Odhran MacNiallais kicked nine points from centre-field as Gaoth Dobhair eased their relegation fears with a massive win over St Eunan’s.
On a day of needs and wants, the Letterkenny side went into the match knowing a win would see them retain their Division One crown.
However, Gaoth Dobhair’s precarious position and more purposeful play enabled them to go in at half-time in a dominant position, 0-12 to 0-2 up with the wind.
On 36 minutes, Gavin McBride tucked home the game’s only goal to stamp out any lingering hopes of a comeback.
Although Conall Dunne scored the first point of the day for the visitors, Gaoth Dobhair wrestled complete control from then on.
MacNiallais and McBride joined James Gallagher, Prionsias Gallagher and Eamon McGee, curiously positioned at full-forward, to open up a 0-5 to 0-1 gap by 19 minutes.
From the until the end of the half, MacNiallais was excellent, kicking five successive points. James Gallagher helped establish the comfiest 10-point lead by the break.
Gallagher scored two early second half points to give St Eunan’s a flicker of hope.
But when McBride tucked a goal after Aidan Simmons had saved Cassidy’s initial effort, it was the final nail.
Simmons did well to thwart McNiallais moments later but a splendid Tomás Diver point, when he hooked over his own head, brought a warm cheer from the locals.
John Haran and three further Gallagher points were irrelevant as McNiallais and McBride had the final say.
Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney; David McGee, Neil McGee, Ciaran Ferry; Ciaran Gillespie, Donal McBride, Prionsias Gallagher (0-1); Kevin Cassidy (0-1), Odhran MacNiallais (0-9, 3f); Padraig McGarvey, James Gallagher (0-2), Jonathan Harkin; Tomás Diver (0-1), Eamon McGee (0-1), Gavin McBride (1-2, 1f). Subs: James Boyle for Harkin (16), Harkin for McGarvey (54), McGarvey for P Gallagher (58).
St Eunan’s: Aidan Simmons; Conall O’Boyle, Eamonn Doherty, Conor Parke; Kieran Sharkey, Conal McGinley, Darragh Mulgrew; Kevin Rafferty, Caolan Ward; Sean Hensey, Conall Dunne (0-1), Conor Gibbons; Donnacha Gallagher (0-5, 4f), John Haran (0-1), Lee McMonagle. Subs: Jordan McBride for Hensey (half-time), Hensey for Haran (50).
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs)