FOR the first time since March 2016, Bangor and Ards prepare for a North Down derby in senior football.

The Seasiders’ return to the Championship means that the two sides can lock horns competitively again tomorrow night (Friday, 7.45pm) at Clandeboye Park.

It is Ards who hold the superior record in recent fixtures between the two clubs with a share of the points in August 2014 being the only interruption to an Ards winning streak which spans across eight Championship fixtures and five pre-season battles.

But both sides are much changed in recent years and Lee Feeney knows his team will be ready for battle come kick-off on Friday night.

“It’s a fixture we’re all really looking forward to,” said the former Ards player.

“We had a tough lesson last weekend regarding the fine margins that exist in the Championship and I know the boys will be ready to bounce back.

“I have no doubt there will be a big crowd at Clandeboye Park on Friday night and we’ll be looking to perform as well as we did last weekend but with something to show for it at full-time.”

Bangor will be wary of a wounded Ards side who suffered an opening day defeat at the hands of Newington at Clandeboye Park. The north Belfast side took an early lead through former Ballymacash Rangers frontman Zach Barr before summer signing Jamal Dupree levelled for Ards.

Patrick Downey put Newington in front again before the break and despite the visitors being reduced to ten men in the second half, it was the ‘Ton who extended their lead through former Bangor striker Darren Stuart.