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Currie urging Ards to focus

By Keith Bailie

Published 20/02/2016

Looking ahead: Niall Currie is keen to forget Cup final woe
Looking ahead: Niall Currie is keen to forget Cup final woe

It's back to basics for Ards, who will swap playing in front of over 3,000 spectators in the JBE League Cup final for the more humble surroundings of Haslett Park in Carrickfergus.

Ards face Amateur League 1A side Barn United (today, 1.30pm) in the fourth round of the Intermediate Cup, with a place against Larne in the quarter-finals up for grabs.

Last Saturday, Ards lost the League Cup decider 3-0 to Cliftonville at Solitude, but manager Niall Currie wants his side to put the experience behind them.

"The League Cup final was a fantastic day but our main focus has always been on the league, which remains our priority," he said. "We've also got the Intermediate Cup, which is another chance for silverware.

"We're expecting a difficult game against Barn. We beat them 3-1 in the Steel & Sons Cup earlier this season and they made life difficult. They're now managed by Tommy Kincaid, who achieved great things for Ards."

Bizarrely, an Ards win could have ramifications for their promotion push. The Intermediate Cup quarter-final against Larne is pencilled in for March 12, which is when the Red & Blues are supposed to face title rivals Harland & Wolff Welders.

The Welders could go within one point of Ards today. They travel to Drumahoe to face a much improved Institute side.

Third-placed Loughgall travel to fellow Irish Cup quarter-finalists Lurgan Celtic for a Mid-Ulster derby, while fourth-placed Larne host Dergview with just a point separating the two clubs.

Bangor will be aiming to arrest their mid-season slump at the Bangor Fuels Area, where they face relegation battlers Armagh City.

Donegal Celtic are hoping to claim their first league win of the season when they travel to Dixon Park to play Ballyclare Comrades. Lisburn Distillery, who share the relegation zone with DC, visit Annagh United.

And it's first against second in Championship Two as leaders Limavady United travel to Newforge to take on PSNI.

Belfast Telegraph

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