Lough 41 Championship.
Dundela vs Ards.
Saturday 29th April at 3.00 p.m.
Ards make the short trip to Wilgar Park to take on Dundela for the last game of what has been a disappointing season on the field for both clubs. Back in August both clubs harboured thoughts of a promotion campaign but inconsistency, loss of form and loss of key players meant that both had to settle for a place in the top six, which is a slight improvement on last season, when Ards finished seventh, one place ahead of the Duns.
The inconsistency of many clubs in this division is perhaps highlighted by the fact that since the split Dundela have only one win in four, but that was a 4-0 victory over Ballyclare, who comprehensively outplayed Ards in a 5-1 win last weekend, yet in the final game before the split Ards beat Dundela 5-1! Dundela will no doubt be extra keen to take all three points on Saturday, as the results between the sides so far this season have gone the way of the Red and Blues, who can claim two wins and a draw in the previous three games. A win for Ards could see them finish fifth, ahead of Ballyclare who, if Ards win would need to get three points away to League winners Loughgall to hang on to fifth place.
Ultimately league positions are irrelevant for both sides who are consigned to the Championship for the next season. Perhaps more interest is generated by the leading scorer battle, Adam Salley who was in pole position until recently, must score two more than his rival Matthew Ferguson who will be playing just down the road from Wilgar Park as the Welders take on Knockbreda. 'Breda sit last in the table and must hope for a win coupled with Institute, who parted with manager Brian Donaghey this week, losing at Ballinamallard, in order to avoid automatic relegation. Although if Warrenpoint who this week failed to achieve their Championship licence, are relegated and are unsuccessful in an appeal, if they make one, there will be no automatic relegation but a play-off for the last placed side against Ballymacash or Queen's University.
Ards fans will hope Karl Hamill, who missed the defeat at Ballyclare, is fit to play and able to add some stability to the defence who have conceded more than any team except Knockbreda. As Ards fans are aware scoring goals is rarely an issue with only champions Loughgall having scored more. However Eamon Scannell, who was on the bench last week and is second in the Ards scoring list, seems likely to miss out again as a precautionary measure, as he sits on nine yellow cards for the season.
A big Ards crowd would be welcome as the team bid to end the season on a high note.
Match Officials :-
Referee :- Shane McGonigle.
1st Assistant :- Shane Geary.
2nd Assistant :- Shane Corrigan.