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Ardara deny reserves at the death

Senior Reserve Football Championship Fourth Round
Aodh Ruadh 2-10
Ardara 0-17
9 October 2021
John Hughes reports from Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh.

The Aodh Ruadh reserves were left cursing their luck as Ardara took the honours in the season's final outing for the Ernesiders. Ballyshannon led by three at the final water-break, but Ardara came with a scoring flurry before hitting the winning score at the very death to deny Aodh Ruadh what would have been a deserved share of the spoils.

Aodh Ruadh were two points up after five minutes, Marty McGarrigle clipping over neatly before Odhran McGarrigle claimed the kick out and drove through well before splitting the posts

Ardara got off the mark on six minutes with Niall McCrossan sending over a tricky shot from an acute angle.

The hosts answered that on eight minutes when Odhran McGarrigle popped over after Harry Howarth had been halted illegally.

A minute later Howarth was fouled again and this time Marty McGarrigle did the honours to put a goal between the sides.

Ardara responded with a Paul Watters free and nice effort from Joe Kittrick to cut the gap back to the minimum on 13 minutes. Then another Watters free made it four points apiece as the sides paused for the water break.

It was first blood to Ardara on the restart with Niall McCrossan swinging over a free, Aodh Ruadh answered promptly sweeping down the pitch from the kick out and setting up Kerry Ryan to guide over.

On 24 minutes Aodh Ruadh were gifted the first goal of the game when Matthew McGlynn misjudged a free in from the hosts and Odhran McGarrigle slipped in behind him to soccer the loose ball to the net.

Peter Boyle then followed that up with a lovely long range free in his first outing of 2021 following injury.

With half time beckoning Niall McCrossan registered a much needed free for the Pearse Park men, and that was followed a minute later by a lofted shot from Paul Watters.

Ardara kept the pressure up and a well worked move was finished by Johnny Sweeney and with the break looming it was looking like they had steadied the ship.

Aodh Ruadh had one last ace up their sleeve this half though as Gary Carty drove in at the opposition posts before flicking across the face of goal for Matt Gillespie to palm home to leave it Aodh Ruadh 2-6 Ardara 0-8 at the turn-around.

Gillespie picked up where he left off on the resumption slotting over to put five in it. Ardara answered that on 36 minutes when Sean McCormack fisted over after capitalising on an error on the way out by Aodh Ruadh.

Johnny Sweeney and Matt Gillespie then swapped scores before Marty McGarrigle executed a delicious pick up before carving through and curling over a beauty.

Niall McCrossan came back with a free and then Oisin Brennan landed a fine long range score from the left wing to make it 2-9 to 0-12 at the second water break.

Brian White cut the gap on the restart with a shot from the left before Johnny Sweeney from play and Niall McCrossan with a free made it level pegging with five minutes left to play.

As the game ticked into added time Brian White looked to have clinched it with an inswinging effort, but Marty McGarrigle tied things up with a 20 metre free as the clock went red.

Unfortunately Ardara managed to fashion one more attack and Johnny Sweeney got on the end of it to send over the winner with the last kick of the game.

There were a number of eye-catching performances on the day from a young Aodh Ruadh team. Conor Foy has the makings of a very exciting prospect, and Matt Gillespie's easy-going demeanour belies a player who is all business when he crosses the whitewash. Colm McGloin is another who has made huge strides in a few short years Odhran McGarrigle, Harry Howarth and Marty McGarrigle were all potent threats throughout. Meanwhile older hands like Gary Carty and Daniel Warnock did a great job of setting the tempo. A tough season for the reserves perhaps, but one which finishes with great promise.

Vital Statistics
Aodh Ruadh
Peter Boyle (0-1f); Conor Foy, Conal Sweeney, Daire Gallagher; Matt Gillespie (1-2), Daniel Warnock, Ciaran Slevin; Colm McGloin, Gary Carty; Dermot Slevin, Odhran McGarrigle (1-2, 1f), Harry Howarth; Marty McGarrigle (0-3, 2f), Kerry Ryan (0-1), Mitch McLaughlin.
Substitutions: Eugene Doherty, Rory Gettins, John Conor McGarrigle.
Matthew McGlynn; Shane Rooney, Paddy Gallagher, Kelvin Slowey; Francis Boyle, Oisin O'Donnell, Stephen Boyle; Zach Gallagher, Cathal Gallagher; Sean McCormack (0-1), Brendan Boyle, Paul Watters (0-3, 2f); Johnny Sweeney (0-3), Niall McCrossan (0-5, 4f), Joe Kittrick (0-1).
Substitutions: Oisin Brennan (0-1), Brian White (0-1)
Referee: Declan Callaghan (Kilcar).

Last modified: Monday, 11 October 2021 at 8:50pm