Gaoth Dobhair were emphatic winners of the Northern Board Division 1 minor football final against St Eunan’s in Killygordon yesterday.
Gaoth Dobhair 2-14
St Eunan’s 0-9
Cian Mulligan scored a fabulous individual goal, running from outside of the St Eunan’s 45 to drive past Sean Daffan from 20 metres to seal the win.
Paul Carr’s St Eunan’s weren’t at full strength with David Tyrell absent. The manager also made the decision to rest Conor Morrison and Rory Carr after their busy few weeks with the seniors.
Both appeared in the second half but if truth be told, the title would still have gone to Magheragallon.
Both teams will now pit their wits in the last four of the county minor championship with Tom Beag Gillespie’s side facing Naomh Conaill and St Eunan’s against southern winners Dungloe/ Na Rossa this weekend.
Gaoth Dobhair’s meticulous work at underage level is continuing to show harvest.
Their six county minors were impressive against St Eunan’s, as was their depth.
As early as the 18th minute, when they were 0-7 to 0-0 in front after a series of well-executed scores.
Gavin McBride at full-froward was pivotal to that early success; kicking the first three but was withdrawn on 18 minutes limping slightly but it appeared to be a precautionary measure.
Niall Friel also joined the attack on two occasions from centre-back to score.
Oisin Clarke finally got St Eunan’s on the scoreboard on the 21st minute. Gaoth Dobhair, though, were instant in their response.
On 24 minutes Dylan Sweeney was dispossessed coming from defence and the move concluded with Oran McFadden netting to give his team a 1-8 to 0-3 half-time advantage.
St Eunan’s had popped over a handful of scores late in the half through a Sean Hume free and a Michael Miller effort. At the other end, Daffan had to produce a fine save to deny Michéal Carroll a second Gaoth Dobhair goal.
With nine fingers on the cup, Gaoth Dobhair continued to play some great football and were strong in winning ball in the middle third with Ciaran Gillespie and Mulligan dominating.
Carroll, just 11 seconds into part two, smashed over a wonderful long-ranger to set the tone. Daire O’Baoill got in on the act with another pair of scores for the team from the Gaeltacht.
St Eunan’s did threaten here and there. They plugged away but were 1-13 to 0-5 down with 10 minutes left and realistically had little chance of getting back into it.
Hume and Miller both scored two second half points, while Morrison and Odhran McGinley scored too.
It was only right, though, that Gaoth Dobhair would have the last word and that was left to Mulligan.
Gaoth Dobhair: Charles Doherty; Seaghan Ferry, Gary McFadden, James Boyle (0-1, 1f); Patrick Gribben, Niall Friel (0-2), Ryan Kelly; Cian Mulligan (1-2), Ciaran Gillespie; Naoise O’Baoill, Michéal Carroll (0-2, 1f), Daire O’Baoill (0-3); Eamonn Collum, Gavin McBride (0-3), Aodhan Ferry (0-1). Subs: Odhran McFadden (1-0) for McBride (18), Tiarnan O’Dea for Gribben (58), Conor McClafferty for N O’Baoill (59), Ciaran McHugh for Boyle (60).
St Eunan’s: Sean Daffan; Ronan Dorrian, Darragh McWalters, Dylan Sweeney; Ciaran Maloney, Conor Moore, Peter O’Malley; Connall O’Boyle, Oisin Clarke (0-1); Jordan O’Dowd, Sean Hume (0-3, 3f), Niall O’Donnell; Michael Miller (0-3), John Russell, Odhran McGinley (0-1). Subs: Conor Morrison (0-1) for Moore (half-time), Rory Carr for Clarke (38), Padraig McAleer for O’Dowd (57).
Referee: Liam McConigley (Downings).