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  • Writer's pictureMichael Barritt

Ards v Dundela Preview

Lough 41 Championship.

Ards vs Dundela.

Clandeboye Park.

Saturday 31st December at 3.00 p.m.

Not only is this the last chance to see Ards play this year, it's also the only game in town, or city to be more accurate. There are no other games in the Premiership, Championship or Premier Intermediate League on the last Saturday of 2022 so hopefully a big crowd will turn up to watch two sides that are still in the promotion race in spite of some inconsistent results. If that isn't enough to entice you then come along and congratulate Ards ambassador and World Champion gymnast Rhys McClenaghan who will be attending the game as a guest of the club.

Paul Harbinson, who took over the Wilgar Park hot seat in October when Niall Currie left to manage Portadown, must be frustrated as his side have lost their last three games, including a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of local rivals Harland and Wolff Welders last time out, this in a game they led 2-0 after 43 minutes! In spite of this recent dip in form the Duns are still third in the table with 33 points from their 19 games played. Unusually they have eleven wins and eight defeats from those 19 games, so at the time of writing they are the only team in the Championship without a drawn game this season.

The main goal threat to Ards, if they are selected, will come from Eamon Fyfe and Rhys Annett, who have seven and six goals respectively so far this season, next highest contributor is Benny Igiehon, who had a brief spell at Ards, with three. Other players with an Ards connection who featured in the squad who lost to the Welders are Jaimie McGovern, Michael Kerr, Sam Dinu, Eoghan McCawl and Willie Faulkner.

Ards fans will hope that the team have got over the poor display at Breda Park on Boxing Day, when, in spite of coming from behind twice to level the scores, a 3-2 defeat to lowly Knockbreda left them in fifth position, level with Warrenpoint and one point behind the Duns, although both those teams have games in hand on Ards, Point have two and the Duns one.

Adam Salley may well pull on the Red and Blue for the last time this season as it seems likely Portadown will exercise their option to recall him, hopefully he will add to the impressive tally of goals that he has netted so far. Ards fans have seen their team score at an average rate of exactly two goals a game so far in the league, with 40 from 20 games, but worryingly the team continue to concede regularly as they have shipped in 39 in those 20 games, leaving them with a goal difference of +1!

Points are vital to both teams so come along and see what is sure to be a keenly contested encounter.

Match Sponsor :- Quikcabs Bangor.

Ball Sponsor :- CTS Tyres Comber.

Match Officials :-

Referee :- Michael McKenna.

1st Assistant :- Brian Magill.

2nd Assistant :- Ethan Craig.

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