Gaoth Dobhair bridged a four year gap by taking the Comortas Peil na Gaeltacht sinsir title at Maghergallon yesterday.
Gaoth Dobhair 0-13
Fanad Gaels 1-7
Fanad Gaels made them work to the finish and it was only in the last few minutes that Gaoth Dobhair finally got clear. With the Magheragallon club hosting the All-Ireland finals in June, the win is the perfect fillip, given that they have been struggling in recent times in the All-County league.
The honours were even in the opening quarter with Fionnan Diver (free) and Michael Sweeney trading points. Cathal Mulligan and Seamus Nanny Friel (‘45) swopped further points before Cathal Mulligan edged Gaoth Dobhair in front.
The turning point of the opening half came on 19 minutes when Patrick Herrity, up in attack, gave Christopher Sweeney no chance after good approach work by Brendan Callaghan, David Walsh and Ciaran McElwaine.
Seamie Coshia Friel added a point to put Fanad 1-3 to 0-3 in front but before half-time two Cathal Mulligan frees reduced the margin to the minimum.
Two Seamie Friel points pushed Fanad three clear at the start of the second half, but Gaoth Dobhair were back on level terms after 48 minutes with points from Joe Duffy and two from Fionnan Diver from play and a ‘45’.
Cathal Mulligan with his fifth point of the contest, put Gaoth Dobhair ahead and Frank McGee doubled the lead. Fanad hit back to be level once more with four minutes left thanks to a great effort from Seamie Friel and another from Mark Friel.
But Gaoth Dobhair finished well with Owen Ward hitting two points and Frank McGee getting another.
But they still had to defend at the finish with Neil McGee denying Ciaran McElwaine on the line in the dying seconds.
Gaoth Dobhair: C Sweeney; D Curran, N McGee, C Ferry; J Duffy (0-1), D McBride, P Mulligan; K Cassidy, S Doherty; F Diver (0-3,1f,’45’), F McGee (0-2), J Carroll; C Mulligan (0-5,4f), R Mac Niallais, O Ward (0-2). Subs., E McGee for MacNiallais 51; J Gallagher for S Doherty 55.
Fanad Gaels: M McConigley; F Sweeney, C Martin, P Herrity (1-0); P Shiels, P McConigley, F Friel; M Sweeney (0-1), E McFadden; M Friel (0-1), S Nanny Friel (0-1,’45’), D Walsh; C McElwaine, S Coshia Friel (0-4,3f), B Callaghan. Subs., O Walsh for Callaghan 54; A McAteer for D Walsh 59
Referee: D Langan (St. Michael’s)