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Ards just three points away from dining at the top table once again

By Conor McLaughlin

Ards’ top-flight return will be confirmed if they can overcome Knockbreda on Thursday evening. Niall Currie’s men maintained their four-point advantage at the top of Championship 1 with a 2-1 victory over Institute at the weekend and can secure the title with a game to spare by emerging victorious from their upcoming trip to Breda Park.

Despite falling behind to Gareth Brown’s 23rd-minute strike on Saturday, Ards hit back through Denver Gage and Carl McComb but Institute — unbeaten in the league since November — could have snatched a point when Greg Hall’s foul on Alex Pomeroy earned the hosts a penalty, only for Ryan Brown to save Ciaron Harkin’s tame effort.


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Nearest challengers Harland & Wolff Welders defeated Donegal Celtic 2-1 thanks to goals from David Rainey and Ethan Boylan, however Larne’s slim hopes of bagging a play-off place were dealt a huge blow when Jordan Lucas hit a late winner in Bangor’s comeback defeat of the Invermen.

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