Ardara grabbed their first league points on home soil yesterday afternoon when their ability to find the back of the net made all the difference against Termon.
Ardara . . . . . . . 3-10
Termon . . . . . . 0-13
By Frank Craig
The hosts opened purposefully through captain CJ Molloy inside the first minute. The visitors soon settled and with three points in as many minutes through two Enda McCormick beauties and Caolan McDaid, it was the Burn Road men that held the initial upper hand.
Adrian Brennan's side halved the deficit on six minutes when Gareth Concarr converted a close range free. Soon after, the game was tied thanks to another Molloy clip from that favoured left hand side.
Just shy of the 10-minute mark, the hosts stole a real march when Lorcan O'Donnell's speculative effort dipped wickedly at the final moment and crept in over the head of Noel O'Donnell in the away goal.
Termon dusted themselves off and fired back through Aidan Sweeney to leave it 1-3 to 0-4, still in the Pearse Park men's favour. Four more on the bounce including another three super McCormick pings from distance and a Daire McDaid free meant that Termon once again found themselves in the ascendency, two to the good, by the 20th minute.
Ardara finally interrupted that five-point scoring spurt when a well-worked give and go by Concarr, where the Ardara attacker brilliantly sourced O'Donnell to then collect the return and nail over, meant that the home outfit again reeled themselves back into within a single point off the leaders' coattails.
McCormick – whose free-taking repertoire remained excellent – again booted a superb brace off the ground as angle and distance were easily accounted for. Three off the pace, Ardara again moved themselves back to one behind as Molloy and Concarr added to their respective tallies.
In between, host custodian Cathal Gallagher was called upon when he was out smartly to deflect away a Caolan McDaid drive for the net after Sweeney had slipped the centre half forward in on goal.
That's how it remained up until the break with Termon eventually departing with a one-point advantage.
Half-time: Termon 0-10: 1-6 Ardara.
Moments after the restart, parity was restored thanks to Concarr's fourth effort of the afternoon. In what remained an open enough clash, Daire McDaid restored Termon's lead as he moved them out to 0-11.
It remained difficult to separate these two as Ardara again squared things up with veteran Peter McHugh showing he still has an impressive turn of pace to get himself in position, off the shoulder of Danny Walsh, to float over.
McHugh was again instrumental on 39 minutes when Ardara sourced a penalty kick. It was he that teed up Molloy in front of the onion bag when Jimmy McElwaine was called for a foot block as Molloy was pulling the trigger. Concarr stepped up but his poorly struck effort lacked the necessary power and direction and O'Donnell easily got down to beat it away.
With Ardara passing up on that glorious chance to jump three in front, Termon went right up the other end and again grabbed the lead through usual suspect, McCormick (free).
Caolan McDaid widened the margin to two but with Molloy securing a second Ardara goal, matters were again edged in their favour entering the final eight minutes.
With 2-8 playing 0-13, O'Donnell managed to gift Ardara some extra breathing room. Approaching
the final moments, substitute Paul Watters made an instant and emphatic impression as Ardara finally made sure of matters via a third goal. Before the end, Molloy extended the gap to six.
To compound the visitors' misery they had Jamie Gallagher sent off in the closing stages.
ARDARA: Cathal Gallagher; Paddy McGrath, Kenneth Doherty, Declan Gavigan; Oisin O'Donnell, John Ross Molloy, Danny Walsh; Conall Boomer, Brendan McNeilis; Ciaran Breslin, Gareth Concarr (0-4,1f), Brian Whyte; Peter McHugh (0-1), CJ Molloy (1-4), Lorcan O'Donnell (1-1). Subs: Paul Watters (1-0) for P McHugh (58).
TERMON: Noel O'Donnell; Barry Gallagher, Jimmy McElwaine, Finian O'Flynn; Steve McElwaine, Nathan McElwaine, Kevin McElwaine; Jamie Gallagher, Aidan Sweeney (0-1); Dan Conaghan, Caolan McDaid (0-2), Johnny McCafferty; Daire McDaid (0-2,2f), Enda McCormack (0-8,4f), Shane Doherty. Subs: Jason McSharry for J McCafferty (20), Johnny McCafferty for D Conaghan, Anthony McGrenra for A Sweeney (49), Shane Doherty for McGrenra (54, black card).
REFEREE: Greg McGroary (Four Masters).