Gaoth Dobhair are just one win away from a first All-County League Division 1 success in 12 years after a nine-point win over Glenswilly at Pairc Naomh Columba.
Glenswilly 0-12 Gaoth Dobhair 2-15
Gaoth Dobhair play in Milford on Sunday and then finish the campaign with a local derby against Dungloe in Maghergallon before heading into the Group of ‘ Death ‘ in the championship which includes St.Eunans, Naomh Conaill and Dungloe.
The visitors started well here against a home team that had Michael Murphy making a welcome return, but were without the likes of Neil Gallagher, Gary McFadden and Ciaran Bonner.
Gaoth Dobhair’s strength in depth this season meant they could make five changes from the team that started in Glenties on Sunday.
They started well here and led by 1-07 to 0-02 by the twenty minute mark.
Odhran MacNaillais accounted for 1-04 of that 1-07 with four points from frees and a super solo goal as he raced through to finish brilliantly after the home side had kicked away possession and Gaoth Dobhair broke out at pace to punish them.
The home team had almost goaled themselves three minutes earlier when Philip O’Donnell got his fist to Oisín Crawford’s dropping ball but Christopher Sweeney denied him with a good save.
Kevin Cassidy, Gavin McBride and Eamonn Collum also added points for Gaoth Dobhair while a Murphy free and a good finish by Keelan Mc Fadden accounted for Glenswilly’s opening two scores. T
o their credit Glenswilly scored four of the final five points of the half , two frees from Michael Murphy and fine scores from play by Ruiari Crawford and Caolan Kelly, with MacNaillais adding another free to leave it 1-08 to 0-06 in favour of Gaoth Dobhair at the break.
Half-Time sub Christopher McFadden made a brilliant block to deny Brian Farrelly in the first minute of the second-half but it was all Gaoth Dobhair for the next 15 minutes as they raced to a 2-14 to 0-08 lead.
Eamon McGee, James Carroll, Odhran MacNaillais and Conor McCafferty all added points.
Farrelly replied but then Eamonn McGee finished off a sweeping Gaoth Dobhair move with their second goal in the 42nd minute.
In the final quarter Michael Murphy added four points from play and placed balls, sub Donnacha Gallagher pointed from play and fittingly MacNaillais rounded off the scoring for Gaoth Dobhair with an excellent point from play to bring their total to 2-15 and his to 1-08.
Michael Carroll, on a short trip home, was an interested spectator at the game. He to the USA later this week for a big final out there before returning again to join up with the Gaoth Dobhair squad to prepare for the championship challenge ahead.
Glenswilly: James Gallagher; Mark McAteer, Eamonn Ward, Paddy McFadden; Oisín Crawford, Ryan Diver, Caoimhin Marley; Ruiari Crawford (0-1), Stephen O’Donnell; Sean Wogan, Caolan Kelly (0-1), Brian Farrelly (0-1); Keelan McFadden (0-1), Michael Murphy (0-7 5f, 1 ;45), Philip O Donnell. Subs: Darren McGinley for P.McFadden (black card, 25), Donnacha Gallagher for K.Mc Fadden (40), Jason McGeehan for Diver (44) , Leigh Crerand for O’Donnell (50).
Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney; Jamie Boyle, Neil McGee, Gary McFadden; Conor McCafferty (0-1), Dan McBride, Seaghan Ferry; Peter McGee, Odhran MacNaillais (1-8); Kieran Gillespie, Eamonn McGee (1-1), Eamonn Collum (0-1); James Carroll (0-1), Kevin Cassidy (0-1) , Gavin Mc Bride (0-2, 1f ). Subs: Christopher McFadden for Gillespie (half-time). Neasan McBride for McBride (45), Sean Boyle for Collum (52), Ryan Kelly for McCafferty (55) , Sean Doherty for MacNaillais (58).
Referee: James Conners (St.Eunan’s).