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Ards are looking up after Ruddy strikes late to deny Mallards

Ballinamallard United 2 Ards 3

By Gareth Cauldwell

A Michael Ruddy goal in the 90th minute secured all three points for Ards at Ferney Park last night.

Ards had led twice in the second half only to be pegged back on each occasion but Ruddy headed home late on to keep his side hot on the heels of seventh-placed Dungannon.

The first half was a scrappy, dull affair with neither side really threatening a goal.

The second period, though, was a much more entertaining encounter with Ards taking the lead in the 49th minute.

A break down the left saw Ruddy fire in a low cross which Matthew Shevlin rifled home.

Lifted by the goal, the away side pressed for a second. Jordan Hughes' shot was pushed over the bar by Cameron Crawford and from the resultant corner Craig McMillen headed against the post.

The Mallards, though, clawed their way back into the game and after Shane McGinty had a couple of efforts that were off target, Gary Armstrong came up with the equaliser in the 57th minute.

Good work from Ryan Curran saw Armstrong released on the right and he hit a low drive into the bottom corner to make it 1-1.

Ards regained the lead in the 74th minute as substitute Carl McComb's cross from the left was met by Kyle Cherry, who headed home from close range.

The home side hit back three minutes later as Colm McLaughlin headed in after Curran's shot had hit the crossbar.

However, Ruddy sealed the win at the death as he headed home a McMillen corner.

Ballinamallard: Crawford, McLaughlin, McCabe (Mullen 81), McGinty, Armstrong (Mayse 84), JLafferty, Hutchinson (Morris 81), Owens, Elliott, McCann, Curran.

Ards: Hogg, Hall, Ruddy, Taylor, McAleenan, McMillen, Cherry, McCullough (Kelly 71), Hughes (McMullan 86), Keke, Shevlin (McComb 71).

Referee: Steven Taylor.

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