• Michael Barritt

Match Report: Ards 3-4 Dungannon Swifts

Updated: Apr 30, 2018

Danske Bank Premiership

April 28th 2018

By Jana McCabe

With many sore legs amongst the 20 or so brave Ards fans who walked to the game from the Ards Social Club in support of Cancer Focus NI and the Special Efforts Committee, Ards took on Dungannon Swifts in the final game of the season.  An Ards victory meant that the home side would finish in 8th position, but a Swifts win or a draw would mean that they would occupy 8th place in the final league table of the season.  So, rather than a meaningless end of season clash, this contest was an important game for both sides.

Ards opened the scoring just 60 seconds in to the first half when a long clearance from Sam Johnston was headed on by Adam Brown to Michael McLellan whose clean strike from the edge of the area lobbed Stuart Addis to make it 1-0 to Ards.

Following a few half chances for both sides, McLellan nearly scored again in the 17th minute but his free kick just cleared the bar.  Sam Johnston kept the game at 1-0 when he produced a fine save to stop Rhyss Campbell's shot in the 22nd minute.  Then, in the 33rd minute, Johnston was called in to action again, pulling off a good save to deny Grant Hutchinson.

Cameron Stewart then fell badly following an aerial challenge and had to be stretchered off the field and taken to hospital with both sets of fans applauding him as he left the pitch and then the ground, to be replaced by Marc McKenna.

Luke Kelly's superb tackle then denied Caolin Coyle in the 40th minute before, as an entertaining first half drew to a close, the Swifts levelled matters when, in the 43rd minute, Marc Patton's brilliant strike found the right hand corner.  So the first half finished level, with all to play for in the second half.

Just one minute in to the second half, Sam Johnston vitally denied Paul McElroy's edge of the box strike.  However it only took the Swifts another 8 minutes to go ahead when, in the 54th minute, a powerful header from Jarlath O'Kane made it 1-2.

Ards were quick to respond when, in the 58th minute, Adam Brown did well to win the ball back, beating a number of Swifts players and keeping his composure to slide the ball in to the bottom left hand corner of Addis's net, for his fi