Lough 41 Championship.
Dergview vs Ards.
Tuesday 28th February at 8.00 p.m.
Ards will set off for Castlederg on Tuesday night less than three days after returning from their last visit to Darragh Park. They will once again face Dergview hoping that the gutsy display on show on Saturday can be replicated and they can bring home another three points.
The 3-2 win on Saturday showed the best and worst of Ards with some really pleasing attacking moves and some calamitous defending on show that brought pleasure and panic in equal measure to the loyal band of fans that made the long journey. In truth it was a deserved three points against a strong Dergview side that belied their lowly position in the league and Ards had to battle hard to earn those points after Cricky Crane was sent off in the 74th minute. Every player contributed well to the victory but Ethan Taggart and Karl Hamill were outstanding and the celebrations at the end of the game showed how important the result was to the team and the fans.
This is an important fixture as the split looms, Ards have this game in hand over the two teams above them and a win would enable them to move back up to fifth place, overtaking Ballyclare Comrades and the free scoring Harland and Wolff Welders, whereas anything less than a win would give Ballinamallard, who would then have a game in hand, the chance to demote us to eighth place again if they win that game.
Matthew Tipton again used TJ Murray in the back four on Saturday, but with Crane automatically suspended for the next three games and Greg Hall still doubtful, some change will be inevitable. He may recall Ben Mullen or shuffle the pack with Conall Young, who came on after Crane's dismissal and played well in an unfamiliar role at left back or maybe Christopher McDonald also coming into contention for a starting place.
While that victory on Saturday lifted spirits and shortened the journey home, another three points in part two of the double header would create a massive 14 point advantage over Dergview and should remove any fears of being dragged into a relegation battle. Is it too much to hope for that Ards can achieve consecutive wins after going ten weeks without any wins? Another display like Saturday's would be a great help!
Match Officials :-
Referee :- Louise Thompson.
1st Assistant :- Shane Corrigan.
2nd Assistant :- Roy Beacom.