IRISH LEAGUE: Ards promoted to Danske Bank Premiership

Ards celebrate winning the NIFL Championship and promotion to the Danske Bank Premiership

Ards celebrate winning the NIFL Championship and promotion to the Danske Bank Premiership

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Ards clinched the Championship One title and promotion to the Irish Premiership by beating Loughgall 3-0 in their final game of the season.

Needing a point to lift the title, Ards were 2-0 up at half-time thanks to a Ross Arthurs strike and an own goal by visiting keeper Gareth Buchanan.

Niall Currie’s men added a third after the break through Carl McComb.

H&W Welders beat Bangor 1-0 to finish runners-up, three points behind Ards, and Institute go into the play-off.

Larne almost snatched an unlikely place in the promotion/relegation play-off

With the Welders, Armagh and Knockbreda not having a Premiership licences, fifth-placed Institute go into the promotion/relegation game over two legs against Ballinamallard United who finished one-from-bottom of the Premiership.

Institute lost 1-0 to Ballyclare but just edged their place on goal difference from Larne who hammered Lisburn Distillery 6-1.

Ards, who play at Bangor’s home ground, last played in the top flight in 2014 when they were relegated.