Ards secure Championship and promotion

Ards celebrate promotion

Ards drew 1-1 with Institute to get the point they needed to secure the Championship One title and promotion to the Premiership.

Midfielder James Cully scored a penalty in the 15th minute after Sean Roddy was adjudged to have fouled Ryan Moffatt.

Institute equalised on the half hour through a close-range header by former Glentoran striker Stephen Parkhouse.

Ards were last in the top flight in 2006 and have not had their own home ground since 2001.

They currently ground share with Bangor, about five miles from their home town of Newtownards.

Manager Niall Currie said they were already making plans for their top flight return.

"We have been scouting for players and it all depends on what sort of budget we have," he said.

"It has been an intense season but the players can relax now - they are league champions.

"We brought in a lot of players. The team was rebuilt and we did not think it would happen that quickly.

"We need to kick on now. There is great potential at this club."

Institute are battling with Warrenpoint Town for the runners-up position which would put them into the promotion/relegation play-off against Premiership club Donegal Celtic.