Ards are made to rue lack of a clinical edge
Ards and Bangor played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at Clandeboye Park in the first North Down derby of the new season.
Former Crusaders man Eamon McAllister opened the scoring for Ards in the 35th minute, before Mark Cooling levelled mid-way through the second half.
Ards had the first genuine chance of the match in the eighth minute when Gary Warwick delivered an excellent corner-kick from the left hand side, but it was headed over the crossbar by Ards debutant John Convery.
Bangor gave Ards a scare in the 13th minute when Andy Hall unleashed a 30-yard effort that goalkeeper Graeme McKibbin was unable to hold. Andy Morrow was quickly on to the rebound, but McKibbin blocked.
The Red and Blues opened the scoring in the 35th minute with a well worked goal. Willie Faulkner and Josh Cahoon played an intelligent one-two, before Faulkner cut the ball across the front of the box. Bangor goalkeeper Paul Cairnduff parried the resulting effort into the path of McAllister, who couldn't miss.
Bangor had the first chance of the second half when former Ards Rangers man William McBurney unleashed a powerful 25-yard volley that whistled past the post.
The Seasiders equalised on the hour mark, after some good work by former Ards full-back Kris Pike. He put in a cross that McKibbin punched into the path of Cooling, who drilled it into the net.
Ards had a chance to regain the lead in the 70th minute when Faulkner put over a fizzing ball from the right. Cahoon got underneath the ball and blasted it well over the crossbar. Ards had a settle for a draw despite some late pressure.
In the day's other big Championship game, Harland & Wolff Welders rocked Gary Haveron's Carrick Rangers 3-0 at Tillysburn.
Former Preston North End man Michael McLellan gave the home side the lead in the 19th minute, before William Armstrong doubled the Welders' advantage from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute. Ryan Deans completed the scoring four minutes later with a goal against his old side.
Ex-Glentoran forward Jordan Hughes hit a sensational hat-trick for Knockbreda as they beat the PSNI 4-1 in a Belfast derby. Steven Garrett grabbed the other goal for the home side at Breda Park.
Gary Brown hit two first half goals for Ballyclare Comrades, with McGowan adding a goal in the second half as the Dixon Park club sealed a 3-1 win over Dundela.
Stephen Doyle gave Lisburn Distillery the lead at Lakeview, but a brace from Stephen O'Neill gave Loughgall the advantage before the break. Ryan Moffatt added a third as Loughgall claimed a 3-1 win over the Whites.