Ardara will remain in the SFC hunt after they downed Killybegs in Dunkineely this afternoon.
Ardara 1-9 Killybegs 1-5
By Frank Craig, Ardara PRO
The Pearse Park men were on top for most part and led by eight with as many minutes to go. However, a careless concession of a goal – when Christopher Murrin was allowed to fire home – threatened to undo their all their previous and hard endeavour.
But Seamus Gallagher (pictured) and Connie Molloy’s men stood firm despite matters boiling over on a number of occasions late on. One of those spats, when it eventually settled, saw Murrin walk by way of a second yellow card.[adrotate group=”82″]
Because of those bouts of fisticuffs, five minutes of additional time was played. But with Killybegs chasing a four-point deficit in the final moments, their hunt for another three-pointer eventually proved futile.
In truth, they were easily second best here and relied far too heavily on Hugh McFadden for scores. He pinged their entire quota of five points and that statistic was what, in the end, damned Killybegs to a second successive SFC relegation decider.[adrotate group=”81″]
Almost from the off, Ardara was the side that looked most determined to retain their senior championship status. They were 0-3 to 0-1 to the good by the 14th minute thanks to Lorcan O’Donnell, Brendan McNelis (free) and Tomás Boyle after a thunderous turnover by Kenneth Doherty had sent Ardara on the counter.
Killybegs were up and running on 21 minutes through a McFadden free after the ‘man in the middle’ had brought the ball forward for deliberate prevention of the Fishermen taking the kick quickly.
Before half-time, both sides were on the mark once more each. Indeed, Ardara almost forced a goal when CJ Molloy excellently fetched a long delivery, turned but watched agonisingly as his drive cannoned up and over off the top of Antoine O’Hara’s crossbar.[adrotate group=”37″]
A second McFadden placed kick left Killybegs chasing a two-point deficit at the midpoint.
Minutes into the second period and Ardara stole a real march when Concarr, after a fine catch above Ciaran Conaghan, forced the full-back to bring him to ground. The same player – who missed a crucial last second spot kick against Dungloe in the final group stages clash – showed great character to step up again, under pressure, and drill this one home.
Trailing by 1-4 to 0-2, Killybegs snatched an over back when McFadden again hit the spot from a free after Doherty had upended Daniel Breslin. But with Concarr (free) and Ryan Malley nailing consecutive points, it seemed Ardara were almost out the gate.[adrotate group=”38″]
Had Molloy’s fine slap towards goal not again bounced off the woodwork they would have been. Regardless, when McNelis, Concarr (free) and Malley all converted to take Ardara out to 1-9 by the 51st minute – this one looked over.
Still, Murrin’s goal livened matters up in the final moments. McFadden also added a late free but with Ardara dropping men back to guard their goal, they easily enough ran down the clock to secure what was a crucial and morale boosting victory.[adrotate group=”46″]
Killybegs: Antoine O’Hara; Owen Gallagher, Ciaran Conaghan, Daniel O’Donnell; David McGuinness, Shane Molloy, Niall Carberry; Hugh McFadden (0-5, 4f), Pauric Conaghan; Christopher Murrin, Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Barry Cannon; Daniel Breslin, Jon Ban Gallagher, Evan Broderick. Subs: Pauric Gallagher for John Ban Gallagher (46), Christopher Cunningham for McGuinness (53).
Ardara: Cathal Gallagher; Nicholas Maguire, Declan Gavigan, Kevin Breslin; Johnny Herron, Kenneth Doherty, Paddy McGrath; Conor Classon, Brendan McNelis (0-2, 1f); Tomas Boyle (0-1), Lorcan O’Donnell (0-1), Ryan Malley (0-2); Gareth Concarr (1-2, 2 frees), CJ Molloy (0-1), Kieran Breslin. Subs: John Ross Molloy for McGrath (18 mins), Killian Boyle and Stefan Boyle for T Boyle and O’Donnell (51), Joe Melly for Classon (53).
Referee: James Connors (St Eunan’s).Tags: