Queens v Ards Preview
Loughshore 41 Championship.
Queen's University vs Ards.
Saturday 30th April at 3.00 p.m.
Ards play the final game of a season that promised so much but delivered so little when they travel to play relegation threatened Queen's University on Saturday.
The game is vital to Queen's who are currently in the automatic relegation spot, three points behind Knockbreda with an identical goal difference. Only a win for Queen's and a defeat for Knockbreda, who travel to play Institute, will allow them to move up to the relegation play off place, where they will face the team finishing second in the Premier Intermediate League in a two leg tie and thus have a chance of extending their stay in the Championship.
Ards have only pride to play for, but if they are to pass Dundela and reclaim seventh spot they will need to win and hope that Ballyclare can take points off Dundela at Dixon Park. With the current goal difference between the two clubs, an unlikely three goal defeat for the Duns, who have won their last three games, coupled with a draw for Ards would also allow the Red and Blues to finish seventh. The importance of this for Ards fans is that their previous lowest finishing position in the Championship was eighth in the 2007/8 season, so to replicate that with a team that topped the table in November would be hard to take.
Matthew Tipton has previously said that he would start with his strongest team in the last two games in order to preserve the integrity of the competition and be fair to the teams involved. The only definite absentee will be Benny Igiehon who received the second red card of his short spell at the club in last week's surrender to Knockbreda. A number of other players may feel they are on borrowed time as the manager has stated that the squad needs a drastic overhaul in order to challenge for promotion next season.
Ards fans will be aware that if the team lose on Saturday they will have lost their last three games of the season to teams who occupied the bottom three places at the start of the split, an embarrassing statistic.
The end of season awards event will be held in the Ards Social Club after Saturday's game. It is scheduled to start at 7.15 p.m and all fans are welcome to attend.
Match Officials -
Referee - Lee Tavinder.
1st Assistant - Justin Maxwell.
2nd Assistant - Gary Ewing.