By their own admission, Ards haven’t been firing on all cylinders this season and they’ll be hoping that the best is yet to come as they prepare for Friday’s clash with Pegasus.
The return trip to Comber Road will evoke happy memories of this time 12 months ago when they played superbly to beat the Belfast side fair and square.
The 3-1 score line in no way flattered them but they know they will have to be at their best as Pegasus go all out for revenge in the rematch.
The same sentiment could also easily apply to Ards in the wake of the heartache they experienced after throwing away a 3-1 lead in the Premier League last season to go down 5-3 and hand Pegasus the title.
“That defeat still rankles, still hurts, to be honest a lot of what went on came from a lack of self belief.” said Ards manager Phil Mills.
“You get 3-1 ahead and then you play a bit more defensively, less aggressively and the intensity drops a little and all of a sudden when they start to close the gap we didn’t know how to recover from that.”
“This season though we can’t complain as we’re still winning although we’re not always playing the hockey we can.
“We’re playing in fits and starts and haven’t achieved consistency yet. But we’re looking forward to Boxing Day - that’s we want, getting to finals and a showcase match.
“We’ve nothing to go on, not having played them yet this season but we’ll adopt the same approach as always.
“Pegasus are one of the top teams in the land but the formbook goes out the window in finals - it’s about who turns up on the day.
“The girls are still as hungry as ever after getting the taste of a Shield win last year, everyone is buzzing with anticipation.”
“It will be a really tough game though as they are strong from the back up to their attack but we’ll not make too many assumptions about how they’ll play and we will just try to make the best of the talent we have. “