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Underdogs Ards hold their nerve to shoot down Mallards

Ards 2 Ballinamallard 2 (Ards win 7-6 on penalties)

By Keith Bailie

Ards booked their place in the last four of the JBE League Cup thanks to a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Premiership side Ballinamallard United.

The match finished 2-2 in normal time before Shane McCabe saw his crucial penalty saved by Ards keeper Ryan Brown and Ross Arthurs sealed the Championship club's victory.

Ballinamallard raced into an early lead in the seventh minute with a well worked goal. Jason McCartnery showed quick feet to beat his man and flight a cross towards the back post which was met by the right boot of winger John Currie. His sweet 12-yard volley was too well struck for Ards goalkeeper Ryan Brown.

Ards found an equaliser in the 71st minute after a period of possession in the Ballinamallard half. Rory Carson lofted a lovely pass towards the back post that was headed home by the smallest player on the pitch, David McAllister, sending the game into extra-time.

In the sixth minute of the first period, a Liam Martin cut-back caused mayhem in the Ards penalty box and Johnny Courtney took advantage.

Ards didn't lie down. They found another equaliser in the second minute of the second period. Craig McMillen put a smart low cross into the box that Danny McKee tucked home at the near post, from around six yards.

In the shootout, 13 of the 14 penalties were scored. Shane McCabe's seventh strike for Ballinamallard was saved by Brown, before Arthurs stepped up to fire Ards into the last four.

at Drumahoe, another Championship team put in a good showing against Premiership opposition. Kevin Deery's young Institute side took the lead at the Riverside in the 28th minute through striker Gareth Brown.

Warrenpoint Town grabbed an equaliser through Mark Hughes in the 40th minute, before his brother Daniel Hughes grabbed the winner on 63 minutes from the penalty spot, to give Barry Gray's men their first ever senior cup semi-final.

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