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  • Writer's pictureStuart Dellow


Lough 41 Championship.Harland and Wolff Welders vs Ards.Blanchflower Stadium.Saturday 13th August 2022 @ 3.00 p.mArds, who will be wearing their new away kit, start their Lough 41 Championship season with a difficult task at near neighbours Harland and Wolff Welders.Last season the Welders finished four points ahead of Ards in fifth place, but both sides will expect to be among those competing for promotion this time around.The Welders have had a busy pre season schedule and can point to single goal defeats at the hands of Premiership outfits Glenavon, Glentoran and Portadown as a good indication of their potential.  They have also strengthened their squad with a number of signings, including ex Ards forward Johnny Frazer and influential midfielder Stephen Garrett from Knockbreda.The pre season for Ards has seen them win comfortably against Comber Rec and Ards Rangers, draw at Carrick Rangers and lose at Larne and Coleraine. Although probably the most important result for fans of the Red and Blues was the 3-0 win over Bangor in the Spectator Cup!Matthew Tipton has certainly rung the changes at Ards with no less than eight players released and eleven being signed. Returning to the club are the popular and experienced defensive duo of Greg Hall and Johnny Taylor, while Aaron Brown also returns having spent last season with Ards Rangers. The other newcomers are in their teens or mid twenties and have all featured in the pre season games. Alex Moore is expected to be in goal in preference to fellow newbie Jason Craughwell, while the other signings, namely Ben Mullen, Ethan Taggart, Callum McVeigh, Ross Hunter and John McGivern along with Luke McKendry, a recent loan signing from Dungannon will be hoping to have impressed the manager enough to be involved in some capacity on Saturday.Both teams will want to make a winning start to their campaign, so a competitive encounter is assured.

Match officials  Diarmuid Harrogan Kieran Eannetta, Gareth O'Donnell

.Ards fans travelling to this game are encouraged to use the PASC  bus which leaves the usual Gibson's Lane/Social club area at 2.15 p.m.

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