Donegal Football u-16 A Championship final

Gaoth Dobhair are crowned Donegal U-16 A champions with win over Aodh Ruadh

The champions had ten points to spare at the end of an entertaining final

Tom Comack


Tom Comack


Gaoth Dobhair are crowned Donegal  U-16 A champions with win over Aodh Ruadh

Gaoth Dobhair Under 16a Champions

Gaoth Dobhair are Donegal U-16 A champions following tonight’s ten point win over Aodh Ruadh, in the county U-16 A final.

GAOTH DOBHAIR ………. 4-12 

AODH RUADH……………..2-8 

Cathal De Burca scored two of the goals and Fionan Coyle and Ronan Heffernan netted one each in a highly entertaining final before a big crowd at O'Donnell Park in Letterkenny.

Gaoth Dobhair were the physically stronger and better side with the power and pace of Stephen and Sean McFadden in the middle of the field and Fionan Coyle at centre half-forward and the goal poaching instincts of Cathal De Burca, at full forward the launching pad for the win. 

The game began at breathtaking speed with Aodh Ruadh drawing first blood with 1-1 inside three minutes.

Kyle Murray escaped from a number of Gaoth Dobhair defenders to knock over the opening point on three minutes. And less than two minutes later Damian Webber converted from the penalty spot after Danny Breen was fouled just inside the large rectangle by Aaron McGee. 

The Gaoth Dobhair response was pretty swift,  Fionan Coyle settled Gaoth Dobhair nerves with a fine point.

And shortly after Stephen McFadden raced through from midfield before finding Cathal De Burca unmarked in front of the posts. 

De Burca  was never going to be denied as he fired low and hard past Aaron Cullen to tie up the contest at 1-1 each, inside six minutes. 

Sean McFadden and Cian Rooney, both from frees, traded points before Gaoth Dobhair powered by Sean and Stephen McFadden in the middle of the field and with De Burca and Coyle carving the openings hit 1-3 without reply to open up a 2-5 to 1-3 lead by the 23 minute mark.

The elusive Coyle hit the goal on 21 minutes after he raced through from the right wing to smash to the roof of Aodh Ruadh net for a super individual goal. 

Aidan McGowan, Sean McFadden and Sean Gallagher  scored the points for Michael Doherty’s young charges. 

Aodh Ruadh to their credit, though losing out in the physical stakes, refused to surrender and Marty McGarrigle and Danny Breen posted late points to just about keep them in touch at the break. 

Stephen McFadden popped over the opener on the resumption four minutes into the new half to get the champions in waiting up and running. 

Cian Rooney from a close in free pulled a point back for the Ernesiders before Daniel Roarty pulled off a brilliant save to deny Declan McLaughlin what looked like a certain Aodh Ruadh goal.

The goal did come shortly after when Danny Breen powered through to give Roarty no chance and to reduce the Gaoth Dobhair lead to just four points, 2-9 to 2-5, with over a quarter of an hour to go. 

But again, the Gaoth Dobhair response was almost instant when Ronan Heffernan struck for goal number three and a 3-9 to 2-5 lead once more for the men from the Gaeltacht.

And the game was well and truly over when De Burca smashed home goal number four three minutes from time. 

Gaoth Dobhair: Daniel Roarty; Aaron McGee, Eamon McBride, Sean Gallagher(0-1), Darragh Ferry (0-1), Cian McEntee, Johnny O’Donnell; Stephen McFadden (0-1), Sean McFadden (0-3); Ronan Heffernan (1-1), Fionnan Coyle (1-1), Ryan Doherty; Aidan McGowan (0-3), Cathal De Burca (2-1), Neil Doran.

SUBS: Adam McGeever for R Doherty 55; Pauric Winters for A McGeever 58, black card; Sean Martin Ferry for R Heffernan 60; Eoghan O’Donnell for J O’Donnell 64. 

AODH RUADH ; Aaron Cullen; Daire Gallagher, Ryan Keenaghan, Padraig Daly; Colm McGloin, Kyle Murray, Eoghan Kelly; Matt Gillespie, Aaron Neilan; Kyle McCaffrey  (0-1), Cian Rooney (0-2,2f), 1f), Marty McGarrigle (0-2,1f); Damian Webber (1-0, 1-0 penalty), Diarmuid Dolan, Danny Breen (1-3,1F).

Subs; Mitchel McLaughin for K McCaffrey,34; Conal Bradshaw for P Daly 59.  

REFEREE: Pat Barrett (Milford).