COLIN Malone recorded an important win over Ards, in his first match in-charge of Loughgall.
2010 champions Loughgall took the spoils in a thrilling opening day encounter at a sodden Dixon Park, in front of a healthy crowd.
Ards started the game the brighter, but The Villagers hit them with a swift counter attack which caught Ards stand-in right-back Sammy Devine out of position. Former Banbridge man Jeff Brady finished the move off nicely, to score just seven minutes into his debut.
Ross Arthurs equalised on the 16th minute with a close range header.
Ards dominated the rest of the half and were unfortunate not to go into the break with the lead. In the 61stminute Loughgall caught Ards out again. Pedlow evaded the offside trap on the right flank before setting up John Guy, who fired in for 2-1.
On the 75th minute Ross Arthurs was fouled in the penalty box and referee Graham McIlwrath pointed to the spot, incensing Colin Malone, who was sent to the stand for his protests.
Marc Robinson saved Nathan McConnell's penalty, but the big striker reacted first to smash home the rebound and made it 2-2. Ards, who had opted for a 3-4-3 to get the equaliser, stuck with that formation in an attempt to get the winner.
It back-fired on the 79th minute when Ards were again opened up down the flanks.
This time it was midfielder David Hawthorne who got the goal, which eventually turned out to be the winner.
Ards: McKibbin, Devine, Spence, Young, Pike, Corey, McKee, McIlhagga, McDowell, McConnell, R. Arthurs subs A. Arthurs (replaced McDowell 83), Wright (not used), McKnight (not used), Picking (replaced Corey 21), Doyle (replaced Devine 72)
Loughgall: Robinson, Hall, Baird, Hull, Stewart, Emerson, Brady, Hawthorne, Pedlow, Guy, Teggart subs Rodgers (replaced Baird 83), McNeill (replaced Guy 64), Markey (replaced Teggart 89), King (not used), Marks (not used)