This end of season league encounter won’t live long in either side’s memory and had all the hallmarks of a game where the players looked like they’d rather have been somewhere else.
St Eunan’s 0-7
It didn’t help that the action was continuously interrupted by ferocious hailstone showers, with both sets of players frequently making tracks towards the stand in search of some sanctuary from the winterly elements.
With St Eunan’s already guaranteed the league title and Ardara having secured their league status in the previous outing, there wasn’t much to play for in Pearse Memorial Park on Saturday.
In the end, two Gareth Concarr goals, one from the penalty spot, claimed the victory for Adrian Brennan’s charges
At half-time, it was the county champions that led 0-3 to 0-1 thanks to overs from Conall Dunne and a brace of frees from Conor Gibbons. Ardara grabbed their only score of the half just prior to the whistle thanks to a superbly struck Aaron Bennett ‘45.
Half-time: Ardara 0-1, St Eunan’s 0-3.
With a number of regulars absent from from both line-ups, it was Ardara that fared better after the restart. First, Concarr finished off a superb sequence of passing to clip over and reel the opposition back to within a point.
They then took the lead after a fortuitous penalty was awarded to them after Kevin Rafferty was adjudged to have touched the ball on the ground inside the square after he’d initially failed to deal with a high ball into the danger area and Concarr found the net.
Seconds later, the same player raised another green flag after being teed up by Kieran Breslin on the run. Now 2-2 to 0-3 in arrears, St Eunan’s needed a reply and they got two by way of points from the roaming Adrian McClafferty, although,it did look like the second of those had gone outside of Declan Gallagher’s post.
Kieran Breslin and Conor Gibbons (free) then traded efforts before the same pairing once again found the target going into the final moments in Pearse Park.
In the end, that left Ardara still three up at the sounding of referee Ian Molloy’s whistle and might yet be good enough to secure Brennan’s side fourth spot in Division 1.
Ardara: Declan Gallagher; Paddy Gallagher, Declan Gavigan, Noel McCabe; Kevin Byrne, Matthew Maher, Kelvin Slowey; Brendan Boyle, Brendan McNelis; Kieran Breslin (0-2), Peter McHugh, Oisin O’Donnell; Aaron Bennett (0-1, 45), Gareth Concarr (2-1, 1-0 pen). Michael Maloney.
St Eunan’s: JP Clarke; Colin Flood, Eddie Brennan, Adrian McClafferty (0-2); Shaun McVeigh, Peter Devine, Conor Harley; Kevin Rafferty, Keelan Ward; Lee McMonagle, Conall Dunne (0-1), Ross Wherity; Conor Gibbons (0-4, 4f), Donnacha Gallagher, Marcus Harley.
Referee: Ian Molloy (Naomh Conaill).