Saturday 17 March 2018

DONEGAL SFC : Brilliant Boyle is Ardara ace

ARDARA 1-9 SEAN MacCUMHAILLS 0-4 ARDARA made it title number six when they were easy winners of the Donegal SFC against MacCumhaills in Ballybofey yesterday.

Even though playing on their home pitch, MacCumhaills were never in this game and never looked like bridging the 27-year-gap since their last title.

Jonathan Boyle was the match-winner for Ardara with 1-3, the goal sealing the game in the 50th minute after he was found with a good ball from a Damien Diver free.

The winners hit ten wides in the first half and only held a two-point advantage at the break - 0-4 to 0-2.

They stretched that to four points early in the second half before MacCumhaills had two frees from Kevin McCormack.

Ardara were always on top at midfielder where county player Brendan Boyle had the perfect foil in Kenneth Doherty, who gave a man of the match performance, hitting two valuable points and winning many frees.

The overall standard of fare was poor. It could be partially explained by the heavy rain during the curtain-raiser minor final, but the first half was particularly mediocre.

For MacCumhaills this was a game to forget. They were underdogs going into the contest and despite a bright opening, they never threatened at any stage.

It was the perfect result for Ardara manager John McConnell, who was county chairman the last time his club won in 2000. On that occasion, he handed the Dr Maguire Cup to Eamon Doherty.

McConnell had left no stone unturned in his quest for success with the side, training in Virginia for the last four weeks to facilitate the Dublin-based players.

He will also be happy with the display of young substitute Gareth Concarr, whose introduction in the second half coincided with Ardara's best period.

One aspect of the day which will worry Donegal GAA officials was a disturbance between rival fans at the River Finn goals. The disturbance broke out after Jonathan Boyle's goal and necessitated stewards and Garda being deployed to the area.

SCORERS - Ardara: J Boyle 1-3 (1f, '45'), B Boyle, K Doherty 0-2 each, M Doherty, P McHugh 0-1 each. MacCumhaills: K McCormick 0-2 (2f), S Boyce 0-1f, A Bonner 0-1.

ARDARA - C Curran; D Gallagher, E Doherty, S Byrne; J Herron, K Byrne, S McHugh; B Boyle, K Doherty; M Doherty, D Diver, P McHugh; D Earley, J Boyle, F Diver. Subs: S Gildea for F Diver, G Concarr for Earley, A Brennan for M Doherty, D Maguire for McHugh, P Gallagher for D Gallagher.

MacCUMHAILLS: E McAuley; A McGinty, B Dunnion, J Dunnion; S Duffy, C Dowds, S McNulty; M McGinty, M Laverty; B McGeehin, O Reid, S Boyce; K McCormick, P McNulty, A Bonner. Subs: B McLaughlin for Boyce, R Dowds for M McGinty; S McGowan for Duffy.

REF - S McGonigle (Aodh Ruadh).

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