Gaoth Dobhair kept their top flight status very much alive with this eleven point victory in their relegation play-off battle with Glenswilly, yesterday in O’Donnell Park.
Gaoth Dobhair 4-9
Goals from Padraig McGarvey, Tomas Diver, James Gallagher and Odhran MacNiallais paved the way for a somewhat surprising victory to set up a winner takes all meeting with arch rivals Dungloe, next weekend in Rosses Park, Dungloe.
McGarvey struck for the first goal on 16 minutes to ease the men from the West into an eight point lead after Diver, with five frees - three of them in the opening five minutes - had blitzed the Glenswilly posts in the opening quarter hour.
A Michael Murphy free on eight minutes was Glenswilly’s sole response in the opening ambush which were dominated by the Kevin Cassidy powered Gaoth Dobhair men.
Double All-Star Cassidy, who was colossal in the middle of the
field for the winners, was the provider for that opening McGarvey green flag. The former county man had a big hand too in the second Gaoth Dobhair three pointer. It was another of his long deliveries which picked out Diver, in behind the defence, before the number 14 dispatched with aplomb to the Glenswilly net.
That was on 27 minutes, and it restored an eight point advantage for the winners after Glenswilly - in their best spell in the game - had posted three points without reply from Leon Kelly, Michael Murphy and Neil Gallagher to temporarily reduce the margin to five.
But with Diver pointing on the stroke of half-time Gaoth Dobhair went in nine in front, 2-8 to 0-4, at half-time.
Glenswilly did cause a bit of a stir on the resumption as Gary McFadden, Kealan McFadden and Kealan Kelly all raised white flags in the opening 12 minutes of the second period.
But a third Gaoth Dobhair goal, this time flicked to the net by James Gallagher, meant the revival was halted in its tracks as Gaoth Dobhair stretched their advantage out to 11 points, 3-9 to 0-7.
Darren McGinley did score a late consolation goal when his long range centre deceived backs and forwards and Gaoth Dobhair keeper Christopher Sweeney to end up in the net.
But it was no more than a consolation score as MacNiallais sunk the dagger on the stroke of time when he struck for goal number four.
While Gaoth Dobhair now face a winner takes all clash with Dungloe, defeat means that Glenswilly make the drop to Division Two and second tier football in 2013.
Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney, Sean McGarvey, Neil McGee, Manus Weed; Ciaran Ferry, Donal McBride, Anthony Blair; Kevin Cassidy, Eamon McGee; James Carroll, Odhran MacNiallais (1-1), Padraig McGarvey (1-0); Danbny Curran, Tomas Diver (1-7,6f), James Gallagher (1-1). Subs: Joe Duffy for A. Blair (18); Paul Mulligan for P. McGarvey (55); Noel Kelly for J. Gallagher (60).
Glenswilly: Ciaran Molloy; Brian McDaid, Eamon Ward, Ryan Hunter; Joe Gibbons, James Pat McDaid, Ruairi Crawford; Neil Gallagher (0-1), Gary McFadden (0-1,1f); Darren McGinley (1-0), Ciaran Bonner, Leon Kelly (0-1); Kealn McFadden (0-1,1f), Michael Murphy (0-2, 1f), Brian Farrelly. Subs: John McFadden for B McDaid (29, inj) Kealan Kelly (0-1) for J P McDaid (h/t); Gerard McGrenra for L Kelly (40). .
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs)
Man of the match
Tomas Diver scored 1-7, with six of his points from frees on a day that literally everything he touched turned to gold. While six of the points were from close range, the goal was of real quality from 20 metres when he took a long delivery from Kevin Cassidy to smash to the roof of the Glenswilly net.
Padraig McGarvey’s goal on 16 minutes after he first timed a long Kevin Cassidy delivery played back in his path by James Gallager, put daylight between the sides and set Gaoth Dobhair on their way.
Jimmy White issued seven yellow cards, four to Gaoth Dobhair and three to Glenswilly, and kept a firm grip on what was a tetchy tie throughout which boiled over briefly in the second half.
He let the game flow at all times and twice he allowed play continue and then went back to book the offending players in what was a good refereeing performance.
- Alan Boyd, a member of the Gaoth Dobhair management team
“We were the hungrier team and wanted to win more than Glenswilly. It was a great all round performance and is a big turn around from being 0-7 to 0-4 down at half-time against St. Eunan’s last week.
“They were really up for it and were all fired up in the dressing room beforehand and they really came out all guns blazing and got off to a great start. The first half goals were very important and we were in a good place at half-time.”