Mark McHugh and Patrick McBrearty played as Kilcar ended a two game losing run to take the two league points in a comfortable victory over Ardara, in Ardara, on Sunday afternoon.
Between them, the county men, who played key roles in Donegal’s semi-final victory over Tyrone in Clones, the evening before, contributed nine points as the men in blue and gold ripped Ardara apart.
The seven point winning margin does not truly reflect the winners’ superiority as Jimmy O’Connell and Conor Classon scored goals in the closing minutes for Ardara to give the final scoreline a slightly better gloss to it.
With Mark McHugh driving forward from centre-back and McBrearty shaping well on the edge of the square, Kilcar laid down an early marker as they hit a goal and three points in the opening seven minutes.
McBrearty opened the scoring inside a minute with McHugh joining the attack to land number two before Barry Doherty with a slide rule pass set up Mark Sweeney for a brilliant goal.
That was on four minutes and McHugh, showing no ill-effect of a dead leg suffered against Tyrone, popped over the third point.
Brendan McNelis, from play on eight minutes, got Ardara off the mark. The home side were playing into a freshening breeze, and Gareth Concarr on 15 minutes converted from 13 metres for their second.
In between those Ardara points, McBrearty picked up a yellow card for throwing the ball at Kenneth Doherty and Kilcar mentor Rory Gallagher, who ran to McBrearty’s assistance, was jostled and involved in a bout of pushing and shoving in something of a flashpoint.
But the game settled down again and Kilcar slipped up through the gears to hit four points without response to go in eight points in front at half-time, 1-7 to 0-2. McBrearty, with two (one free), Ryan McHugh (free) and goal scorer Sweeney hit those late Kilcar points.
Ardara through Ciaran Breslin and Concarr hit two points to one from McBrearty in the opening five minutes the second half but the revival never materialised.
And it was Kilcar with McHugh still prompting from the back and Michael Hegarty and Ciaran McGinley pulling the strings around midfield slipped into another gear.
They hit five points without reply through Ryan McHugh, McBrearty, Mark McHugh and Glen McBrearty to extend their advantage out to 1-11 to 0-4 by the end of the third quarter.
Concarr, who was ploughing a lone furrow up front for the locals, kicked a point before the McBreartys, Patrick and Glen, knocked over points at the other end. And it got even better for the visitors when Barry Doherty drilled past Declan Gallagher for goal number two and a 2-13 to 0-5 lead.
With the game done and dusted second half substitutes Jimmy O’Connell and Conor Classon struck for two goals and Brendan Boyle - who was playing his first senior game of the season - pointed from a free to take the bad look off the scoreboard.
A miserable day was completed for Ardara when O’Connell picked up a straight red card for a challenge on Ryan McHugh in the dying seconds of the game.
Ardara: Declan Gallagher; Neil Campbell, Declan Gavigan, Kevin Breslin; Nicholas Maguire, Kenneth Doherty, Stephen Boyle; Kevin Byrne; Brendan McNelis (0-1); Peter McNelis, Gareth Concarr (0-3, 1f), Ciaran Breslin; Michael Maloney Brendan Boyle (0-1,1f), Martin Shovlin. Subs: Conor Classon (1-0) for S. Boyle (inj h/t); Jimmy O’Connell (1-0) for P McNelis (55)
Kilcar: Eamon McGinley; Paddy Gallagher, Barry Shovlin, Stephen Shovlin; Noel Hegarty, Mark McHugh (0-3), Eoin McHugh; Ciaran Cunningham, Michael Hegarty; Mark Sweeney (1-1), Barry Doherty (1-0), Glen McBrearty (0-1); Ryan McHugh (0-2), Patrick McBrearty (0-6,3f), Ashley Carr. Subs: James Cunningham for E. McHugh (55 inj); James Cunningham for M. Sweeney (58).
Referee: Seamus McGonagle (Aodh Ruadh).