Three goals - two in the second half - were the difference between these sides along with the cuteness of veteran James Gallagher as he led Gaoth Dobhair to an important victory in Towney on Sunday.
With Eamonn and Neil McGee for Gaoth Dobhair and Mark McHugh and Patrick McBrearty enforced absentees, the home side were worst hit by others missing. Eamonn McGinley, Noel Hegarty and Glen McBrearty were out injured and Barry Doherty was suspended, while Kevin Cassidy was a notable absentee for the visitors.
The first half was evenly contested with Kilcar taking an early two point lead before Gaoth Dobhair hit back with Peter McGee making a big contribution at midfield.
Conor McShane, Mark Sweeney and Ryan McHugh had Kilcar 0-5 to 0-3 ahead on 20 minutes and it could have got better when Michael Hegarty sent Ashley Carr clear but his effort for goal was well smothered by Michael McKelvey.
It was a big turning point as Gaoth Dobhair struck for a goal on 26 minutes, James Gallagher working the opening for Frank McGee to fire home from close range.
Points from James Cunningham and a Ryan McHugh free had Kilcar just a point to the good at half-time, 0-8 to 1-4.
Peter McGee levelled matters within ten seconds of the restart but the next big turning point came with just three minutes on the second half clock. Tomas Diver created the opening and James Carroll fired home from a narrow angle. It almost got worse a few minutes later but Frank McGee’s goalbound effort was deflected over by Kevin Campbell in the Kilcar goal.
However, by the 47th minute the Gaoth Dobhair margin was down to a single point as Eoin McHugh and the Sweeneys found the range.
But the home side were rocked by a third goal a minute later. Peter McGee broke through the middle. His effort for goal was blocked but the ball rebounded high towards goal and Tomas Diver was on hand to bundle it to the net.
James Gallagher and Diver added points to open the gap to six before Ciaran McGinley and Ryan McHugh hit points - McGinley’s effort going just over the crossbar as he bore down on goal.
Gaoth Dobhair were reduced to 14 as Donal McBride was shown a straight red for a late head high tackle on Ryan McHugh, but they held on to take two very valuable league points.
Apart from the very influential James Gallagher, Peter McGee, Danny Curran, Joe Duffy, James Carroll and Eoin Ward did well.
For Kilcar, the Sweeneys, Michael Hegarty and Ryan McHugh were best, but they know that they will have to improve thieir defence before championship time comes around again. Stephen Shovlin is back to full fitness and may be an option for full-back while Ashley Carr was given little support up front on Sunday.
Kilcar: K Campbell; L Carr, P Gallagher, P Carr; E McHugh (0-1), R McHugh (0-5,4f), B Shovlin; C McShane (0-1), C McGinley (0-2); J Cunningham (0-1), M Sweeney (0-3), P Sweeney (0-2); M Hegarty, A Carr (0-1), D O’Donnell. Sub., D McCloskey for L Carr 40.
Gaoth Dobhair: M McKelvey; C Roarty, D Curran, C Ferry; J Duffy, D McBride, P Mulligan; R Mac Niallais (0-1), P McGee (0-2); J Carroll (1-0), F McGee (1-1), S Doherty; T Diver (1-4,3f), J Gallagher (0-3,3f), E Ward. Sub., M Roarty for Doherty 45.
Referee: J White (Killybegs)