A magnificently struck free from Tomas Boyle in the 55th minute proved to be the winner in this dour affair at Tirconaill Park.
Four Masters 0-7
Boyle’s free almost cleared the netting behind the road goals to give his side a win which was fashioned with a good start to the second half when they scored three points in four minutes.
Four Masters, for whom Karl Lacey was majestic for the second time in five days, had only themselves to blame as they hit 11 bad wides. They are now level with Ardara with four league points.
The other big turning point came in the 45th minute when Kevin Herron denied Dillon Muldoon a certain goal with a last ditch tackle. Muldoon had been found with a searching ball from Lacey. He had beaten Declan Gallagher to the ball and was about to tap home from no more than a yard when Herron got a hand in to knock the ball away.
There was also the almost now obligatory melee towards the end of the game and referee Shane Toolan banished CJ Molloy to the sideline after he picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes. There were other opportunities for cards with Karl Lacey getting some special attention.
Ardara had much the better start and led by 0-4 to 0-1 after nine minutes but didn’t raise another flag in the half. CJ Molloy (two frees), Ryan Malley and Tomas Boyle were their scorers, to one from Barry Monaghan.
Four Masters, without the injured Barry Dunnion, eventually got going and by half-time they were 0-5 to 0-4 in front thanks to strikes from three Karl Lacey frees and the point of the game from Michael Doherty from the sideline. Kevin McBrearty and Jamie McCrea were influential and McBrearty’s loss through injujry was a factor in the outcome.
Ardara won this game with three points in four minutes at the start of the second half through Tomas Boyle, Gareth Concarr and Jimmy O’Connell, the latter’s effort going just over the bar.
Karl Lacey, from a ‘45’ and a free levelled matters with eight minutes left, but Tomas Boyle had the final say to seal Ardara’s second win in five days. John McConnell’s side were without Paddy McGrath, who picked up an injury in Malin.
Four Masters: R Haughey; D Quinn, E Bonner, K Breslin; J McCrea, J Lacey, D Kennedy; K Lacey (0-5,4f,45), L McHugh; C Loughney, M Doherty (0-1), K McBrearty; E Doogan, D Muldoon, B Monaghan (0-1). Subs., D Doherty for McBrearty inj 28; S O’Kennedy for Loughney 40; D Ward for Doogan 49.
Ardara: D Gallagher; O O’Donnell, K Doherty, K Herron; C Breslin, M Maher, M Maloney; J O’Connell (0-1), B Boyle; M Shovlin, G Concarr (0-1), N Gallagher; T Boyle (0-3,1f), CJ Molloy (0-2,2f), R Malley (0-1). Subs., P O McNelis for Shovlin inj 17; S Boyle for N Gallagher 34; K Byrne for Maloney 46
Referee: S Toolan (Aodh Ruadh)