Ards beat Harlequins to secure Premier League crown

Ards celebrate Premier League success
Ards celebrate Premier League success

Ards clinched the Premier League title last night with a convincing 6-2 win over Belfast Harlequins at Regent House.

Their first such triumph for more than half a century means the Co Down side have completed a league-Ulster Shield double.

Make that a treble for the season when you add in the national indoor title and it was former Ireland midfielder Emma Reid who was the toast of her team mates last night with one of her own.

She claimed a hat trick as Ards went one better than they needed having gone into the game requiring only a draw to take the honours.

Only for a brief period did battling Quins threaten to ruin the script as they bravely fought back from 3-0 down to score twice without reply on either side of half time.

Ards were 3-1 ahead at the break, just as they had been 12 months ago against Pegasus, but they made no mistake second time around after losing 5-3 to the defending champions last season in the title decider.

Reid broke the deadlock after seven minutes to give Ards a dream start and Amy Benson and Janice Vaughan then added two more before before Jenna Watt cut the arrears to make it 3-1 at the break.

Amy Geddes then made it 3-2 as Quins threatened briefly to spoil the party but Ards added three more goals through Reid, who got two to complete her hat trick, and Rachel Barton. Ards manager Phil Mills was overjoyed at his team’s success - their first top flight triumph since 1964.

“This is something we have been aiming towards for the last few years and to have achieved our goal is great for the club.” he said.

“Now we hope to build on this success.”

and set our sights on getting some success in the national competitions in the years to come.”

“Hopefully, we can also attract more players to join the club and go from strength to strength.”