• Michael Barritt

MATCH PREVIEW V MALLARDS

Lough 41 Championship. Ballinamallard United vs Ards. Ferney Park. Saturday 4th December at 3.00 p.m. Ards broke their run of three league defeats with an impressive 3-0 win at Institute last Saturday, a result that left them in second place in the league table on goal difference, albeit five points behind leaders Newry City. This is a vital fixture for Ards as the top of the table is very congested with only one point covering the four teams occupying the places from second to fifth and Ballinamallard occupy that fifth spot with 31 points. On Friday night, league leaders Newry City host Annagh United who are level on points with Ards so the table could look quite different after Saturday's fixtures with four of the current top five playing each other over the weekend. Ards did win the first encounter with Saturday's opponents this season convincingly with a 3-1 scoreline in early October. but Ballinamallard were without the influential Richard Clarke for that game. More current form shows that in the last five games Ards have won just once and the Ducks have lost just once during that same period. However the Red and Blues should be buoyed by that good performance at Brandywell and John Bailie has selection options this week as Conall McGrandles, Eamon Scannell and Craig McMillen all return to the squad after completing their suspensions. Ruairi O'Hare will not be available as he is still suspended while Conal Young is a doubt, having gone off injured last Saturday. Fan's favourite Dee Dee McAllister, who had a good game last week which included a rare headed goal, continues his return to full fitness after his long lay off and is in line to make his 200th appearance for the club. Ards three previous visits to Ferney Park have resulted in draws and they are unbeaten in their last five games against Saturday's opponents, fans will be hoping that run can be extended. Unfortunately there will be no supporters bus for this game. Match Officials - Referee - Declan Hassan. 1st Assistant - Gary Ewing. 2nd Assistant - Roy Beacom.