AIB League 3: Ards 3 – 46 Queens University

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A rampant Queens ran in 8 tries against a very subdued Ards at Hamilton Park last Saturday, helping keep them in contention for the AIB Division 3 title against close rivals Midleton, only four points off the lead and a game in hand. Ards were caught napping in the very first minute of play when the visitors ran in their first converted try. However four minutes later, Ards managed to reduce the early arrears from a Michael Lawton penalty. These were to be Ards only points on the day as Queens upped the tempo, by running in another 4 tries and securing their bonus point on 25 minutes, to lead 29 – 3 at the break. Open side flanker, Kenny McCombe, seemed to be the only Ards player in the first half making his presence felt with some great hits, as he worked tirelessly to try and stem the student’s onslaught.

Ards v Queens Pictures

In the second half, Ards were caught on the hop again when Queens ran in another early try but eventually sparked into life. Andy Hassard, Keith McIlwaine, Kenny Heslip, Jaydon Hill and Scott Young, joined McCombe and started tearing into the students ranks forcing them onto the back foot deep in their own 22. Ards then had a number of good scoring opportunities but just couldn’t finish them off. Davy Armstrong appeared to cross the line but had the ball dislodged from his grasp just as he was about to score. Michael Taylor also looked to be in with a shout as he appeared to be unmarked, but the final pass went astray. As did other similar instances when Ards just couldn’t seem to make it happen. Ards had the lion’s share of possession and territory in the second half but Queens were quick to counterattack at every opportunity and took full advantage whenever Ards exposed their soft underbelly by running in another two tries before the final whistle.

Ards are so much better than this and know only too well that if they had put in the same effort in the first half as they did in the second, the score line would undoubtedly have been a lot closer. This result though still sees Ards sitting in 12th place in the league ahead of Portadown, Connemara, Naas and Co Carlow, with five games remaining, but not out of the woods yet.

Spare a thought for Ards’ intrepid cameraman Kevin Ferguson (pictured above) . ‘Fergie’ can be seen standing casting a lonely figure, usually on roof tops or high vantage points in all weathers, as he squints through the viewfinder, relentlessly trying to capture events on camera as the game unfolds. Hats off to you old chap your Club salutes you. Keep up the good work.

Report: Roy Lawton

Pos Team P W D L F A TB LB Pts
11 Rainey OB 10 4 0 6 154 155 1 2 19
12 Ards 10 3 0 7 112 228 0 2 14
13 Portadown 10 2 0 8 84 204 0 2 10
14 Connemara 10 2 0 8 82 254 0 2 10
15 Naas 10 1 0 9 119 209 0 4 8
16 Co. Carlow 9 1 0 8 91 228 0 1 5
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