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Mallards exit on penalties

Ballinamallard were hoping to reach their second successive League Cup semi final on Wednesday evening, but were defeated by Championship One side Ards.

The Mallards led the game twice and had enough chances to easily win the game, but a determined Ards side took their chances and brought the game to penalty kicks.

The away side made a great start and opened the scoring on 7 minutes. Jason McCartney's cross deep to the back post was met on the volley by John Currie and despite getting a hand to the ball, ex-Cliftonville goalkeeper Ryan Brown couldn't keep it out.

Ballinamallard were fairly comfortable in the first period with Alvin Rouse largely a spectator and took that lead in at half time.

Liam Martin should have added a second on 68 minutes but shot wide after great work by Johnny Lafferty. The Mallards couldn't take the game by the scruff of the neck and dominate and Ards grew in confidence using the width of the pitch well.

Their equaliser arrived on 70 minutes when ex-Crusaders winger Eamon McAllister headed in a cross from the right. That goal seemed to spur the Mallards back into action and Steve Feeney was unlucky not to score when Brown saved his effort from close range whilst Ryan Campbell also went close.

Neither side could find another goal before full time, which sent the game into extra time.

Substitute Johnny Courtney put the Mallards ahead in the first period of extra time with a low finish through the legs of Brown, and the youngster hit the bar minutes later as Ballinamallard searched for a third. Campbell went close again before Ards equalised again at the start of the second period of extra time, when Danny McKee scored from close range after the Mallards failed to defend a deep cross.

With the game going to penalties, both sides scored their first five sending the shootout into sudden death. Both sides scored the sixth whilst Shane McCabe seen his spot kick saved and Ards scored their seventh to win 7-6 on penalties.

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