Ards face tough test against UCC in Cup

Naomi Elliott
Naomi Elliott

Ards came back down to earth with a bump during the week after their indoor heroics and they will be hoping to get back on track on Saturday in Cork where they take on UCC in the quarter finals of the Irish Senior Cup.

In their first game after retaining their national indoor title Ards were surprisingly held to a 2-2 draw by basement team Victorians.

It could have been worse though as they had to come from 2-0 down against the relegation favourites.

Second half goals from Chloe Brown and Brenna McEwen secured Ards a point after strikes from Danielle Hamilton and Rachael had put Vics in the driving seat.

“We were pretty awful and we didn’t take our chances early in the first half while they took theirs.” said Ards captain Naomi Elliott.

“But we had a big training session last night in order to get us up to speed for Saturday.”

One suspects that was only a temporary blip as far as Ards are concerned but the mental and physical efforts that went into the defence of their indoor title perhaps took it’s toll.

‘Midweek syndrome’ may also have entered the equation as it isn’t the first time a ‘favourite’ has come a cropper against a lesser side under lights.

But Ards would much rather have had a home cup game rather than a long trip to Munster to tackle the students.

“We don’t know too much about them but they are second in their league so obviously they are a decent side.” Naomi added.

“We will obviously miss Tamara McLeod and Lynn Mills who are unavailable so it is certainly going to be tough.”

Pegasus are also in cup action and they also have a tough assignment away to UCD, the holders of the trophy.

‘Money have struggled by their own high standards this season and their cause has not been helped by the loss of the teenage striker.

They have a difficult assignment in the Premier League on Saturday as they take on a Queen’s side that has lost only once all season in the top flight campaign.

In the only other Premier League encounter Lurgan should have too much in the tank for Portadown who now lead Vics only on goal difference after the latter’s midweek result against Ards.

There is one top flight game on Friday night as Randalstown take on Armagh in what should be an intriguing contest as both sides have displayed improved form this season after struggling last term.

Both sides will be looking to pick up points from this encounter as they look to climb the table.