Ardara battled hardest on Sunday to claim two valuable league points with a four-point victory over bottom-of-the-table Glenswilly.
Given the horrendous conditions that both sides had to deal with at the weekend, this one was never going to be a visual spectacle. This contest was always going to be about rolling up the sleeves and grinding out a result.
Ardara started the best and found themselves 1-2 to 0-1 in front going in at the break. All that scoring action came in the opening 16 minutes with the remainder of the first period void of any real meaningful incident or talking points.
Gareth Concarr got the opening point of the game before Conor Classon quickly followed that up with a goal. Concarr (free) then clipped over a second point for Ardara before Gary ‘Copper’ McFadden got the visitors off the mark.
That was as good as it got during the remainder of the first period and both sides had to settle for what they had between the 16-minute mark and the interval whistle. Half-time: Ardara 1-2, Glenswilly 0-1.
The second-half was five minutes old before Glenswilly reduced arrears back to three with a well-taken free after Kenneth Doherty was harshly penalised for what, from the vantage point of the sideline at least, looked like a good tackle.
Just prior to that, a long ball into the mixer bounced over the heads of the Glenswilly rearguard and into the welcoming arms of Michael Maloney. However, the inside forward’s effort on goal lacked conviction and was easily beaten away by Phillip O’Donnell.
Kealan McFadden then got in behind Neil Campbell to fire over his side’s second score in succession. But on reflection, and in the opinion of the visiting supporters, the forward should really have advanced and tried his luck for goal given the deficit his side was chasing.
Kevin Byrne, after some deliberation from the officials, was eventually credited with his team’s first score since the twelfth minute when he arrowed over right of centre. That intervention bridged a baron scoring spell of 36 minutes and rallied those around him.
A Concarr free left things standing at 1-4 to 0-3 in the hosts’ favour with four minutes remaining. And with neither side troubling the scoreboard operator prior to the final whistle, that is exactly how it finished.
As mentioned previously, this was a terrible day for football with relentless wind and rain battering down on Pearse Park from start to finish. Both sides deserve credit for attempting to give the brave support that paid through the gates value for money. In terms of effort and application – they did just that.
Ardara: Declan Gallagher; Oisin O’Donnell: Declan Gavigan: Neil Campbell; Nicolas Maguire: Kenneth Doherty: Kevin Byrne (0-1); Jimmy O’Connell: Stephen Boyle; Kieran Breslin: Conor Classon: Peter McNelis; Michael Maloney: Gareth Concarr (1-3, 1f): Mathew Maher. Subs: Damien Diver for S Boyle, and Martin Shovlin for M Maloney.
Glenswilly: Phillip O’Donnell; Brian McDaid: Ruairi Crawford: Rory McDaid; Joe Gibbons: Eamon Ward; Ryan Diver: Barry Molloy: Charlie Bonner; Darren McGinley: Ciaran Molloy: Aidan McDevitt;Keelan McFadden (0-2,1f): Gary McFadden (0-1): James McFadden. Subs: Brian Farrelly for J McFadden, Anthony McGrenra for C Molloy.
Referee: Kieran McShea (Sean MacCumhaill’s)