GAOTH DOBHAIR sneaked into the semi-finals by the skin of their teeth with a Cian Mulligan point sealing a dramatic one-point win over a devastated MacCumhaill’s.
Gaoth Dobhair 0-14 MacCumhaill’s 1-10
The side from the Twin Towns were one ahead in injury time with Oisin Gallen scoring the last of his haul of 1-8. Mervyn O’Donnell’s team worked a free and with no left-footed free taker, took Ethan Harkin back on and he levelled before Mulligan fired over a 64th minute winner.
As MaCumhaill’s pushed for extra-time, Neil McGee picked up a second yellow card and was sent off and Gallen had a difficult free that tailed off wide.
With Odhran MacNiallais an absentee through injury and Michael Carroll not part of the panel, there were whispers of a possible upset at Magheragallon.
Two weeks ago, Paul Rouse’s team left the same venue with things to encourage them in a 1-15 to 0-13 loss.
Today, they flooded back when not in possession and were deliberate in their approach going forward.
They matched their hosts for 15 minutes, after which it was 0-4 to 0-4. There was never more than a point between the teams with Harkin putting over two frees for Gaoth Dobhair and Daire Ó Baoill and Cian Mulligan also scoring.
Oisin Gallen posted two for MacCumhaill’s and was joined on the scoreboard by Chad McSorley and Luke Gavigan.
Gaoth Dobhair had to think their way into the contest and made use of the turnovers. Harkin brought his first half total to four, with Neil McGee joining the attack to slot over and Eamonn Collum also opening his account for the afternoon.
However, Gallen’s good form up front continued with an excellent long-ranger before three frees and at half-time, MacCumhaill’s were level at 0-8 to 0-8 at half-time.
The only change at half-time was the referee, with James Connors taking over from Shaun McLaughlin, who went onto the line.
After two Collum wides, Niall Friel rewarded some patient Gaoth Dobhair play with the lead score. Again, MacCumhaill’s came back and again it was Gallen the scorer with a free.
After 43 minutes it was 0-9 to 0-9 and there was an air of agitation to be felt and shots got snatchy and presumably it was going exactly how MacCumhaill’s would’ve wanted.
Things got even better in the 48th minute when Gary Wilson played a defence-splitting ball into Padraig Patton, who was rounding Christopher Sweeney and about to pull the trigger when he was hauled down by the Gaoth Dobhair goalkeeper, who was only yellow-carded. Gallen scored the penalty and MacCumhaill’s were 1-9 to 0-9 up with 11 left.
Friel pulled one back with a desperation in the Gaoth Dobhair play. Then, Collum’s free brought it down to one only for Seaghan Ferry to pick up a black card with five to go. James Carroll, on the pitch a matter of seconds having been reintroduced to the panel last month having returned home from Australia, levelled with two minutes left.
Gallen, though, edged MacCumhaill’s in front with an injury time free and there had one foot in the semi-finals. However, Gaoth Dobhair turned it around to win by the bare minimum.
Gaoth Dobhair, though, pulled it from the fire.
Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney; Christopher McFadden, Neil McGee (0-1), Gary McFadden; Niall Friel (0-2), Domhnall Mac Giolla Bhride, Daire Ó Baoill (0-1); Odhrán McFadden-Ferry, Neil McGee; Cian Mulligan (0-2), Ethan Harkin (0-5, 4f), Naoise Ó Baoill; Eamonn Collum (0-2, 1f), Kevin Cassidy, Seaghan Ferry. Subs: Gavin McBride for Harkin (44), James Carroll (0-1) for C McFadden (58), Harkin for Collum (60+2), Neasan Mac Giolla Bhride for G McBride (60+5)
Sean MacCumhaill’s: Jamie Bell; Christopher Gallagher, Ronan McMenamin, Martin Gallagher; Steven O’Reilly, Gavin Gallagher, Chad McSorley (0-1); Nathan Gavigan, Padhraic Patton; Gary Wilson, Jamie Keegan, Rory Mulligan; Luke Gavigan (0-1), Martin O’Reilly, Oisin Gallen (1-8, 1-0 pen, 5f). Subs: Conor Griffin and Darren O’Leary for Keegan and S O’Reilly (58).
Referee: Shaun McLaughlin (Malin)/ James Connors (St Eunan’s)Tags: