Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Currie tips neighbours Bangor for Championship One title glory this season

Holidaying Ross Arthurs (left) will be a big miss for Ards manager Niall Currie as he prepares to face derby rivals Bangor on Tuesday night
Holidaying Ross Arthurs (left) will be a big miss for Ards manager Niall Currie as he prepares to face derby rivals Bangor on Tuesday night

Ards boss Niall Currie believes his old side Bangor are favourites for the Belfast Telegraph Championship One title.

The two North Down clubs are poised to clash on Tuesday night (7.45pm) at Clandeboye Park, in an early season derby encounter.

While Currie's Ards were relegated from the top division last season, Bangor came within a whisker of claiming the Championship title. The Seasiders' final day draw with Harland & Wolff Welders handed Institute the title and pushed Gareth Scates' men into second place.

Ards boss Currie believes the Seasiders could go one better this year.

"I would say Bangor are favourites to win the league this season. They've a strong squad that came very close last season and since then they've added quality.

"But I can assure all Ards supporters that we are looking forward to this game, as always. We will not fear Bangor and we will be up for the fight.

"We've a new squad and they may take a little time to gel, but I think our performance at Armagh on Saturday showed our potential."

Ards drew 1-1 with newly promoted Armagh City on the opening day of the season, with new striker Josh Cahoon scoring a 73rd minute equaliser.

Although the result was far from ideal for Ards, Currie was far from downbeat.

Currie said: “Overall, I thought our performance was good, particularly when you consider we had five players making their débuts. No one hid and we showed a bit of character to comeback from a goal behind. I thought we deserved all three points, but that's football.”

Bangor will go into the derby off the back of an impressive 4-1 opening day win over Dergview. Andy Morrow, new boy Richard Gibson and Mark Cooling (2) were all on target for the Seasiders.

Ards will be without Ross Arthurs, who is on holiday, while Jordan Forsythe is an injury doubt for Bangor.

The North Down derby is just one of five Tuesday night Belfast Telegraph Championship One games.

In a 7pm kick-off at Tillysburn, Harland & Wolff Welders take on Carrick Rangers. Both clubs picked up 2-0 wins on the opening day of the season against the PSNI and Donegal Celtic, respectively. Both sides are likely to be challenging for honours come the end of the season, so this clash will be an early indicator into the abilities of both sides.

In the other 7pm kick-off, Knockbreda and PSNI will clash in a Belfast derby at Breda Park.

Loughgall will be hoping to bounce back from their 4-0 defeat at the hands of Dundela, when the host Lisburn Distillery at Lakeview (7.45pm).

The Duns will be aiming to claim their second league win in as many games at Dixon Park (7.45pm), where they play Ballyclare Comrades.

In Belfast Telegraph Championship Two, Queen's University play Sport & Leisure Swifts at Dub Lane (7pm) while Glebe Rangers play Newington YC at the Riada Stadium (7.45pm) in Ballymoney.

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