Ardara manager Adrian Brennan was of the opinion his side’s running abilities facilitated their strong finish to see off Gaoth Dobhair.
Brennan’s team - just like their opponents - found it difficult to navigate through the crossfield winds at O’Donnell Park last night in the first half.
A pair of Padraig McGarvey scores for Gaoth Dobhair at the end of the half made it 0-3 to 0-3.
And, in the second half with Ardara facing the wind, which was across the pitch as much as in the faces, ball in hand was a much more fruitful course of action and one that yielded dividends in the 0-10 to 0-5 win.
“It was difficult to play with the breeze in the first half,” Brennan said afterwards.
“We didn’t know whether to run it or go long. It was awkward with the wind and sometimes we took the wrong option there.
“Gweedore had the same problem. We regrouped at half-time and we felt as though we were still in it.”
There was still nothing between the teams by the 52nd minute with the scoreboard deadlocked at 0-5 to 0-5 but Ardara clicked into a gear Gaoth Dobhair had no answer for.
Five unanswered points sent their supporters off in cheer into the night.
“The running game is probably our game and what we are more comfortable with and a lot of the boys stood up there in the second half,” Brennan said of the second half.
Ardara used their bench well and although missing the likes of Donegal corner-back Paddy McGrath, who has a long term groin injury, had experience to introduce.
Brendan Boyle kicked two massive points in the closing stages, one from an almost impossible angle.
“We’re happy to make it to the semi-final,” Brennan said. “It wasn’t looking so great for Brendan there during the week but he’s so competitive and won’t hear tell of not being involved.
“He’s be planning for this game for a long time now. We wanted to give him a chance and he took that chance with both hands and kicked a couple of great points.
“Stephen McHugh and Kevin Byrne came on and gave us some great experience. But I must say the young lads there today - like Sean McLoughlin and Kevin Herron, who had a big responsibility at centre-back- did well.
“We kicked on well in the end and the most satisfying thing is the way we finished out the game in the last 15 minutes. We were clinical then with some straight running through the centre.”