A tussle for possession between Neil McGee, Kieran Gallagher, Odhran Mac Niallais and Anthony Thompson Picture Thomas Gallagher
Gaoth Dobhair bridged a 12 year gap to convincingly win the Donegal senior title with a seven point win over Naomh Conaill.
Gaoth Dobhair 0-17
Naomh Conaill 1-7
After a competitive first half, Gaoth Dobhair pulled away to win comfortably in the second half, led superbly by midfielder Odhrán Mac Niallais, who hit 0-8 for the winners.
Despite Naomh Conaill playing defensively, the first half was a very entertaining affair with some great scores.
Ethan O'Donnell had Naomh Conaill on the board inside 47 seconds but Gaoth Dobhair were on terms on two minutes with Eamon McGee finding Dáire Ó Baoill overlapping to fire over.
Ciaran Thompson and Kevin Cassidy (after another pass from McGee) traded scores by the sixth minute.
Eamonn Collum won and pointed a free on nine minutes while Ciaran Thompson responded for Naomh Conaill with another free from just inside the '45'.
Naomh Conaill had a half goal chance on 15 minutes when a high cross from Eunan Doherty was connected by Kieran Gallagher but it was saved easily.
Gaoth Dobhair opened a two point gap with points from Cian Mulligan and Odhrán Mac Niallais (free) with Kevin Cassidy involved in both.
Naomh Conaill were back on terms by the 24th minute with frees from Dermot Molloy and Leo McLoone.
But then before the break, Gaoth Dobhair opened a gap of three points. Cian Mulligan had the first after an incisive run. Kieran Gillespie won a free after another good run and Eamonn Collum pointed while in the 32nd minute Naoise Ó Baoill found Mac Niallais to score. The point came after a great flick from MacNiallais at midfield from a kick out.
In the third minute of added time Brendan McDyer lofted a great score from outside the 45 to leave it Gaoth Dobhair 0-8, Naomh Conaill 0-6 at the break.
Two Odhrán MacNiallais frees pushed Gaoth Dobhair four clear as Naomh Conaill lost Marty Boyle to a black card on 35 minutes and it left them down to 14 as he had been yellow carded in the opening half.
Mac Niallais added another free on 43 minutes and then missed a good opportunity as Ethan O'Donnell was just wide at the other end.
It took Naomh Conaill until the 53rd minute to get a score, John O'Malley, with his first touch after coming on.
The game was more or less put to bed when Odhrán Mac Niallais landed his sixth point with three minutes left and Dáire Ó Baoill turned over a ball to open the gap to six points.
Naomh Conaill scrambled a goal in added time through Ciaran Thompson but it was fitting that man of the match, Odhrán Mac Niallais and veteran Kevin Cassidy kicked the last three points.
Scorers - Gaoth Dobhair: Odhran Mac Niallais 0-8,6f; Cian Mulligan 0-3; Daire O Baoill 0-2; Eamonn Collum 0-2,2f; Kevin Cassidy 0-2.
Naomh Conaill: Ciaran Thompson 1-2,2f; Ethan O'Donnell, Leo McLoone (f), Brendan McDyer, Dermot Molloy (f), John O'Malley 0-1 each.
GAOTH DOBHAIR: Christopher Sweeney; Gary McFadden, Neil McGee, Christopher McFadden; Niall Friel, Kieran Gillespie, Odhrán McFadden Ferry; Dáire ó Baoill, Odhrán Mac Niallais; Cian Mulligan, Naoise Ó Baoill, Eamon McGee; Eamonn Collum, Kevin Cassidy, Michael Carroll. Subs., Donal McBride for Carroll 60; Seaghan Ferry for Collum 65
NAOMH CONAILL: Stephen McGrath; Kevin McGettigan, AJ Gallagher, Jason Campbell; Ultan Doherty, Anthony Thompson, Eoin Waide; Ethan O'Donnell, Kieran Gallagher; Marty Boyle, Leo McLoone, Eunan Doherty; Brendan McDyer, Ciaran Thompson, Dermot Molloy. Subs., Eoghan McGettigan for D Molloy 39; Aaron Thompson for U Doherty; John O'Malley for E O'Donnell both 52; Seamus Corcoran for E Doherty 57
REFEREE: Shaun McLaughlin (Malin)