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Perfect start for Ards in quest to bounce back at the first attempt but Portadown held on opening day

 

Double: Michael McLellan
Double: Michael McLellan

By Stuart McKinley

Ards got their quest for an immediate return to the Premiership off to a perfect start on the opening day of the Bluefin Sport Championship season.

Warren Feeney's men, who dropped through the relegation trapdoor when they lost to Carrick Rangers in a play-off, showed their class with a 4-0 victory over PSNI.

Last season's top goalscorer Michael McLellan picked up where he left off, claiming the first after 36 minutes to give Ards a half-time advantage.

David McAllister doubled the lead 10 minutes after the break and TJ Murray slotted in the third eight minutes later.

After McAllister had hit the crossbar and McLellan had a second 'goal' ruled out for offside it became 4-0 in injury time when McLellan did get on to the scoresheet once again with a header.

Ballyclare Comrades staged a thrilling comeback with three goals in the final six minutes to deny newly-promoted Queen's an opening day victory.

The students were 2-0 up at the break thanks to Marc McKenna and Matthew Hughes.

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Comrades substitute Joe Tully sparked the fightback after a poor clearance from goalkeeper Conan Doherty.

Tully then scored from the penalty spot as the game entered injury time before Kyle Beggs grabbed a dramatic winner for the Comrades.

Harland & Wolff Welders are second in the early table after a 2-0 over Newry City at Tillysburn, where Adam Wright and Ross Arthurs were on target.

Knockbreda recorded an impressive three points with a 1-0 away win at Ballinamallard United courtesy of Anthony Burns' goal, while Chris Watts struck to earn Dundela a 1-0 victory over Dergview.

Loughgall and Portadown drew in the opening game of last season and once again they had to share the spoils as they played out a stalemate at Lakeview Park.

RESULTS: Ballinamallard United 0 Knockbreda 1; Ballyclare Comrades 3 Queen's University 2; Dundela 1 Dergview 0; H&W Welders 2 Newry City 0; Loughgall 0 Portadown 0; PSNI 0 Ards 4.

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