Dundela 3 Ards 2
Niall Currie returned to haunt his old club as Dundela eased into the second round of the Irish Cup at Wilgar Park.
Although the final score suggests a hard-fought encounter, the reality is the East Belfast outfit cruised into a 3-0 lead before Ards scored two consolations.
Delighted Currie said: “The two late goals feel a little unfair as we were totally dominant, particularly in the first half. We were first to both the first ball and the second ball, and we broke away brilliantly. We could have been three or four up at half-time.
“Ards improved in the second half, as you’d expect, but we limited them to a handful of chances, and I think we deserved our third goal.
“It was frustrating to concede two late goals. We took our foot off the pedal, which was a little unprofessional, but we will not let that spoil a great day.”
Since Currie’s arrival in September, the once relegation-threatened Duns have hit a fine vein of form.
“We’re playing well,” he added. “We’ve lost just one of the last nine games, which is a massive improvement on where we were. To get 19 points in such a short period of time tells you all you need to know about the effort these lads have put in.”
In the 15th minute, Tony Kane’s free-kick deflected into the path of Jay Magee, who steered a header beyond Brian Neeson.
Another ex-Ards player made his old club pay in the 31st minute. Ruari O’Hare was caught in possession and Guillaume Keke raced through before drilling in a shot which Neeson was unable to keep out.
Three half-time substitutions and a change of formation from Ards did little to halt Dundela’s advance and, in the 83rd minute, Rhys Annett added a third.
The visitors scored two long-range efforts through Eamon Scannell and debut boy Gary Donnelly, but there was to be no denying the Duns.
DUNDELA: Matthews 6, T Kane 7, McKay 7, Taylor 7, Magee 8, McMaster 7, McCawl 7, Beggs 7, E Kane 8, Keke 7 (Annett, 65 mins, 7), Fearon 7 (Hughes, 85 mins, 5). Unused subs: Miskelly, T Shaw, E Shaw, Kirk.
Ards: Neeson 5, Young 5, Dinu 5 (Donnelly, 69 mins, 6), O’Hare 4 (McGrandles, 46 mins, 6), McGovern 5, Jallow 5 (Ferrin, 46 mins, 6), Cafolla 6, Murray 6, Scanell 7, Arthurs 5 (Tully, 46 mins, 6), McCurry 5. Unused subs: O’Kane, E McAllister, Crane
Lee Tavinder (Dungannon) 6