Ballinamallard United missed an opportunity to leapfrog Ards in the Irish Premiership after losing 2-0 at the Bangor Fuels Arena on Friday night.
A goal in each half was enough to secure three points for Colin Nixon's side.
It was the Mallards who created the first chance of the game, with Johnny Lafferty heading into the side netting on 31 minutes.
Five minutes later and Ards were in front when Michael Ruddy converted from the penalty spot.
The visitors tried to respond and missed a good chance to draw level after good work from Ryan Mayse set up Jason McCartney - who just failed to connect in front of goal.
Ards also went close with Guillaume Keke guilty of missing two chances to extend the lead.
And just before the end of the half, United had a big shout for a penalty turned down by referee Peter McGrath.
Keke was proving to be a threat in front of goal and it was no surprise when he made it 2-0 on 70 minutes.
That was the end of the scoring as Ards eased their way to the finish line.
Ballinamallard continued their recent good run with a 1-1 draw against Glenavon in their rearranged league clash at Ferny Park.Read the full story ›
Ballinamallard United won the crunch clash with bottom of the table Portadown 1-0 at Ferny Park on Friday night.
The result sees the Mallards move onto 18 points, 15 ahead of the Ports.
The home side had to play most of the game with 10 men but withstood all the pressure especially in the latter stages to clinch a vital win.
United keeper Cameron Crawford prevented Stephen Hughes from giving the visitors an early lead with a smart save and then at the other end Joshua McIlwaine failed to hit the target when in a good position.
With half an hour gone the Mallards suffered a blow when they were reduced to 10 men with Ross Taheny sent off for his challenge on Aaron Haire.
However, it was Ballinamallard who took the lead on 36 minutes when Ryan Mayse cut inside from the left and Philip Leckey rushed in to drive a low shot in off the right hand post.
That was to prove the difference between the sides as Portadown were unable to make the extra man count.
Cliftonville came from two goals down to earn a point in a highly entertaining 2-2 draw with Glenavon at Mourneview Park on Friday night.
In the end it will be Gary Hamilton's side who will feel they missed out on all three points after dominating the second half but they were unable to make their possession count.
Cliftonville almost took the lead when Stephen Garrett saw his shot pushed onto the post by home keeper Jonny Tuffey.
Two goals in four minutes put Glenavon in command.
The first came after a mistake by keeper Peter Burke with a poor clearance and Guy Bates rounded him to slot into the empty net on 12 minutes.
Andy McGrory made it 2-0 three minutes later when he gambled on a flick into the box and things for looking good for the Lurgan Blues.
The Reds were right back in it on 22 minutes when a delightful move cut the home defence open as Martin Donnelly crossed for David McDaid who drove the ball high into the net.
An entertaining first half was to end level at 2-2 when Stephen Garrett heading home a superb cross from James Knowles.
Glenavon enjoyed long spells of possession in the second half and went close but Guy Bates, Ciaran Martyn and Mark Patton but they could not find the net.
The Reds always looked dangerous on the counter but it was Glenavon with the final chance of the night with man of the match Bates just failing to get the final touch from Rhys Marshall’s delivery.
- Cliftonville 1-0 Ballinamallard
David McDaid snatched a last-gasp winner as Cliftonville earned a 1-0 win over Ballinamallard Utd at Solitude on Saturday.
After what was a fairly uneventful 90 minutes, the striker found the net in the fifth minute of stoppage time to deny the Mallards a share of the spoils.
The result means that the Reds remain just a point behind third-placed Ballymena United.
Ballinamallard remain tenth, and without a win in their last six league games.
- Ballinamallard United 1-2 Portadown
Portadown picked up only their second win of the league campaign with a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Ballinamallard at Ferney Park.
Niall Henderson gave the visitors the lead from the penalty spotb in the 33rd minute after Niall Haire had been fouled inside the area, and Stephen Hughes doubled his side’s lead in the 50th minute when he fired home after some neat interplay with Robbie Garrett.
The Mallards pulled one back from Shane McGinty’s 58th minute header but were unable to muster an equaliser.
The result sees Portadown stay bottom on -3 points, although they move to within eight points of the Co Fermanagh side in the table.
- Dungannon Swifts 6-1 Ballinamallard United
Dungannon Swifts swept aside Ballinamallard United with a 6-1 win at Stangmore Park.
Alan Teggart set the home side on the way with Stefan Lavery netting twice and Jamie Glacken all on target as the Swifts led 4-0 at the break.
Niall Owens pulled a goal back for the Mallards after the restart, but that was as good as it got as Cormac Burke and Glacken got their name on the scoresheet for impressive Dungannon.
- Glentoran 1-1 Ballinamallard United
Glentoran came from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw with Ballinamallard Utd at the Oval on Saturday.
Adam Lecky scored the opening goal three minutes before half-time when he latched onto a through ball before firing home through the legs of Elliott Morris.
However the game was all-square in the 56th minute when Ciaran Caldwell found the net with a low drive.
The stalemate has done little to change either team's fortunes, with Glentoran staying tenth while Ballinamallard remain ninth.
- Ballinamallard United 2-0 Dungannon Swifts
Ballinamallard United picked up their third win in four games with a 2-0 victory over Dungannon Swifts at Ferney Park.
James McKenna fired the hosts into the lead in the 24th minute when with a close-range finish from Adam Lecky’s flick-on into the danger area.
The hosts made the game safe 12 minutes from time when Jarlath O’Rourke hauled down Ryan Mayse in the area, and Adam Lecky scored from the resulting penalty.
Ballinamallard remain in ninth place as a result of their victory, while Dungannon drop to eighth.
Ards missed the chance to close the gap on leaders Crusaders after losing 2-1 at Ballinamallard on Friday night.
It was a dream start for the home side with James McKenna opening the scoring inside two minutes.
That lead was doubled on 36 minutes thanks to a superb strike by Ryan Morris.
However, Ards hit back two minutes later when Joe McKinney found a way past United keeper James McGrath.
With no further scoring in the second half Ballinamallard held out for a welcome three points that sees them move up two places into ninth spot the Danske Bank Premiership.
Glenavon dropped to sixth in the Irish Premiership table after they fell to a home defeat to Ballinamallard on Saturday.
In what was a largely drab and uneventful game at Mourneview Park, the Lurgan Blues squandered their best chance when Paddy McCourt saw his penalty saved by the visitors’ goalkeeper Jack McGrath midway through the second half.
Just as the game looked to be heading towards a stalemate, Adam Lecky was brought down in the area deep into injury time, with the referee awarding a penalty for the offence.
Lecky stepped up to convert his spot kick and hand his side their first win of the campaign.