Ardara and Dungloe ends in stalemate

Ardara and Dungloe couldn't be separated on Sunday in a keenly contested League clash in Pearse Park.

Ardara 1-12 Dungloe 2-09

By Frank Craig, PRO

Both outfits played out a bruising and fiery affair last time out in Dungloe – a clash that ended in controversial circumstances. Thankfully, the physicality levels yesterday were much more diluted.

With the breeze in their backs, Ardara opened with a Kevin White effort after Hughie Moy had initially given the visitors the lead.

Ardara added two on the trot through CJ Molloy and Gareth Concarr to edge 0-3 to 0-1 ahead by the 19th minute. Shaun Sharkey and Noel McBride then showed the way by using the elements to propel efforts over from distance and tie the game up.

With Concarr adding another, Seamus Gallagher and Connie Molloy would have been reasonably happy with their side's efforts at that stage. However, a calamitous concession of a goal, when Noel McBride's miscued strike from a free, dipped in and off the underside of the bar, handed Dungloe the advantage.

Before the break, additional overs from Jack Brennan and Concarr (free) did manage to level matters once again. In between, Ardara stopper Gary McHugh redeemed himself after that earlier error with a great save from Adam Neely at point blank range. Half-time: Ardara 0-6:1-3 Dungloe.

The second-half opened with Concarr clipping over from a free as Ardara crept ahead. McBride, licking the inside of the post with the outside of the right, responded.

Despite missing an earlier one, Danny Rodgers stroked over a real beauty of a free to hand his side the upper hand once again as the end of the third quarter approached.

Ardara tied matters through the impressive White and were back in the driving seat soon after when Brendan McNelis landed a truly monstrous free from close to 55m.

With matters beginning to heat up, a sweeping passage of play where possession was moved between White, Jack Brennan, John Ross Molloy and Concarr, the ball was eventually hammered over the line by the latter to move the home side four clear.

However, Ardara allowed Dungloe to respond almost instantly as Adrian Sweeney swung that super left peg at one and the ball crashed back off the stanchion to give McHugh zero chance of getting a hand near it.

With the margin trimmed to just one on a score of 1-9 to 2-5, the spoils were very much still up for grabs entering the last quarter. Jack Brennan's clean pair of heels out wide, forged the opening for Concarr to give Ardara a little more breathing room.

A brave winning of the ball and subsequent free by Concarr allowed the same player to tap over to widen the gap back to three. Adrian Sweeney kept Dungloe in touch from a placed ball as the contest entered its final eight minutes. And with Ryan Greene floating over a free on the other side, Ardara were once again reeled back into one.

A rare collector's item, an Adrian Sweeney over off the right, clawed Dungloe back on level pegging on 56 minutes. A soft free awarded to Ryan Greene then handed him the easiest of chances from close range to get Dungloe noses back in front.

In added time a free won by Classon was chipped over by Concarr as the sides went level for the eighth time in the contest.

A compelling contest in so many ways between two teams who are evenly matched, as league games go, an entertaining affair.

Ardara: Gary McHugh; Nicholas Maguire, Declan Gavigan, Kevin Breslin; Johnny Herron, Nicholas Breslin, John Ross Molloy; Conor Classon, Jimmy O'Connell; Brendan McNelis (0-2,2f), Ryan Malley, CJ Molloy (0-1); Kevin Whyte (0-2), Gareth Concarr (1-6,5f), Jack Brennan (0-1). Subs: Kieran Breslin for O'Connell (22 mins), Lorcan O'Donnell for R Malley (25mins).

Dungloe: Danny Rodgers (0-1,1f); Jack Scally, Ray Sweeney, Doalty Boyle; Gerard Walsh, Matthew Ward, Gavin Ward; Noel McBride (1-2), Hugh Moy (0-1); Eoin Scally, Shaun Sharkey (0-1), James McCole; Adran Sweeney (1-3,2fs), Conor Greene, Barry Curran. Subs: Adan Neely for McCole (20 mins), Darren Curran and Ryan Greene (0-1) for M Ward and C Greene (ht), Paul McGarvey for S Sharkey (48mins), Colm McCarron for Barry Curran (55mins) Matthew Ward for G Ward (61mins).

Referee: J. White (Killybegs).