It took them a while, but Gaoth Dobhair’s greater all round strength was the difference as a gallant Bundoran side gave their all.
Gaoth Dobhair 1-9
The difference became apparent in the second half and especially in the final quarter when Gaoth Dobhair pulled away.
The game changed early in the second half when Gaoth Dobhair went two points clear and then hit the only goal of the game in the 41st minute, Niall Barr creating the opening and he found Dylan O’Donnell, who beat Kelvin Mulhern at the near post.
It was the only time in the game that Mulhern was beaten as he was magnificent between the Bundoran posts.
Gaoth Dobhair looked much the stronger physically and that was very evident in the first quarter when Bundoran found it difficult to get out of their own half.
Gaoth Dobhair were on the scoreboard inside 20 seconds with Conor Boyle finding the range. It looked ominous for Bundoran, but gradually the began to find their feet and from the 10th minute to half-time they looked the much more composed side.
They had a great goal chance on the 10th minute with Cian McEniff probing and finding the opening and sent Conor Carty through but he fired much too early and pulled his shot well wide of the posts.
They got on terms on the 16 minute when Cian McEniff again found a gap but was fouled and he took the free himself to convert from 20m.
Three minutes later Bundoran were ahead when they took a quick free and Tommy Goverov got into space to fire over from an angle.
Kelvin Mulhern made a great stop in a crowded goalmouth to deny Gaoth Dobhair a goal in the 26th minute and two minutes later Conor Boyle tied up the scores as he fired just over the crossbar after a run through the middle.
Conor Boyle and Cian McEniff traded scores early in the second half before Boyle and Ciaran Glennon edged Gaoth Dobhair two clear.
Then came the O’Donnell goal which more or less finished the game as a contest.
Cian McEniff did have a fourth Bundoran point but that proved to be their last score as Gaoth Dobhair took control and Boyle added two more points before Dan Gallagher and Dylan O’Donnell had two late points for the winner.
Gaoth Dobhair were worthy winners in the end but Bundoran can hold their heads high.
Bundoran: Kelvin Mulhern; Oisin Walsh, Brian McHenry, Matthew Duffy; Lee McCallion, Jamie Spollan, James Stewart; Niall Carr, Paul Murphy; Cian McEniff (0-3,2f), Conor Jack McManus, Timmy Goverov (0-1); Aidan McGloin, Conor Carty, Oisin McGloin. Subs., Michael McGloin for O McGloin 42; Conor McLoone for McManus 49; Cody Granaghan for A McGloin 54.
Gaoth Dobhair: Gavin Sweeeney; David McLoughlin, Conor McCafferty, Sean Boyle; Liam Wiggins, Nathan McBride, Shane Ferry; Niall Barr, Odhran McFadden; Michael Dwyer, Conor Boyle (0-6,2f), Shane Pius McFadden; Dylan O’Donnell (1-1), Micheal Coll, Dan Gallagher (0-1). Subs., Ciaran Glennon (0-1) for Dwyer 25; John Brown for Coll ht; Conor McFadden for Barr 39; Cian McGowan for O’Donnell 58; Ciaran Griffin for D Gallagher 59.
Referee: Mark Dorrian (Fanad Gaels)
Man of the match
Conor Boyle is the clear winner of this award. He was the one player on the Gaoth Dobhair side who know were the posts were. They had plenty of possession but without Boyle, the result could have been different.
Mark Dorrian was very severe on overcarrying and also on the pick up but was also consistent throughout which is what you would be looking for in a referee.