Eamonn Collum on the ball for Gaoth Dobhair Picture Thomas Gallagher
Gaoth Dobhair are in an Ulster Senior Club final after a magnificent performance to defeat Armagh kingpins, Crossmaglen Rangers, in Healy Park, Omagh.
Gaoth Dobhair 4-11
Goals win games and Gaoth Dobhair showed that they had the firepower in this game. Dáire Ó Baoill hit three and Kevin Cassidy was alert to fire home a fourth, which came at a good time in the second half with Cross threatening a comeback.
But overall, this was a superb showing from Gaoth Dobhair to reach their first ever Ulster final. The McGees again were outstanding, as was Odhrán Mac Niallais and Odhrán McFadden Ferry, but then it was a superb all round display.
Gary McFadden was outstanding at corner-back and Kevin Cassidy was instrumental to the win, with every ball sent inside sticking and his goal was central to the win. To pick a man of the match would almost be impossible with Odhrán Mac Niallais, Dáire Ó Baoill, McFadden Ferry, Eamon McGee and Kevin Cassidy all in contention.
Crossmaglen may have got the first point after 16 seconds but they had to withstand a grea half of running football from Gaoth Dobhair, who hit three goals to lead by five at the break, 3-5 to 0-9.
Oisin O'Neill had that opening point but in a great move Eamonn Collum almost had a goal for Gaoth Dobhair as his effort went just over.
Oisin O'Neill and Johnny Hanratty hit Cross points as they hit long with the breeze, but Gaoth Dobhair began to find their feet with Eamon McGee really influential. Along with Kevin Cassidy he created a point for Odhrán Mac Niallais and then came the first goal on nine minutes. MacNiallais released Dáire Ó Baoill and he powered through to fire to the corner of the net.
Rian O'Neill replied after a lucky free but Gaoth Dobhair continued to dominate. MacNiallais worked a short free and Cian Mulligan pointed before Naoise Ó Baoill sent his cousin Dáire through again and he finished with style for a 2-3 to 0-3 lead on 13 minutes.
A great ball from Donal McBride released powerhouse Odhrán McFadden Ferry and when he was pulled down MacNiallais pointed. On 21 minutes MacNiallais again worked a short free with Eamon McGee before firing over.
Kyle Carragher had a fifth point for Cross before Gaoth Dobhair struck for a third goal on 24 minutes. Cian Mulligan was involved at the start and the finish of the move. When a Gaoth Dobhair player was fouled, the referee played the advantage and Mulligan got on the end of it again before being hauled down. From the spot Dáire Ó Baoill completed his hat-trick for a nine point lead.
But if Gaoth Dobhair needed a reminder that they needed to play in the second half, Cross finished the half with four points in as many minutes, three Rian O'Neill frees and another free from Tony Kernan.
Dáire Ó Baoill saved Gaoth Dobhair with a last ditch block on Johnny Hanratty within seconds of the restart. But that was to be Hanratty's last action as he saw yellow for a second time less than a minute later for a high challenge on Christopher McFadden.
Kevin Cassidy found the range with the wind but Rian O'Neill replied for Cross.
Cassidy was involved again on 42 minutes when he was in the right place when Michael Carroll's effort for a point came back off an upright and he cooly found the net for a 4-7 to 0-11 lead.
Rian O'Neill responded with a free but Naoise Ó Baoill won a free for Eamon Collum to cancel.
O'Neill added another and Kyle Carragher cut the lead to six with 50 minutes on the clock.
Mac Niallais kept the scoreboard ticking but Rian O'Neill hit his eighth. But Gaoth Dobhair captain Niall Friel hit back and Seaghan Ferry, just on the field, added another.
Christopher Sweeney made a great stop from David McKenna while Rian O'Neill finished the game on the sideline, frustration seeing him hit James Boyle and he saw red as Cross finished with 13 men.
Gaoth Dobhair become the fifth Donegal club to reach an Ulster senior final. Can they bridge that gap back to the only winning Donegal team - St. Joseph's in 1975. They will meet Scotstown of Monaghan in the decider on Sunday, 2nd December.
GAOTH DOBHAIR: Christopher Sweeney; Gary McFadden, Neil McGee, Christopher McFadden; Niall Friel (0-1), Eamon McGee, Odhrán McFadden Ferry; Dáire Ó Baoill (3-0, 1-0 pen), Odhrán Mac Niallais (0-4,2f); Cian Mulligan (0-1), Naoise Ó Baoill, Donal McBride; Eamonn Collum (0-2,1f), Kevin Cassidy (1-2), Michael Carroll. Subs., Peter McGee for McBride 43; James Carroll for Collum 45; James Boyle for McFadden Ferry 51; Seaghan Ferry (0-1) for N Ó Baoill 57; Conor McCafferty for E McGee 64
CROSSMAGLEN RANGERS: Jamie McEvoy; Rico Kelly, Alan Farrelly, Garvan Carragher; Aaron Kernan, James Morgan, Paul Hughes; Stephen Morris, Oisin O'Neill (0-3,1f); Johnny McKeever, Rian O'Neill (0-8,5f), Johnny Hanratty (0-1); Callum Cumiskey, Tony Kernan (0-2,1f), Kyle Carragher (0-2). Subs., Aidan Rushe for G Carragher 27; David McKenna for J McKeever ht; Cian McConville for T Kernan 45; Padraig Studdart for P Hughes 47
REFEREE: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)