Lough 41 Championship.
Ards vs Ballinamallard.
Saturday 2nd October at 6.30 p.m.
Depending on Newry City's result against Annagh United on Friday night Ards will either be looking to regain their spot at the top of the table on goal difference if Newry win, or go clear at the top if Newry lose or draw, by beating Ballinamallard in this clash scheduled for a rare 6.30 p.m kick off at Clandeboye Park.
The Ducks will not be easy opponents, although they sit sixth in what is becoming a very competitive league, they are only four points behind the Red and Blues and are unbeaten in their last four games in all competitions, a run which includes a 3-0 win at the Newry Showgrounds.
Despite losing several squad members manager Harry McConkey has built a good blend of youth and experience. He has signed Rory Brown, a goalkeeper with experience at Institute and Glentoran, as well as Niall Grace who has also been with Institute, the evergreen Richard Clarke is also an integral member of the team. Together with this experience are a number of Academy graduates and the exciting BJ Banda, a South African born striker, who was previously with Finn Harps but was plucked from Letterkenny Rovers, he has so far found the net ten times in twelve games in all competitions this season so will need to be closely marked by the Ards defenders.
Ards are certain to be without the suspended trio of Christopher Crane, TJ Murray and Conal Young, the latter two having picked up their fifth yellow card in the impressive win over Ballyclare Comrades last Friday. In better news, some of the injured players returned to training this week so may be able to rejoin the squad, even if only to take a place on the bench. The incentive of returning to the top of the table, or even making a gap between themselves and the chasing pack, will hopefully be sufficient motivation to overcome a team that will no doubt prove to be difficult opposition.
Referee : Stephen Gregg.
1st Assistant : Brian Wilson.
2nd Assistant : Rachel Greer.
Match Sponsor : Alec Gibson.
Ball Sponsors : Ted Sinnott and Brian McDonald.