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Ards show they have Premier class as Mallards end up grounded

Ards 2 Ballinamallard Utd 0

By Keith Bailie

Ards took another big step towards securing their Premiership status with an impressive win over Ballinamallard United at the Bangor Fuels Arena.

A first half penalty from Michael Ruddy and second half strike from in-form forward Guillaume Keke handed Ards the three points in an entertaining affair.

The win sees the Red and Blues stretch their lead over the Fermanagh club to four points, with Ards in ninth place and Ballinamallard down in tenth position.

Ballinamallard's best chance of the first half arrived in the 32nd minute when Jonny Lafferty found himself free at the back post, but the former Dergview man headed the corner-kick over the crossbar from six yards out.

Ards made the breakthrough in the 37th minute when Peter McGrath awarded Colin Nixon's side a spot kick. A short back-pass left Mallards goalkeeper Richard Brush in trouble, and he clipped Keke as the Frenchman tried to nip in.

Ruddy stepped up and scored his ninth penalty of the season, giving Brush no chance.

Ards could have added a second in the 41st minute when David McAllister's left-flank cross was headed over by Keke.

The former Larne man did find the net in the 64th minute. Josh Doherty picked out McAllister on the left-wing, who found Keke at the near post.

The Parisian smashed the ball home from close range, with the aid of the underside of the crossbar.

Ards: Hogg; Hall, Taylor, Friars, Ruddy; Tommons (89 Arthurs), McCullough, Doherty, McAllister (77 Hughes); Keke, McComb (84 Liggett). Subs: Arthurs, Bradley, Hughes, Liggett, Shevlin

Ballinamallard United: Brush; Morris, Frempong, McLaughlin, Elliot (61 McIlwaine (67 Mullan), McGinty, McCartney, Lafferty, Hutchinson (50 McCann); Curran, Mayse. Subs: McGrath, Tahney

Ref: Peter McGrath

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