A late Gaoth Dobhair goal saw them hang on to claim victory away to St Michael’s in their Division One clash in Dunfanaghy.
St Michael’s 0-11
Gaoth Dobhair 1-11
Gaoth Dobhair were never behind from the first minute of the game but had to fight hard to hold their lead and come away with the win over St Michael’s.
A bright start from the visitors was assisted by a strong wind in their favour and the home side were missing county star Christy Toye.
In the second minute Padriag McGarvey opened with a sweet strike. Three minutes later a Noel Kelly free added another before McGarvey added a third from a very tight angle.
Making the most of their possession Anthony Blair chipped a close range point in the eighth minute and another a minute later, which was followed by Odhran MacNiallais adding another leaving it 0-6 unanswered after ten minutes.
St Michael’s first registered a score from a Michael McGinley free in the 13th minute and Colm McFadden pointed from play soon after. MacNiallais widened the gap from play but Colm McFadden cancelled his effort after scoring from play after St Michael’s played a short 45. This was gained when Gaoth Dobhair ‘keeper Sweeney made a great save from Martin McElhinney’s thumping shot. Lee Carr chipped a close range free to leave it 0-4 to 0-7.
Soon after Carr shot from close range but once again Christopher Sweeney in the Gaoth Dobhair goal made class reaction save. Anthony Blair pointed from play to leave it 0-8 to 0-4 at half time.
As expected St Michael’s began to claw back scores including a point from play from Martin Breslin and two Colm McFadden frees within two minutes, leaving just a point in it at 0-7 to 0-8 until Noel Kelly put Gaoth Dobhair two up after firing over from a tight angle.
Padraig McGarvey hit a free to bring his side up the double digit mark in the eight minute of the half. Colm McFadden kept up the pressure from the home side with a free of his own ten minutes into the half. He placed his next effort wide but looked as if the game’s first goal was on for him just a minute later. He gathered well bearing down of the Gaoth Dobhair goal but his low shot on his wrong foot just drifted wide and left the game at 0-8 to 0-10 midway through the half. McGarvey pointed a free won by MacNiallais, putting three between them and the visitors sensed a victory could well be on the cards.
Martin McElhinney had other ideas and took off on a strong run from the middle of the park where he gathered the ball. Using a combination of strength and the favourable wind at his back he launched a massive punt that saw the ball sail over the bar for a monster score and the best the game had seen thus far. In the 21st minute Lee Carr added another score from play to close the gap to just one point.
As the game wore on and into the final minute Odhran MacNiallais latched on to a Gavin McBride pass to hit a low shot for the only goal of the match making it 1-11 to 0-10. With the last kick of the game Colm McFadden’s free would not change the result and left the scoreline 0-11 to 1-11.
St Michael’s: Ciaran Gallagher, Brendan Rodden, Stephen Black, Martin Breslin (0-1), Liam Paul Ferry, Michael McGinely (0-1,f), Lorcan McDaid, Martin McElhinney (0-1), Michael Gallagher, Daniel McLaughlin, Kieran Gallagher, Stephen Doak Lee Carr (0-2), Colm McFadden 0-6,4fs), Michael Cannon. Subs: Andrew Kelly for M Cannon 50mins
Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney, Manus Weed, Neil McGee, Chris McFadden, Ciaran Ferry, Eamon McGee, Paul Mulligan, Peter McGee, Odhran MacNiallais(1-2, 1f), Anthony Blair (0-3), Kevin Cassidy, Jonathon Harkin, Padraig McGarvey (0-4,2fs), Noel Kelly (0-2), Sean Doherty. Subs: Nial Friel for J Harkin 22 mins, Gavin McBride fore S Doherty 52min, Cian Mulligan for N Kelly 52min. Michael Carroll for A Blair 58min.
Referee: Liam McConigley (Downings)