Belfast Telegraph

Championship: Around The Grounds, March 8

By Keith Bailie

Ballyclare Comrades manager Eddie Hill has resigned following his team's 3-1 defeat at the hands of Armagh City.

In a statement, the club said: “Manager Eddie Hill has resigned from his post. We wish him all the very best for the future and thank him for all his efforts. Eddie's reign as manager lasted for three years and four months. In that time, we gained promotion from Championship Two to Championship One.”

The Comrades are currently 11th in Championship One, six points above the relegation zone. Former player Hill guided the Dixon Park club to promotion, two Steel & Sons Cup semi-finals and a County Antrim Shield win over Linfield.

 

Carrick Rangers are in action this Tuesday night at Taylor's Avenue. They take on fellow Intermediate Cup semi-finalists Lisburn Distillery (7.45pm). If Carrick can win, they will close the gap on leaders Bangor to 10 points with four games in hand. Last time the two sides clashed, it ended in a 1-1 draw.

Harland & Wolff Welders will be aiming to move into third on Tuesday night. They travel to Lakeview to face Loughgall (7.45pm) in a clash that will have an impact at both ends of the table. If the Welders can win, they will leapfrog Larne and move into third. They will also be seven points behind leaders Bangor with two games in hand.

Bangor, Carrick Rangers, Harland & Wolff Welders and Lisburn Distillery are all in the hat for the semi-finals of the Intermediate Cup after winning their respective quarter-finals. The draw is scheduled to be made on Tuesday night. The semi-finals are expected to be played on Tuesday April 6 and Wednesday April 7.

 

Ards Football Club have launched a new ‘Ground Fund’, set-up with the intention of raising funds to help the club secure land.

Ards, who left their traditional home of Castlereagh Park over a decade ago, currently play their home games at the Bangor Fuels Arena on the Clandeboye Road.

The club hope to secure substantial funding from the Stormont Executive to build a new stadium, with £36 million earmarked for football facilities expected to be released later this year.

It was hoped that the new stadium would be built at the council-owned Floodgates site on the Portaferry Road in Newtownards but Ards Borough Council withdrew their offer to lease Ards FC the land in late January.

The club are currently searching for new land on which to build the proposed stadium. In addition to this process, they have also set up a Ground Found, for fans and well-wishers to donate towards. They plan to use any funds raised to pay for “the purchase, planning costs and development of land which will enable Ards FC to come home.” Full details of the venture are available on ardsfc.co.uk

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