Gaoth Dobhair had to dig deep to clinch the points against Ardara in Magheragallon.
Gaoth Dobhair . . . . . . . . . . . 2-14
Ardara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-11
They won by six points in the end but it took a huge effort against a struggling Ardara, who are fighting to keep top flight status.
It was hard to believe watching this highly entertaining, fast flowing tie that 15 points separated the league leaders and their opponents Ardara.
Ardara are propping up the Division One League table on five points with just two wins.
In the end it took a top class performance from Gaoth Dobhair marksman Odhrán MacNiallais and the power and running of Ciaran Gillespie and speed merchants Naoise O Baoill and Cian Mulligan to see the table toppers through.
MacNiallais ended the game with eight points and Gillespie and O Baoill hit the Gaoth Dobhair goals.
Both of the goals were big scores and were scored in the first half after Gaoth Dobhair came from six down after 12 minutes to lead by two, 2-5 to 1-6, at half-time.
CJ Molloy, who proved a real handful for the locals’ last line of defence in the opening quarter, scored a goal inside six minutes to get Ardara off to a dream start.
Molloy did well to win a long delivery into the Gaoth Dobhair goalmouth from Brendan McNelis before turning his marker, Jamie Reynolds, to hammer past Christopher Sweeney from five metres.
Minutes earlier Gareth Concarr, from a close in free, had opened the Ardara account with the game’s opening score.
Concarr added two more after good work from Molloy before MacNiallais converted from a close in free for the locals’ opening score.
That was on 13 minutes. Mulligan carved open the Ardara defence for Gaoth Dobhair’s second and he was denied a good goal by Gary McHugh.
With Gaoth Dobhair growing into the game Ciaran Gillespie powered forward and combined with Owen Ward, before stroking past McHugh, to tie up the game.
And Gaoth Dobhair were in front shortly after when O Baoill combined with Noel Kelly and Owen Ward to palm home goal number two for a 2-4 to 1-5 lead.
Gaoth Dobhair led 2-5 to 1-6, at half-time. MacNiallais added two quick points on the resumption and Michael McKelvey converted a ‘45’ to extend the Gaoth Dobhair advantage out to five points, 2-8 to 1-6.
But Ardara refused to buckle and with Paddy McGrath rising to the challenge and driving forward, Ardara hit five points to one to cut the Gaoth Dobhair lead.
Brendan McNelis,(2), Johnny Herron, Concarr and Stefan Boyle raised the Ardara white flags, while MacNiallais responded for the locals for a 2-9 to 1-11 game.
Gaoth Dobhair were reduced to 14 when Gavin McBride, shortly after being introduced, was harshly shown a red card for a late challenge on Kieran Breslin.
Gaoth Dobhair regrouped in the final quarter and Noel Kelly, Michael Carroll, MacNiallais (2) and McKelvey all hit the target.
Ardara had a couple of late chances but were forced to go for a goal and Gaoth Dobhair held out.
Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney, Gary McFadden, Jamie Reynolds, Eamonn McGee; Niall Friel, Ciaran Gillespie (1-0), Jamie O Baoill; Peter McGee, Odhrán MacNiallais (0-8,2f); Naoise O Baoill (1-0), Kevin Cassidy (0-1), Noel Kelly (0-1), Owen Ward, Michael Carroll (0-1), Cian Mulligan (0-1). Subs: Michael McKelvey (0-2,245s) for J O Baoill 29 inj; Gavin McBride for N O’Baoill 50 inj
Ardara; Gary McHugh; Kevin Whyte, Declan Gavigan John Ross Molloy;Johnny Herron (0-1),Paddy McGrath, Ken eth Doherty; Conor Classon, Brendan McNelis (0-2,2f); Lorcan O’Donnell (0-1), Kieran Breslin, Jack Brennan; CJ Molloy (1-0), Gareth Concarr (0-6,3f), Ryan Malley. Subs: Stefan Boyle (0-1) for K Whyte 21 inj; Killian Boyle for J R Molloy 32 inj.
Referee: Robbie O’Donnell (Naomh Muire).
Kilcar much too strong
Joint league leaders Kilcar turned out a fine display today in the AllSportsStore.com Division 1 as they overcame Glenswilly.
Kilcar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-19
Glenswilly . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-9
Glenswilly looked a shadow of their former selves as Kilcar were on the front foot from the off. Donegal midfielder Neil Gallagher togged out for Glenswilly but did not make an appearance.
Eight days on from their All-Ireland exit, county players Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh, Eoin McHugh, Mark McHugh and Patrick McBrearty were all involved in the action.
A Conor Doherty goal for Kilcar after just 15 seconds set the tone for the day. Kilcar dominated play in the first half and reached the break with a commanding lead, outscoring Glenswilly by 3-11 to 0-4.
A lower-scoring second half was to follow, but the result never looked in doubt for Kilcar and they were worthy winners on the day.
Kilcar Scorers: Patrick McBrearty 2-5, Conor Doherty 1-2, Andrew McClean 0-1, Eoin McHugh 0-2, Andrew McClean 0-1, Darragh O’Donnell 0-1, Stephen McBrearty 0-2, Ciaran McGinley 0-3, Mark McHugh 0-1, Aodhan McGinley 0-1.
Glenswilly Scorers: Michael Murphy 0-4, Paddy McFadden 0-1, Cathal Gallagher 0-1, Darren McGinley 0-2, Caolan McFadden 0-1.
St. Eunan's win by three
St Eunan's got back to winning ways with a hard fought win over a game Termon at the Burn Road.
Termon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-8
St Eunan's . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-14
St Eunan’s raced into a 0-6 to 0-2 lead early on, but goals from Steve McElwaine and Aiden Sweeney turned the game on its head and Termon were one up at half-time.
The second half was closely fought. St. Eunan’s went back in front thanks to a Paddy McGowan goal.
But Termon refused roll over and they were level with just four minutes to play.
However, McGowan, Conor Gibbons and Darragh McWalters landed late points to secure the win for St Eunan's
Termon: Conor Tinney; Joe O’Donnell, Kevin McDaid, Shane Callaghan; Kevin McElwaine, Nathan McElwaine, James McSharry; Johnny McCafferty, Brendan Friel; Daniel Connaghan, Aidan Sweeney (1-1), Fintan O’Flynn (0-2); Paul McDaid, Daire McDaid (0-4, 3f), Steve McElwaine (1-1,1f). Subs: Sean O’Donnell for P .McDaid, 41 Alan Dugera for D Connaghan, 48, Joe English for J McSharry,61.
St Eunan’s: Sean Daffan; Conor Morrison, Darragh McWalters (0-1), Conor Parke (0-1); Peter Devine, Caolan Ward, Kevin Kealy; Eamonn Doherty, Rory Kavanagh; Daniel Gillespie (0-1), David Tyrrell (0-1), Sean McVeigh; Paddy McGowan (1-5, 4fs), Brian MacIntyre (0-2), Conor Gibbons (0-3,1f). Sub: Sean Hensey for K Kealy, 54.
Referee: Shane Toolan (Aodh Ruadh).
Honours shared in
Mid-table teams St. Michael’s and Realt na Mara, Bundoran played out a stalemate in their AllSportsStore.com Division 1 tie today. Unfortunately, the game was overshadowed by a serious injury to St. Michael’s player, Kieran Kelly, late on.
Bundoran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-17
St. Michael’s . . . . . . . . . . 1-14
All four county players lined out for St. Michael’s, with Mark Anthony McGinley, Christy Toye, Colm McFadden and Martin McElhinney all returning to the club scene.
The game was a close encounter throughout, with each side exchanging scores. Realt na Mara reached the break with the slimmest of advantages over their opponents. The Bundoran men held a one-point lead at half time with the scoreboard showing 0-10 to 1-06.
The second half continued in a similar vein as neither team could put considerable distance between themselves and the opposition.
Twenty-two minutes into the second half, Kieran Kelly of St. Michael’s looked to collide with a teammate and suffered a serious blow to the back of the head.
As a result, the game was stopped for 40 minutes as Kelly received treatment. The St. Michael’s man was subsequently taken to hospital by ambulance.
Upon resuming play, St. Michael’s hit four unanswered points. But, it was a free from Bundoran’s Christy Keaney which drew the teams level once more and ultimately shared the spoils between both sides.
Realt na Mara scorers: Christy Keaney (0-6), Tommy Hourihane (0-3), Jamie Brennan (0-3), Paul Brennan (0-1), Barry Mc Gowan (0-1), Alan Russell (0-1), Michael McEniff (0-1), Johnny Boyle (0-1).
St Michaels scorers: Colm Mc Fadden (1-4), Michael Langan (0-3), Michael Cannon (0-2), Christy Toye (0-2), Daniel Mc Laughlin (0-2), Keelan Mc Gee (0-1).