Belfast Telegraph

Currie demands Ards consistency

By Keith Bailie

Tillysburn will host the most important game of the Championship season so far this afternoon (2pm) as league leaders Harland & Wolff Welders face second-placed Ards.

The Welders are currently two points clear of Ards after 11 games. If Niall Currie's men claim an away victory they would climb to the top of the table for the first time since August, while Gary Smyth's team know a win would stretch their lead to five points.

The Red & Blues booked a place in the last four of the JBE League Cup on Wednesday after they beat Premiership club Ballinamallard United 7-6 on penalties following a 2-2 draw.

Ards boss Currie said: "It was fantastic for us to beat a Premiership side and to reach the last four of a senior cup competition. I'm really proud of the players.

"But we've got to produce that sort of performance on a consistent basis. In recent weeks, it's been like a rollercoaster.

"The Welders match will be tough as they're a fantastic side, and we've played a tough 120 minutes just three days before, but I think we've shown that we're a match for anybody."

Both teams have a number of injury concerns ahead of today's game in east Belfast while Smyth will be without the suspended Ryan Deans and Craig Harris.

Ards will be missing midfielders Gary Dorrian, Emmett Templeton and Rory Carson, although they hope to see the return of striker Stephen O'Neill and winger Eamon McAllister, who both missed the midweek win over Ballinamallard.

The other game in the second tier today sees basement club Donegal Celtic take on fellow strugglers Ballyclare Comrades.

There are so few matches this weekend as the Northern Ireland Football League had left this Saturday free for the Intermediate Cup, but it was later decided that Championship clubs wouldn't enter until the next round.

In Championship Two, Glebe Rangers host PSNI while Sport & Leisure Swifts are at home to Portstewart. The PSNI are in third place, four points behind league leaders Limavady United.

Belfast Telegraph


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