Gaoth Dobhair chalked up another two league points with this victory over Glenswilly thanks to the lethal right boot of Gavin McBride.
Gaoth Dobhair 2-9
McBride, a member of this year’s county minor team, scored all of his side’s nine points in a masterclass in the art of scoring.
Most of the young full forward’s strikes were from frees but he also managed to knock over a few from play as well from both boot and hand.
While Sean Doherty’s first half goal and Cian Mulligan’s second half three-pointer were important scores in this keenly contested tie, ultimately it was McBride’s immaculate strike rate that proved the difference between the sides.
He posted four of his points in the opening half which along with Doherty’s goal, gave the locals a three-point cushion at half-time.
Without county men Michael Murphy, Neil Gallagher and Gary McFadden, the Glenswilly starting 15 was barely recognisable.
While the quality of the football was not of the highest quality it was still a full blooded encounter between what were two shadow sides.
Goath Dobhair, with McBride on song, held the upper hand early on and led 1-2 to 0-1 at the end of the first quarter.
McBride with the two points, one from play and one from a 20 metre free before Doherty tapped home from five yards from the parried save by Philip O’Donnell from a stinging McBride strike.
That was on 12 minutes. Cathal Gallagher on six minutes had swung over the first of his six points six minutes earlier and shortly after Joe Gibbons had picked up the game’s only black card.
The Glenswilly man received his marching orders for clinging on to Ciaran Ferry.
And with Cathal Gallagher, accurate from placed balls, and Oisin Crawford also raising a white flag from play, they were back in the game and just a point adrift with under 10 minutes left in the half.
Goath Dobhair finished out the half back on top and McBride converted two close in frees to send his side to the dressing room, three in front.
Gallagher split the posts from 40 metres - super point - to tie up the game, 12 minutes into the new half.
Kealan McFadden and Gallagher had earlier hoisted over points to cut the margin to a single point.
However, man of the match McBride halted the slide with a superb strike from play from way out on the right hand side after taking a short free from Cassidy.
When two minutes later on 46 minutes, McBride converted from 20 metres the locals were two up again. But to their credit Glenswilly refused to buckle and it was all aboard again on 1-6 to 0-9 courtesy of points from McFadden and Gallagher.
But up stepped McBride once more to fist over and he doubled the advantage shortly after before Cian Mulligan punished a poor kick out from O’Donnell for goal number two.
Gaoth Dobhair were also reduced to 14 in the closing minutes when substitute Noel Kelly was shown a red card.
Gaoth Dobhair: C Sweeney; S McGarvey, D McGee, C McFadden; C Ferry, D McBride, P Mulligan; P McGee, C Gillespie; R MacNiallais, K Cassidy, P Gallagher; S Doherty (1-0), G McBride (0-9,6f), N Friel. Subs: N Kelly for S Doherty (39); Padraig McGarvey for MacNiallais (43).
Glesnwilly: P O’Donnell; R Diver, E Ward, P Diver; C Gibbons, Caolan Kelly, R Crawford; A McDevitt, B Molloy; J Gibbons, O Crawford (0-1), CGallagher (0-6,6f); Dermot McGinley, C Callaghan, L Kelly. Subs: R Toner for Gibbons (4,black card); K McFadden (0-2) for R Diver (26 ).
Referee: B Dorrian (Fanad)