First-half blitz against Ardara ensures Gaoth Dobhair ease into quarters


GAOTH DOBHAIR MADE their way to the last eight of the Michael Murphy Sports & Leisure Donegal SFC for the first time in four seasons with a comfortable win over Ardara.

Gaoth Dobhair 2-21 Ardara 1-7

The last time the side from Magheragallon made the last eight, they went down 0-10 to 0-5 against Ardara. However, this afternoon in their home surroundings, the team managed by Mervyn O’Donnell made no mistake.

An 11th minute goal by Daire Ó Baoill, when he swiveled to shoot past Cathal Gallagher, put the hosts in control. Ardara, though, managed to peg back a goal within three minutes when Lorcan O’Donnell got in behind Gary McFadden to planted the ball into Christopher Sweeney’s net.

That, however, was more the exception than the rule as Gaoth Dobhair kept the scoreboard ticking over with a series of fine points, with Niall Friel, Michael Carroll (pictured above) and particularly Cian Mulligan – the scorer of three fine first half points – impressing.

There was almost a second goal on 22 minutes when Eamon McGee found Jamie Reynolds on the run, only to lamp his shot just wide of the posts on 22 minutes.

A minute later, Gaoth Dobhair had their second goal and again Ó Baoill was the scorer. This time he smashed a penalty right down the middle after Michael Carroll had been fouled.

At the changing of ends, it was already in the bag, 2-11 to 1-2 for Gaoth Dobhair having played with the wind. Ó Baoill was denied a first half hat-trick by an injury time save by Gallagher in the Ardara goal.

Two James Carroll scores opened the second half and Mulligan added his fourth of the day from a rebound after Michael Carroll had struck the Ardara crossbar. Gareth Concarr scored Ardara’s first point in some 24 minutes with a free midway through the second half.

James Gallagher was introduced for the final six minutes and popped over with his first touch, with only Brendan McNelis – the scorer of four from play – offering anything up top for Ardara.

Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney; Gary McFadden, Neil McGee, Christopher McFadden; Danny Curran (0-1), Kieran Gillespie, Jamie Reynolds (0-1); Odhrán Ferry-McFadden, Eamon McGee (0-1); Cian Mulligan (0-5), James Carroll (0-3, 2f), Dáire Ó Baoill (2-2, 1-0 pen); Niall Friel (0-3), Noel Kelly, Michael Carroll (0-2). Subs: Peter McGee for Curran (35), Eamon Collum for Kelly (40), Ryan Kelly for Friel (46), Gavin McBride (0-2, 1f) for J Carroll (50), James Gallagher (0-1) and Sean Boyle for Ó Baoill and Reynolds (54).

Ardara: Cathal Gallagher; Paddy McGrath, Oisin O’Donnell, John Ross Molloy; Nicolas Maguire, Declan Gavigan, Danny Walsh; Conor Classon, Brendan McNelis (0-4); Johnny Herron, Brendan Boyle, Ryan Malley; Gareth Concarr (0-2, 2f), CJ Molloy, Lorcan O’Donnell (1-1). Subs: Tomás Boyle for O O’Donnell (40), Calvin Slowey and Simon Breslin for Classon and McGrath (46), Paul Watters for L O’Donnell (57).

Referee: Enda McFeely (St Mary’s Convoy)


MA in Journalism graduate from NUI Galway and BBS Marketing and NC in Online Marketing from LyIT, who has worked covering sport in Donegal since 2004. Part of Donegal Democrat who won McNamee awards in 2013 and 2015 for 'best provincial publication'. Reseacher for 'Jimmy's Winnin' Matches' documentary and Rory Kavanagh's autobiography 'Winning'

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