Glentoran edged into the semi-finals of the Toals Co Antrim Shield following a penalty shoot-out win at the Oval.
They will be joined in the draw by holders Cliftonville, Linfield and Larne.
Glentoran controlled the game for virtually all of the 90 minutes but failed to find the breakthrough goal.
With 10 minutes on the clock the Glens had their first real chance when Jay Donnelly's cross fell to Ciaran O'Connor. O'Connor's effort was on target but saved by Neeson in the Ards goal.
Next to try his luck was Donnelly himself, latching on to a ball from Jamie McDonagh but curling his shot inches past the post. Indeed Jay Donnelly looked the most likely to open the scoring, shooting straight at Neeson on 22 minutes and then firing wide 10 minutes from the interval. As half-time approached the dominant Glens had another couple of chances; Donnelly clipping the ball just over the crossbar and then shooting straight at the keeper following good build up play from Ciaran O'Connor.
Half-time: Glentoran 0-0 Ards
A minute into the second half a superb long ball from Luke McCullough picked out Jamie McDonagh. The Glentoran number 7 raced clear but was unfortunate to see his goalbound effort delfected behind for a corner by Ards skipper and former Glentoran defender, Jaimie McGovern.
On 54 minutes Glentoran were awarded a free kick around 30 yards from goal following a poor challenge by Kym Nelson which brought a deserved yellow card. McDonagh struck the ball powerfully but Neeson made a comfortable save. Just after the hour mark a McDonagh corner from the right found Marcus Kane in the area but his header flashed wide of the goal.
The Glens intorduced Dale Gorman and Ben Cushnie in an attempt to break the deadlock but although there were half chances for McDonagh and Kane, the Ards goalkeeper was untroubled.
In the final minute of the game Glentoran should have had a penalty when Ciaran O'Connor was felled in the area by Kym Nelson. Referee Chris Morrison thought otherwise and decided that O'Connor had taken a dive, produced a yellow card and awarded Ards a free kick! Bizarre!
Full-time: Glentoran 0-0 Ards
It was the last meaningful action of the game and we moved to a penalty shoot-out at the Sydenham End.
Ards went first and netted through Darius Roohi but Brian Neeson then saved Seanan Clucas's spot kick. Advantage Ards.
Reynolds and Ferris both scored for Ards with Joe Crowe and Dale Gorman replying for Glentoran.
Leo Brown then saw his penalty saved by Dayle Coleing with Jay Donnelly scoring to level things up.
Kyle Calderwood and Gael Bigirimana were both successful leaving us at 4-4 and heading to sudden death.
Ards keeper Brian Neeson was next up but his effort ended up on the grass bank. Ciaran O'Connor then had a chance to win it for the home side but he too blazed over.
Dayle Coleing then saved Ruairi O'Hare's penalty before Jamie McDonagh fired the Glens into the semi-final with a superb penalty.
Photographs by PACEMAKER
Glentoran: Coleing, Clucas, Kane (c), Crowe, McCullough, O'Connor, Bigirimana, Gallagher (Gorman 70), J. Donnelly, Stewart (Cushnie 86) & McDonagh.