Ardara on the attack against St. Michael's on Saturday night PICTURE: MICHAEL O'DONNELL
It is not a good idea to poke the bear, and class is always permanent as impressive St Michael’s showed in this emphatic dismissal of youthful Ardara in Kentucky tonight.
Ardara . . . 2-10
St Michael’s . . . 4-18
Well Ardara certainly poked the sleeping giant for eight minutes when they raced into a scintillating 2-3 to 0-1 lead.
But that lead was turned on its head as St Michael’s awoke and hit a sensational 3-7 without reply in one of the most remarkable turnarounds for some time.
They turned over leading by 3-10 to 2-5 in a game where poor kickouts from both keepers led to at least three goals in this cracking encounter.
Ardara, who fielded nine players under 22, took off like a rocket, aided by some poor decision-making from St Michael’s ex county keeper Mark Anthony McGinley.
Niall McCrossan, Johnny Sweeney and McCrossan again pushed them into a 0-3 to 0-0 lead.
McGinley hesitated and Robbie Adair pounced to get the first goal-just after St Michael’s lost Michael Gallagher to a black card in the 4th minute.
Two minutes later, John Ross Molloy finished a flowing Ardara move to the net in the 6th minute.
They led by 2-3 to 0-1 after eight minutes with Michael Langan getting the men from Creeslough/Dunfanaghy off the mark.
But with Christy Toye dominating midfield, and Colm McFadden landing points, the big comeback was on.
A bad kick out by Ardara keeper Cillian Gildea allowed veteran McFadden through and he found the net to begin a 3-9 scoring blitz.
Another poor kick out ended with the ageless Toye clean through and setting up Langan for a simple tap in, in the 13th minute.
Suddenly St Michael’s were leading by 2-5 to 2-3 and things only got worse for the home side.
The Ardara defence was looking increasingly suspect and Colm McFadden and Daniel McLaughlin combined to set up Andrew Kelly for the third goal in the 17th minute.
It was all St Michael’s at this stage as they led by 3-5 to 2-3.
Ardara broke their scoring famine with late points from Adair and McCrossan as they trailed by 3-10 to 2-5 at the break.
The lights came on in Kentucky, but the darkness continued for Ardara as a much more powerful St Michael’s continued their leisurely dominance.
And the nippy Eddie O’Reilly grabbed the fourth goal to seal a fine victory for a team that sent out a firm message to all in Donegal!
ARDARA: Ciaran Gildea; John Ross Molloy, Nicholas Breslin, Tony Harkin; Brendan Boyle, Matthew Maher, Robbie Adair (1-1); Conor Classon (0-1) Shane O’Donnell; Lorcan O’Donnell, Jack Brennan, Johnny Sweeney (0-1); Tomas Boyle, Gareth Concarr (0-2, 1f) Niall McCrossan (0-4, 2f).Subs: Danny Walsh for Tomas Boyle (41), Paul Watters for Shane O’Donnell (49), Nicholas Maguire for Jack Brennan (53), Johnny Herron for Danny Walsh (56)
ST MICHAEL’s: Mark Anthony McGinley; Peter Witherow, LP Ferry, Chris McElhinney; Kyle McGarvey (0-1) Michael Gallagher, Daniel McLaughlin; Christy Toye (0-1) Michael Langan (1-3), Oisin Langan (0-2); Colm McFadden (1-4f) Martin McElhinney, Eddie O’Reilly, Andrew Kelly (1-5f) Colin McFadden (0-2) Subs: Ciaran Gallagher for Michael Gallagher (b-card 7) Michael McGinley for Martin McGinley (h-time)
Referee: Mark Dorrian (Fanad Gaels)