It was Gaoth Dobhar who survived this relegation play-off and guaranteed their place in Division 1 football next year in a game played in true championship fashion.
Gaoth Dobhair 1-10
It also was a game that proved the old saying of a game of two halves. The first half belonged to the home side and the second dominated by the visitors in Dungloe on Sunday afternoon.
While the home side started the stronger with two points on the scoreboard from Adrian Sweeney and Shaun Sharkey in the first seven minutes, James Carroll pointed on nineminutes for Gaoth Dobhair. While Dungloe were putting their mark on the game from early on with some great defending they had to watch a few shots fall short. Again it was Sweeney and Sharkey who led the way with Adrian Sweeney pointing on 16 mins from a free and Shaun Sharkey (f)on 22 minutes.
As the game entered the final ten mins referee Seamus McGonagle had to issue a few stern warnings and one or two yellow cards for a mellee that lasted one or two minutes. Adrian Hanlon pointed on 29 mins for Dungloe to leave the half time score Dungloe 0-5, Gaoth Dobhair 0-1.
With both sides eager to remain in Division 1 next year it was game on for the second half. Gaoth Dobhair opened the scoring with a point from Odhrain McNelis a free on 34 minutes. Padraig McGarvey and Tomas Diver (f) hit two more to close the gap. James Carroll had the sides level on 13 mins and hit another directly after to put his side ahead for the first time in the game.
It was Carroll again on 45 mins from a free that had two between the sides. The home side had to watch their attacks being broken down and cleared out. Neil McGee pointed on 49 mins to stretch Gaoth Dobhair’s lead further and the killer blow came on 52 minutes when James Gallagher found himself in front of the Dungloe goal he gave ‘keeper Ciaran Sharkey no chance as he scored the game’s only goal.
Kevin Cassidy pointed on 54 mins and Anthony Blair pointed on 27 mins to secure their Division 1 status. Substitute Benny McGarvey returning from months of injury pointed for Dungloe before the final whistle sounded.
Dungloe: Ciaran Sharkey, Gavin Ward Jamie Sweeney, Gerard Walsh, Doalty Boyle, Cory Galagher, Mark Sweeney, Paul McGarvey, Noel McBride, Shaun Sharkey (0-2 1f), Adrian Hanlon (0-1), Mark Clerkin, Adrian Sweeney (0-2 1f), Conor Greene, Basil Malone, Subs Mark Forker for Shaun Sharkey, Jack Scally for Mark Clerkin, Martin Redmond for Doalty Boyle, Benny McGarvey for Conor Greene.
Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney, Sean McGarvey, Neil McGee (0-1), Manus Weed, Anthony Blair (0-1), Dan McBride, Ciaran Ferry, Kevin Cassidy (0-1), Eamon McGee, James Carroll (0-4 1f), Odhran McNelis (0-1 f) Padraig McGarvey (0-1), Danny Curran, Tomas Diver (0-1 f), James Gallagher (1-0), Subs – Noel Kelly for James Gallagher, Prionsias Gallagher for Padraig McGarvey, Michael Roarty for Sean McGarvey.
Referee: Seamus McGonagle.