A goal from Gary Ban McClafferty in the 60th minute saw Downings snatch the Donegal Junior Gaeltacht title in dramatic fashion.
Ard a Ratha 0-12
Na Dunaibh 1-11
Thanks to a great second half display against the wind, Ardara seemed to be on their way to victory, but a hopeful ball forward was fielded by Gary Ban and his effort was deflected over the ‘keeper and hit the crossbar before dropping into the net.
Playing against the stiff breeze in the opening half, Downings were on terms at the break at 0-6 each thanks to four points in the final 12 minutes of the half.
Lorcan Connor was their scorer-in-chief, notching five first half frees, while Aaron McClafferty had their only point from play.
Ardara had held a three point advantage after 19 minutes with Aidan Shovlin getting two frees while Stephen Gildea, Paddy Gallagher, Paul Watters and Gerard McCabe also on the scoresheet.
Ardara hit four points from Paul Watters, Lorcan O’Donnell, Francis Boyle and Aidan Shovlin inside six minutes of the restart. Lorcan Connor pulled two back but Cillian Boyle left it 0-11 to 0-8 after 47 minutes.
Gary McClafferty had blazed wide on 40 minutes, but he amends with a good point and another from Jamie Lee McBride had the margin down to one with ten minutes left.
When Stephen Gildea won and pointed a free on 56 minutes, it looked as if Ardara were on their way, but then came Gary Ban’s goal and Colin Gallagher added a late free. Also in that hectic finish Shane McClafferty picked up a black card and there wasn’t even time for a replacement.
Ard a Ratha: Patrick Gavigan; Kelvin Slowey, Kevin Breslin, Shaun McLaughlin; Paddy Gallagher (0-1), Stephen McHugh, Cillian Boyle (0-1); Francis Boyle (0-1), Kyle Gallagher; Aidan Shovlin (0-3,2f), Peter McHugh, Gerard McCabe (0-1); Paul Watters (0-2,1f), Lorcan O’Donnell (0-1), Stephen Gildea (0-2,1f). Subs., Noel McCabe for Watters; Stephen McCahill for K Gallagher, both 48.
Na Dunaibh: Conor McBride; James Gallagher, David McGee, Matthew Coll; Ben McBride, Kevin McGee, Brian McGinley; Shane McClafferty, Shay Coyle; Gary McClafferty (1-1), Colin Gallagher (0-1), Lorcan Connor (0-7,5f); Jamie Lee McBride (0-1), Patrick Roddy, Aaron McClafferty (0-1). Subs., Kevin Doherty for Coll 43; Sean Boyce for J Gallagher 54.
Referee: Kevin McGinley (Naomh Columba).