Ardara are through to the last four in the U-21 A Championship following their two point win over Milford at the Cross on Tuesday evening.
It took all of Ardara’s craft and experience to see them overcome a gallant Milford in a cracking contest that was in the melting pot right up to the very last kick of the game.
In the end, the accuracy from placed balls from senior marksman Tomás Boyle, and the power and work rate of Brendan McNeilis in the middle of the field, were key to Ardara advancing.
This and the winners’ great spread of scorers with in all, eight different Ardara men raising flags.
Milford on the other hand relied on the superb Cathal McGettigan, Kyle Black and Kane Barrett for their scores.
Black hit a goal and three points, McGettigan posted six points while Barrett chipped in with two, one from play.
It was all square at half-time, Ardara 0-7, Milford 1-4 with Ardara facing into the second half down to 14 players. Simon Breslin, a blood sub for Stefan Boyle, received a straight red card before half time for an off-the-ball incident.
They were level once more in the second half, 1-6 to 0-9, before Tomás Boyle, McNelis (2), Cillian Boyle and Stefan Boyle (2) all found the range in a dominant middle third of the second period to open up a 0-15 to 1-7 lead.
But it was hearts in the mouths for the winners in the closing minutes as McGettigan converted three long range points to leave just two in it at the end.
Ardara: P McGettigan; J Melly, K Herron, C Gallagher (0-1); N Breslin, C Boyle (0-1), J R Molloy; O O’Donnell, B McNelis (0-3, 1f); T Harkin, T Boyle (0-4, 4f), J Brennan (0-1); A Shovlin (0-1), S Boyle (0-3), K Whyte (0-1). Subs: Simon Breslin for S Boyle (blood); S Boyle for A Shovlin; S McLaughlin for J R Molloy (black card); K Gallagher for O O’Donnell.
Milford: S Gallagher; P Ferry. S Black, S Durning; E Conaghan, K Sheridan, A Serrinha; C Bolton, L Trearty; H McMenamin, C McGettigan (0-6, 4,f, 1’45), K Black (1-2); G Grier, D Hegarty, K Barrett (0-2, 1f). Sub: M Doyle for H McMenamin.
Referee: P McGonagle (Buncrana).