Bundoran secured two priceless league points in their quest for Division One survival with a battling display over table-toppers Kilcar in Gaelic Park.
Bundorsn 2-11 Kilcar 1-13
Realt na Mara produced a brave second half performance to hold off Kilcar and therefore inflict only the second defeat of the season on the men from Towney.
Only last weekend both these sides clashed in the championship and 11 points separated them but the men from the Seaside are always a different animal on their home patch and so it proved again today.
Both sides were short regulars with Kilcar lining out without Patrick McBrearty and Ryan McHugh and Bundoran playing minus Shane McGowan, Niall Dunne and veteran fullback James Keaney.
But it was the returning Jamie Brennan who stole the show with an excellent hours work accounting for 1-5 of the home sides total.
Brennan had missed last weeks encounter due to suspension but certainly left his mark on this game.
Bundoran opened the scoring with a point from Gary Clancy. Kilcar replied with an Ashley Carr free and a fine score from Conor Doherty. The home side went in front again with points from Brennan and Tommy Hourihane before Doherty levelled matters again.
A rash tackle by Peter McGonigle saw Andrew Mullin point to the penalty spot and Carr duly dispatched it .A great run and finish from Michael McEniff left two between the sides.
From the kickout Jamie Brennan collected it and displayed great composure to finish calmly to the Kilcar net.
The men in black and amber were now on top and with the aid of a strong wind added three further points from Hourihane Brennan and Alan Russell.
Then, Andrew Mullin awarded a second penalty and it was deja vu for Christy Keaney as he scored his second penalty against Kilcar in seven days to stretch his sides lead out to seven points.
A Stephen Mc Brearty free stemmed the tide but the home outfit replied immediately with a Clancy free. The final score of the half came from the boot of Kilcars Mark Sweeney to leave the halftime score Realt na Mara 2-8 Kilcar 1-5.
Stephen McBrearty opened the scoring for the visitors in the second half but a Jamie Brennan free put six between the sides once again.
Playing now with the wind at their backs the Kilcar men began to dominate possession. The introduction of Mark Mc Hugh signaled their intent and 5 unanswered points from Matthew McClean, Carr, McBrearty and two from the livewire Eoin Mc Hugh left it a one-point game.
During this period Realt suffered a major setback when they lost Paul Murphy to a black card.
At this stage it seemed inevitable that Kilcar would draw level but a brilliant fetch from the veteran Hourihane set Brennan on his way and from an almost impossible angle he split the posts to put two between the sides again.
With eight minutes remaining another Carr point left the minimum between the sides.
Again Bundoran responded and it was their talisman Brennan who found the range again.
As the game entered the 60th minute, Kilcar lost Conor McShane to a black card and Mark Sweeney pointed well but despite nearly four minutes of injury time the visitors could not find the target and the homeside held on to record a much needed victory.
Realt na Mara: Ashley Mulhern; Niall Carr, Peter McGonigle, Diarmuid McCaughey; Paul Murphy, Michael McEniff (0-1), Paul Brennan; Ciaran McCaughey, Gary Clancy (0-2, 1f); Alan Russell (0-1), Tommy Hourihane (0-2, 1f), Diarmuid Spratt; Cian Mc Eniff, Christy Keaney (1-0, 1pen), Jamie Brennan (1-5, 1f). Subs: Timmy Govorov for D McCaughey, Sean Gilmartin for Murphy.
Kilcar: Eammon McGinley;Daniel Lyons, Conor McShane, Pauric Carr; Barry Shovlin, Michael Hegarty Cormac Cannon; Ciaran McGinley, Shane Gallagher; Matthew McClean, Eoin McHugh, Conor Doherty; Ashley Carr, Stephen McBrearty, Mark Sweeney. Subs: Stephen Shovlin for Lyons, Mark McHugh for Gallagher, Darragh O’Donnell for McClean, Patrick Gallagher for Mc Shane.
Referee: Andrew Mullin (Killybegs)