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  • Writer's pictureStuart Dellow

Match Preview v Ballyclare

PLAYR-FIT Teamwear Championship.

Ards vs Ballyclare Comrades.

Clandeboye Park.

Tuesday 16th April at 7.45 p.m.


Ards play their final home game of the regular season still needing a point to be totally sure of not being dragged into the relegation play-off scenario. It's probably fair to say that neither Ards or their opponents Ballyclare envisaged they would be finishing the season in the bottom half of the table as last August both felt they had realistic hopes of challenging for a promotion spot. However as we near the end of the campaign the Comrades are seventh while Ards are in tenth and so far adrift of ninth placed Newington that they are unable to finish any higher than that, regardless of how they do in their remaining fixtures. Recent results have lifted spirits a little with two wins and a draw from the previous three games, giving the Red and Blues an eight point cushion over 11th placed Dergview. A much superior goal difference for Ards means that, barring a sequence of freak results, a single point from the final three games would mean safety, even if Dergview win their last three fixtures. Of course Ards final fixture is that away trip to Dergview on Friday April 26th, so hopefully things will have been resolved before then.

Ards haven't had much success against the Comrades this season, having been well beaten twice at Dixon Park and surrendering a two goal lead in the September fixture at Clandeboye Park, when two goals in the final ten minutes earned the Comrades what had looked to be an unlikely point. The 6-3 defeat at Dixon Park in October was one of the worst performances of the season, perhaps the only comfort is that Calvin McCurry, who scored three that night has moved on to Ballymena United and the Comrades haven't been as free scoring since his departure in January. They do have Darius Roohi and Gary Donnelly to rely on, both have spent time with Ards and are leading scorers for the Comrades this season with 11 and 12 goals respectively. Comrades manager Stephen Small will want to end the season on a high note, his team have also won two and drawn one of their last three, beating Dergview and Knockbreda and earning a creditable draw at Dundela.

Ards continued their run of improved results when they took a point off Newington last Saturday, a game played in difficult windy conditions which they could have won with a bit more composure in the first half, when a couple of chances could have been converted. However a third game unbeaten and a committed display from the team gives hope that safety is in our grasp.

Eamon Scannell made a second half return as substitute after his three game ban and George Tipton also came on in the second half after a spell out through injury, both players will no doubt be pushing for a starting spot against the Comrades. Whatever starting line up John Bailie chooses fans will hope to see the same attitude and commitment that has been evident over the last few games. It would be great to get a good crowd behind the team for what will hopefully be the last home game of the season.


Match Sponsor :- George Young.

Ball Sponsor :- Prime Shine Car Wash.


Match Officials :-

Referee :- Michael McKenna.

1st Assistant :- Justin Maxwell.

2nd Assistant :- Ethan Craig.

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Dergview v Ards Preview

season fixture with nothing at stake for either side, team selection is difficult to predict but personally I hope Callum Dougan gets a start. He has hit 13 goals this season and is joint tenth in the


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