BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: A massive result for Gaoth Dobhair and Donegal football

BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: A massive result for Gaoth Dobhair and Donegal football

Gaoth Dobhair’s win over Scotstown in the Ulster final and the manner in which they won was a massive result.

It was obviously a huge win for the club but it is also a great result for Donegal football.

It is a result that will greatly encourage clubs like Kilcar, St Eunan’s and Naomh Conaill and, to a lesser extent, Glenswilly and St Michael’s.

I have been impressed with Gaoth Dobhair all season but that admiration has gone up a notch or two after Sunday.

We had seen them playing fast open football all season. But on Sunday, they had to get down and dig deep on a greasy sod and in difficult weather conditions against a seasoned championship team.

They showed great character throughout but especially in the second half when Scotstown opened up a three point lead.

It was then they showed their metal and a side we hadn’t seen all season because it wasn’t asked of them.

They held their nerve and were patient and they got the scores. I thought Michael Carroll, who had a great last quarter in normal time, had won it at the death but his point was ruled out for a thrown pass.

I didn’t notice it but all the wisdom seems to be it was a good call from the referee.

The referee’s other big call in the game was the red card shown to Scotstown’s Shane Carey.

I didn't see what happened but obviously something happened in the tackle because it was brought to the attention of the referee by his linesman.

It was a huge call and had a big effect on the game. Shane Carey was Scotstown's top scorer and he was causing problems for the Gaoth Dobhair defence.

Gaoth Dobhair had a lot of big performers on a day one or two of their young stars were well held by Scotstown, who had them singled out.

Eamon McGee, Odhrán MacNiallais, Michael Carroll, Odhrán McFadden, Neil McGee, Kevin Cassidy and Peter McGee were the standout Gaoth Dobhair men for me.

I felt Peter McGee had huge influence on the game. He was only on for the extra-time. Kevin Cassidy was colossal throughout. He kicked two points, set up another couple and he literally either won every ball that was played into him or got a flick or was fouled which resulted in a score.

He was superb and had a big influence on the game and the outcome.

I also felt James Carroll did well when he came on and was a good outlet for quick ball up front.

I also think there is more in Gaoth Dobhair and I think now that they have won Ulster it will bring them to a new level. The confidence that comes from winning against seasoned championship teams like Crossmaglen and Scotstown will be a huge boost to their confidence.

I have to say I’m really delighted for Gaoth Dobhair and their manager Mervyn O’Donnell and the coach Michael Boyle. They have done a fantastic job. I’m also delighted for men like the club secretary Eamon McBride, who has done trojan work down the years and Tom Beag, who brought these lads through all the age groups.

CONGRATULATIONS

Finally, this week congratulations to St Eunan’s minors, who had a big win over Errigal Ciaran in the Ulster minor championship on Sunday too. Also a belated congratulations to Milford on winning the U-21B and best wishes to Red Hugh’s in the All-Ireland Junior quarter-final on Sunday.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack