Bundoran play themselves back into championship with win over Ardara

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BUNDORAN HAVE REIGNITED their championship hopes with a fine win over Ardara in Gaelic Park.

Bundoran 1-15 Ardara 0-13

By Frank Craig, PRO

A brilliant second-half from the Seasiders saw them outgun the visitors by 0-10 to 0-6 and that, in the end, was what cost the Pearse Park men. They allowed Bundoran to tag on six of those points uninterrupted at the beginning of the new period.

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Bundoran lost out to Dungloe on opening day in May, whilst Ardara got the better of Glenswilly.

And it wasn’t until the 45th minute that Ardara finally opened their second-half account. Before the break, a decisive spell saw the away side lose their most influential cog in Paddy McGrath. With the county man in a heap on the turf with a twinged hamstring Jamie Brennan suddenly had no minder.

The ball was eventually worked to the deadly attacker and he made no mistake to bury past Gary McHugh in the Ardara goal. Ardara had opened the scoring just 40 seconds in through Brendan McNelis.

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Bundoran and Tommy Hourihane were denied an opening goal by a great stop from McHugh. They were eventually off the mark through Brennan. Christy Keeney kicked Bundoran ahead on nine minutes but the contest was soon tied again thanks to Gareth Concarr.

Indeed, on 12 minutes Ardara should have had a goal when Ryan Malley put Concarr through. But an over elaboration from the Ardara forward – where he looked for that one pass too many to CJ Molloy – squandered a golden opportunity.

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Molloy and Johnny Herron did manage to open up a two-point gap before Hourihane halved the deficit with his first of the night on 21 minutes. It was around about this juncture when the direction of this contest took a serious turn in Bundoran’s favour. With McGrath grounded, the hosts and Brennan made the most of the opportunity to fire themselves two up.

Ardara did, initially, respond in positive fashion to that blow as Concarr (free), Lorcan O’Donnell and Herron, with his second, all cleared the crossbar.

However, Bundoran made sure they exited on level terms when Johnny Boyle struck late in added time. At the break it was Bundoran 1-4 Ardara 0-7.

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Ardara’s complete failure to turn up at the beginning of the new period saw Bundoran tag on a half dozen points without reply. Hourihane (free), Brennan (2), Pauric Rooney, McCaughey and Boyle were the men that landed those scores for Realt na Mara.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 38)

Ardara finally stumbled to a response via a McNelis free. Niall Dunne’s pursuit of a ‘lost cause’ was then rewarded when his palm back into the area was fired over by the lurking Brennan.
A determined drive by Conor Classon took Ardara to nine points on 49 minutes. But Bundoran’s retort was perfect as Brennan, at this stage wreaking havoc, pinged a quickfire brace.

Ardara found some traction when McNelis (free), Malley and Concarr (0-2,2f) were on target as the gap narrowed to three. But Bundoran closed out proceedings in fine fashion though Hourihane and Boyle to eventually cross the line with five to spare.

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Ardara: Gary McHugh; Declan Gavigan, Kenneth Doherty, Kevin Breslin; Paddy McGrath, Johnny Herron (0-2), Kieran Breslin; Brendan McNelis (0-4,3f), Conor Classon (0-1); Ryan Malley (0-1), Jack Brennan, Nicolas Maguire; CJ Molloy (0-1), Lorcan O’Donnell (0-1), Gareth Concarr (0-3,1f). Subs: Killian Boyle for P McGrath (24), John Ross Molloy for N Maguire (37), Stefan Boyle for L O’Donnell (45).

Bundoran: Conor Carty; James Keeney, David Stuttard, Pauric Rooney (0-1); Matthew Ward, Paul Brennan, Johnny Boyle (0-3); Michael McEniff, Ciaran McCaughey (0-1); Alan Russell, Tommy Hourihane (0-3,2f), Shane McGowan; Jamie Brennan (1-6), Niall Dunne, Christy Keeney (0-1). Sub: Daragh Hoey for A Russell (18).

Referee: Connie Doherty (Naomh Conaill).

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