A CONOR CLASSON goal in the third minute of injury time gave Ardara a fine win over Glenswilly in the Donegal SFC.
Ardara 2-6 Glenswilly 0-10
The visitors had just gone ahead, 0-10 to 1-6, when Caoimhin Marley pointed before Classon managed to bundle home an untidy but ultimately vital goal to give Ardara the points in an incident-packed encounter, where three men and the Ardara manager were sent off.
With Brian Farrelly dismissed on 34 minutes for a tussle with Paddy McGrath, at a stage when Glenswilly had got ahead through scores from Gary McFadden and Caolan Kelly to lead 0-8 to 1-3, the 14 men were in for a battle in awkward conditions.
However, Ardara were soon level, with Lorcan O’Donnell and CJ Molloy on the mark, to leave it 1-5 for Ardara to Glenswilly’s 0-8.
Gareth Concarr, who scored 1-4, then knocked over a routine free and Ardara were back in front by the minimum but when Molloy was then shown the line for a second yellow on 53 minutes, it was up in the air again.
Gary McFadden got Glenswilly back on terms but three wides on the bounce looked to have scuppered their chances before Marley made it 0-10 to 1-6. However, Classon pulled it from the fire with his late goal to the delight of the locals, with Brendan Boyle sent off in the aftermath.
The home team made the best possible start with a goal inside of just three minutes, when Philip O’Donnell, the Glenswilly goalkeeper, struggled to get the ball off the tee in the blustery conditions.
Nicolas Maguire won the ball and it broke to Concarr, who held off Joe Gibbons to hook the ball past O’Donnell to get the Adrian Brennan managed side off and running.
Three-time county champions Glenswilly, with Neil Gallagher having won the fitness battle to start, were having bother early on getting any fluency together, although the same could be said for Ardara.
By the 12th minute, Ardara had hit four wides to their visitors’ three. Kealan McFadden and two Michael Murphy frees, though, brought Brendan Walsh’s team back to 1-1 to 0-3 down by the quarter-hour.
Brennan, the Ardara manager, was sent outside the wire for his protestations as referee Shaun McLaughlin had awarded Glenswilly a close range free for a free off-the-ball incident. Brian Farrelly soon levelled it up.
Ardara managed to edge two in front with Concarr grabbing two from play in succession, only for Murphy to pull one back at the other end from his third placed ball of the half. That meant Ardara’s lead was a slender one, 1-3 to 0-5 three minutes from half-time.
Ruairi Crawford did get in for a goal chance from a Murphy pass, only for Ciaran Gildea of Ardara to save at the concession of a 45. Murphy popped it over to level it all square at half-time, 1-3 for Ardara and 0-6 for Glenswilly.
In the 33rd minute, a close range free from Gary McFadden got Glenswilly the lead for the first time. Then, Farrelly was dismissed and Molloy soon following him, it was a battle till the bitter end. Glenswilly came though by the minimum.
Ardara: Ciaran Gildea;; Tony Harkin, John Ross Molloy, Joe Melly; Danny Walsh, Paddy McGrath, Nicolas Maguire; Conor Classon (1-0), Brendan Boyle; Tomás Boyle, Brendan McNelis, Johnny Herron; Gareth Concarr (1-4, 2f), CJ Molloy (0-1), Lorcan O’Donnell (0-1). Subs: Jonathan Sweeney for Herron (49), Paul Watters for McNelis (55).
,Glenswilly: Phillip O’Donnell; Mark McAteer, Eamon Ward, Ruairi Crawford; Oisin Crawford, Ryan Diver, Joe Gibbons; Neil Gallagher, Caolan Kelly (0-1); Shaun Wogan, Caoimhin Marley (0-1), Brian Farrelly (0-1); Gary McFadden (0-2, 1f), Michael Murphy (0-4, 3f, 45), Kealan McFadden (0-1). Subs: Cormac Callaghan for O Crawford (39), Donnchadh Gallagher for K McFadden (42)
Referee: Shaun McLaughlin (Malin).Tags: