DONEGAL GAA

Gaoth Dobhair survive second half comeback to advance to Ulster semi-final

Staff reporter

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Staff reporter

Gaoth Dobhair survive second half comeback to advance to Ulster semi-final

Kieran Gillespie . . . injured

Gaoth Dobhair had to survive a second half comeback from Antrim champions, Cargin, to reach the Ulster Club semi-final.

Gaoth Dobhair 3-11
Cargin 1-13

The Donegal champions were excellent in the opening half and led by ten points at the break, but found it difficult to get into a rhythm in the second half and allowed Cargin back into the game.
But in the end, they held on and will now play Armagh champions, Crossmaglen Rangers in the Ulster semi-final in two weeks' time.
Gaoth Dobhair were hit by a double blow before the start with Odhrán Mac Niallais and Odhrán McFadden Ferry ruled out through injury.
And it got worse just after the throw-in as they lost Kieran Gillespie, stretchered off with a knee injury after a delay of five minutes. Peter McGee replaced Gillespie, while Donal Mac Giolla Bhride and James Boyle had started for the Donegal champions.
But they made light of those blows as they were never headed throughout.
Cian Mulligan put them on their way and even though Cargin levelled, two more points followed from Michael Carroll and Eamon McGee.
Again Cargin got back on terms at 0-3 each but Michael Carroll and Kevin Cassidy opened a gap.
Cassidy was to be a central figure as he added two more points in a 30 second burst, while Eamonn Collum also got on the scoresheet.
As the half came close the end, Gaoth Dobhair struck for two goals, both very well created, and both palmed to the net, the first from Kevin Cassidy after good work by Eamon McGee and Mulligan, while Dáire Ó Baoill was heavily involved in the second goal as Cian Mulligan palmed home.
Eamonn Collum and Michael Carroll added points as Gaoth Dobhair led 2-10 to 0-6 at the break, the entire 2-10 coming from play.
Cargin hit the first two points of the second half, the second from James Gribbin - his third of the contest.
And by the 40th minute, the Antrim side were back in the contest when Paul McCann found the Gaoth Dobhair net to reduce the margin to five, 2-10 to 1-8.
Gaoth Dobhair created a great goal chance through Naoise Ó Baoill but Cian Mulligan's effort was well saved and Cargin went up field and reduced the margin to four. Justin Crozier added another to leave just three points between them with just 13 minutes played in the second half.
James Boyle eventually got Gaoth Dobhair on the board from a free, their first of the half on 48 minutes.
James Laverty and Tomas McCann had the deficit back to two before Gaoth Dobhair struck for the third goal on 56 minutes, with Michael Carroll finishing after Naoise Ó Baoill and Kevin Cassidy did the approach work. Cargin were also reduced just afterwards.

Gaoth Dobhair scorers - Kevin Cassidy 1-3; Michael Carroll 1-3; Cian Mulligan 1-1; Eamonn Collum 0-2; James Boyle (f), Eamon McGee 0-1 each.