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Mallards on the up as sub Morris fires a cracker

By Gareth Cauldwell

Ballinamallard made it back to back wins as they followed up victory over Glenavon with a hard fought 2-1 success over second placed Ards at Ferney Park last night.

Gavin Dykes' side failed to win any of their opening six games but this result lifts them up to ninth in the table as they move above Glentoran.

All the goals came in the first half with James McKenna giving the Mallards an early lead before Ryan Morris doubled the advantage with a wonderful strike.

Ards did pull a goal back through the impressive Joe McKinney but the Mallards were able to hold on to the lead throughout the second half.

The home side could not have asked for a better start to the game as they took the lead with a minute on the clock.

A brilliant counter-attack from an Ards corner saw Shane McCabe send the lively Ryan Mayse away on the right and he raced forward before cutting the ball back across the box for captain McKenna who took a touch before planting a shot to the net.

Ballinamallard tried to utilise the pace of Mayse whenever they could but Ards pressed for an equaliser and Michael Ruddy did have the ball in the back of the net only for it to be ruled out for offside.

Instead it was Ballinamallard who were to go on to double their advantage in the 35th minute through sub Ryan Morris, who had replaced the injured Steve Feeney.

A Mallards free kick into the box was only cleared as far as Morris who, from 25 yards, crashed a sublime first time volley into the top corner.

But Ards hit straight back with a goal of their own. McKinney raced on to a through ball on the right and he drilled a low shot beyond Stefan McCusker to leave it 2-1 at the interval.

Mayse continued to pose a threat for the Mallards and he flashed a shot across the face of the goal from the right just past the far post while he blazed another over the bar.

At the other end, Ards went in search of an equaliser and David McCullough's neat ball picked out Guillaume Keke but he was denied by goalkeeper McCusker as the Mallards saw out the remainder of the tie to secure the crucial three points.

Ballinamallard Utd: McCusker, McMenamin, Taheny, Feeney (Morris 17), McCabe, McKenna, Lafferty, McConnell, Lecky, Mayse (Armstrong 90), McCartney

Ards: Hogg, Hall, Friars, McMullan, Ruddy (J Rae 82), Cherry (Arthurs 6), McCullough, McComb, McKinney, Keke, Douglas (Hughes 46).

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