A goal a minute from time, headed home by Michael Ruddy gave Ards three points in last night’s game at Ferney Park.
The game looked as though it was ending in a draw until Ruddy rose unchallenged in the six yard box to head home a corner.
Ards manager Colin Nixon felt his side had a little more quality in the second half to take the points.
“We looked a bit flat in the first half and I changed things around. I wanted to keep our good run going and we scored some good goals.
“We reaped the rewards of hard training and avoided any relegation and I want to build on that for next year.”
Ballinamallard manager Gavin Dykes admitted his side gave away bad goals with ‘mistake after mistake’.
“We worked really hard to get back into the game twice after giving away bad goals. People didn’t do their jobs.
“We’ve had a look at some players over the past few weeks and that way it has been beneficial but our form recently hasn’t been good enough. We can’t keep giving away goals like that. It’s criminal.
“We have to learn how to manage football matches. We have to change our mentalities and push on.”
After an uneventful first half Ards opened the scoring after just three minutes of the second.
McMillan’s cross from the left found Shevlin to side foot home from close range as he continued his recent run of goal scoring form.
But the Ferney Park side reacted well and drew level nine minutes later when striker Ryan Curran set up Gary Armstrong to hammer into the far corner past keeper Hogg.
After taking control of the game Ballinamallard were caught with a sucker punch on 74 minutes when Kyle Cherry found himself free at the back post to head home a cross from the right to put Ards back in front again.
Two minutes later though it was all level again with the home side scoring through Colm McLaughlin after Curran’s effort came crashing back off the crossbar.
Then in the closing minute up popped Ruddy to rise above the Ballinamallard defence to head home the winner at the near post.