number of changes, his starting eleven was still a strong one.

There was a minute’s silence before kick-off and then a pause during the fifth minute of the game for a minute’s applause in honour of Derry City’s Ryan McBride who passed away last weekend.

When the action did get going it was the visitors who were the livelier, but it was Ards who should have opened the scoring on 23 minutes.

Josh Doherty found room on the edge of the penalty and fired off a great shot that looked destined for the back of the net, Taylor had other ideas though and finger tipped the effort over the bar.

A lack of communication at the back between Hogg and Byers resulted in them clashing into one another on the edge of the area. Fortunately for the duo Glenavon could not take advantage and the danger was averted.

Mark Patton could have opened the scoring a minute into the new half, but he hit the side netting from close range when he really should have done better.

In the 64th minute Patton thought he had broken the deadlock, but his headed effort came back off the crossbar before being humped away.

Craig McMillen tried to alleviate the boredom with a long range effort with ten minutes remaining. Seeing the keeper off his line he tried a speculative lob than went just wide of the target.

It looked as if the game was going to peter out into a gormless draw until Ards were awarded a penalty in the last minute, Simon Kelly was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area.

Michael Ruddy stepped up to take the spot kick but for some strange reason he changed his customary style and hit the ball low to Taylor’s right. The keeper made a good save, thankfully Ruddy stayed composed to blast home the rebound.

25th March 2017


18 Aaron Hogg, 2 Greg Hall, 25 Emmet Friars (capt.), 3 Michael Ruddy, 21 Callum Byers, 7 Craig McMillen, 43 Josh Doherty, 20 Kyle Cherry, 16 Gareth Tommons, 9 Gary Liggett, 19 Guillaume Keke


4 Stuart McMullan, 8 Ross Arthurs (for Keke, 90), 12 Jordan Hughes, 17 Carl McComb (for Liggett, 77), 6 David McCullough (for Cherry, 67)


Lee Tavinder


Ruddy (89)


Liggett (63), Friars (66)


Sponsors :
Streetlife, South Street, Newtownards
Patton’s Bakery

David Sharpe - Ball Sponsor

Streetlife, South Street, Newtownards presents Callum Byers with the Ards man of the match award
Picture: Judith Potts