All County League Division Two

Goals vital as Ardara beat Killybegs in bad-tempered affair

Nine yellow cards dished out in local derby

Gerry McLaughlin


Gerry McLaughlin


Killybegs v Ardara

Lorcan O'Donnell who hit three points for Ardara in their win over Killybegs

Goals win matches and Ardara got two precious points in one of the most ill-tempered matches this reporter has seen in a number of years.

Killybegs  . . . 0-8

Ardara . . .  2-5

Referee Seamus McGonagle handed out nine yellow cards, seven to Ardara and two to Killybegs, and he lined Ardara substitute Stefan Boyle for a second yellow towards the end of this tempestuous affair.

It was ironic that Boyle went as he was only on the field for about ten minutes, there were at least four others who could have joined him on the bench.

And the referee incensed both sets of fans equally with some really puzzling decisions in a match where there was far too much shouting from both benches, which merely ratcheted up the tension.

Ardara could have had claims for a penalty when Danny Walsh was pulled down midway through the second half but play was waved on.

Killybegs too had a few iffy calls go against them, but the attitude of both teams and their benches turned the tension up to boiling point

Quality football was at a premium as this affair was littered with hold ups which went beyond the normal derby encounter.

The goals came in the 34th minute of the first half when a Conor Classon attempt at a point was held up in the wind and the unmarked C J Molloy gratefully flicked the ball to the net as the youthful Killybegs defence fatally switched off.

The home side were leading by 0-3 to 0-2 and this was turned into 1-2 to 0-3 half-time lead.

Molloy’s timely flick put the league leaders in front, and they hit youthful Killybegs for another killer goal early in the second half.

Like Classon before him, young Johnny Sweeeny seemed to be going for a goal but the ball dipped in under Killybegs keeper Kevin Martin.

Sweeney’s strike put the winners into a 2-2 to 0-3 lead.

And even though Killybegs fought hard to reduce the defecit, it was just too much for them to reel in.

Their cause was not helped when they missed a penalty after Ryan Cunningham was hauled down (it looked a bit far out),but the shot was brilliantly saved by Ardara keeper Ciaran Gildea.

The second half was just as ill-tempered as the first with referee McGonagle trying to put fires out all over the field.

The first half was a sizzling, simmering hot pot of bad temper with loads of enthusiastic exhortations from both benches.

Killybegs correctly identified Conor Classon as a danger-man and crowded midfield for most of the opening half.

And it looked like they had contained the big man until the 34th minute when he burst through and his attempt for a point dropped short.

But a grateful C J Molloy who was unmarked, flicked the ball to the net for the crucial score of the game.

The match began at a feisty pace, which set the scene for numerous hold-ups as both sides realised the importance of two points.

That set the tone for an ill-tempered affair studded with loads of local venom to keep busy referee McGonagle on his toes.

On balance Ardara probably deserved this victory in the absence of Gareth Concarr and Shane O’Donnell.

Killybegs were minus Seamus Og Byrne and Eavan Broderick who is in the US.

Ardara were also minus Paddy McGrath but the loss of the huge presence of Hugh McFadden and Eoghan Ban Gallagher was a huge blow to the ambitious young Fishermen

Killybegs: Kevin Martin; Ciaran Gildea, Ciaran Conaghan, Christopher Cunningham; John Ban Gallagher, Jack McSherry, Ryan Carr; Christopher Murrin (0-1), Michael Statham; Shaun Gorrell, Daniel Breslin, Michael Gallagher (0-4, 1f); Ryan Cunningham (0-1), Paul Cunningham, Conor Cunningham (0-1).

Subs; Brendan McGuire (0-1), for Shaun Gorrell (49), David McGuinness for Christopher Cunningham (53), Eoin Gallagher for Jack McSherry (58).

Ardara: C Gildea; John Ross Molloy, Brendan Boyle, Tony Harkin; Joe Melly, Matthew Maher, Danny Walsh; Conor Classon, Robbie Adair; Lorcan O’Donnell (0-3), Jack Brennan, Paul Watters; Johnny Sweeney (1-1), C J Molloy (1-1), Tomas Boyle. Subs: Stefan Boyle for Tomas Boyle (48), Peter McHugh for C J Molloy (59).

Referee: Seamus McGonagle (Aodh Ruadh)