By Tom Comack
Gaoth Dobhair are through to the last four of the Donegal U-21A championship following Friday night’s victory over Dungloe, in a rip roaring quarter-final at the Banks.
Gaoth Dobhair 3-9
It took an injury time Daire Ó’Baoill goal to finally clinch the win after Dungloe came from three down late on against 13 man Gaoth Dobhair.
Cian Mulligan on 40 minutes and Odhran McFadden Ferry on 57 were the Gaoth Dobhair players that received their marching orders, both after second yellow offences.
County U-21 Mulligan saw red after a flare up involving up to a half dozen players from both sides.
This was not a dirty game, just a tough, hard and manly encounter between two quality young teams that were all fired up for this tie.
Gaoth Dobhair, with a host of county men, including county seniors Ciaran Gillespie and Michael Carroll, entered the tie as favourites.
They both were short key personnel. Gaoth Dobhair were without ace marksman Gavin McBride (flu) and Dungloe were minus county U-21s goalkeeper Danny Rogers (injured).
Dungloe showed scant regard for the Gaoth Dobhair favourite’s tag. They opened at 90 mile an hour and raced into a 2-1 to 0-2 lead inside the opening ten minutes.
Adam Neely plundered both of the goals. The first came on four minutes when he dispossessed Gary McFadden on the edge of the large rectangle and gave Charles John Doherty no chance from five metres.
He pounced for the second six minutes later when he intercepted a Doherty clearance and then raced by his marker to slide the ball under the advancing keeper for a 2-2 to 0-2 lead.
Ryan Greene and Neely had hit the Dungloe points and Conor Boyle and Mulligan posted the Gaoth Dobhair points.
Eamon Collum landed two points in the space of a minute to bring Gaoth Dobhair right back into the game, 2-1 to 0-4.
But the margin was out to five again thanks to strikes from Greene and Neely for a 2-3 to 0-4, Dungloe lead.
James Boyle, from a close in free, hit Gaoth Dobhair’s first score in 12 minutes just before Daire Ó’Baoill scored the first of the Gaoth Dobhair goals to bring his side back into the contest and only one behind with the clock ticking on the half.
For the goal, Ó’Baoill won possession from a Dungloe kick-out way out on the left hand side before racing in on goal and leaving a number of defenders in his wake to hit the corner of the net.
Davy McCarron rounded off the scoring with a well struck point for a two point half-time Dungloe lead.
Gaoth Dobhair, playing with the breeze, were out of the blocks in a flash on the resumption.
Carroll landed from longe range before Naoise Ó’Baoill got on the end of a good Seaghan Ferry break from the back to drill home goal No. 2 and a 2-6 to 2-4 lead. Gaoth Dobhair were in front for the first time.
And goalscorer O’Baoill and Collum quickly added two more points for a 2-8 to 2-4 lead a mere six minutes into the new half.
The margin was out to five shortly after Mulligan got his marching orders thanks to another Seaghan Ferry break and good execution from James Boyle.
Ferry had a very good game and was one of the chief architects of the win, along with Naoise and Daire Ó’Baoill, Michael Carroll and Ciaran Gillespie.
Leading 2-9 to 2-4, with a little under ten minutes of normal time remaining, Gaoth Dobhair had the look of winners about them.
But a Shaun Wallace goal first-timed to the net after an Adam Neely free broke in the area set up a grandstand finish. All of a sudden the momentum was with Dungloe and when Neely and Ryan Connors fired over it was all square for the first time, 3-6 to 2-9.
But deep in injury time Daire Ó’Baoill settled it with goal number three after good combination play from Carroll and Conor Boyle.
Victory in the end went to the better team, but only just and not before they were put through the ringer by Dungloe.
Gaoth Dobhair lost Naoise Ó’Baoill to a black card in the dying seconds.
GAOTH DOBHAIR: Charles J Doherty; Ciaran McHugh, Gary McFadden, James Boyle (0-2,1f); Seaghan Ferry, Niall Friel, Odhran McFadden-Ferry; Kieran Gillespie, Cian Mulligan (0-1); Naoise Ó’Baoill (1-0), Michael Carroll (0-1); Daire Ó’Baoill (2-1); Eamon Collum (0-3), Daniel McLaughlin, Conor Boyle (0-1,1f).
Sub: Aidan Ferry for D McLaughlin, 56.
DUNGLOE: Eoin Duggan, Mark Curran, Ryan Rodgers, James McCole; Matthew Ward, Jack Scally, David McCarron; Luke Neely, Darren Curran (0-2); Hugh Moy, Owen Scally, Barry Curran; Shaun Wallace (1-0), Adam Neely (2-2), Ryan Greene (0-2,1f). Subs: Ryan Connors for H Moy, 36; Jason McBride for E Scally, 40, inj.
REFEREE: Robbie O’Donnell (Naomh Muire)