Unbeaten City of Derry were quick off the mark on a sunny Saturday afternoon scoring straight from the kick off with left wing Simon Logue brushing off some limp tackling from Ards to score in the corner. Out half Richard Peoples converted giving the home side a 7 -0 lead.
Shortly after, the impressive Stephen Duffy went over for his first of the day with Peoples converting to take the home side to 14 -0.
Ards eventually got their act together and with ex Ulster player Scott Young showing his class the visitors got on the score board with a converted try by Richard Millar.
David Murdock re-established Derry’s lead going over in the corner after a quick penalty. Peoples added the extras but Ards kept in contention with an unconverted try from Scott Young.
Derry’s wing forward Richard Baird grabbed the home sides fourth try of the first half after a bullocking run from 30 yards out but the visitors had the final say before the whistle with Roy Eaves going over after good work by Young. Both tries were converted taking the half time score to City of Derry 26 Ards 19.
Ards drew level shortly after the break with second row Keith McIlwaine sprinting clear to touch down under the posts for a converted try but the visitors appeared to fall asleep as the home side ran in five tries in quick succession.
Hard working hooker Stephen Duffy grabbed two to complete his hat trick and Peter Henderson chipped in with a brace while Andrew Semple went over for the fifth. Peoples added two conversions and a penalty taking the score to City of Derry 58 Ards 26 with 15 minutes to go.
Jonny McLaughlin found his way to the try line for Ards with just over 12 minutes to go but Derry had the last word with Tom Patton, Peoples and Semple all crossing to give a final score of City of Derry 73 Ards 31 in an extraordinary match.