NAOMH COLUMBA rolled back the years at senior level in the Donegal Comortas Peile na Gaeltachta in Downings with their win over Gaoth Dobhair today.
Naomh Columba 3-12 Gaoth Dobhair 3-6
The team from Glencolumkille were comfortable winners over Mervyn O’Donnell’s weakened team, who will also take part in the national finals back in Downings in June. It’s their first final appearance at this stage since 1997.
Gaoth Dobhair won the first All-Ireland Gaeltacht title 50 years ago, so they are invited back as guests next month.
Two second half goals did the trick this afternoon after the side managed by Paddy J McGinley were 1-7 to 2-2 ahead at the break.
Michael Carroll palmed the first goal for Gaoth Dobhair in only the second minute, with Niall Friel and Gavin McBride doing the spadework.
Undaunted, 10 minutes later, Naomh Columba replied with a goal of their own when full-back Martin Cunningham rounded Charles J Doherty in the Gaoth Dobhair goal to make the score 1-3 to 1-1.
But five minutes before the break, a pedestrian Gaoth Dobhair, managed to manufacture a second goal with Shaun Boyle palming in with Carroll the instigator following a fine claim in the middle of the field.
Naomh Columba, with Ryan Gillespie and Aaron Doherty doing most of the damage in the forward line, were two points in front at half-time.
Gillespie and Doherty points at the start of the second half meant that Naomh Columba hit the ground running after the restart and on 39 minutes, Ryan McNern drove past Doherty to put the team from the south-west in control.
Then, on 43 minutes, Aaron Doherty goal as Pauric Ward and Christopher Byrne combined to put Naomh Columba 3-9 to 2-3 in front. They’d one foot in the final.
Ryan Kelly did manage to get Gaoth Dobhair’s third goal on 45 minutes bur Naomh Columba had enough about them and were full value for their six-point win.
Naomh Columba:Shane O’Gara; Kieran McBrearty (0-1), Martin Cunningham (1-0), Philip Doherty; Stephen Callaghan, Fionn Gallagher, Stephen Jones; Padraig Byrne, Pauric Ward; Pauric Cunningham (0-1), Ryan Gillespie (0-4, 1f), Ryan McNern (1-1); Tadhg McGinley, Christopher Byrne (0-1), Aaron Doherty (1-4, 2f). Subs: Liam Boyle for McGinley (56), Ronan Gillespie and James Heaney for R McNern and C Byrne (61).
Gaoth Dobhair:Charles J Doherty; James Ó Baoill (0-1), Gary McFadden, Patrick Gribben; Ryan Kelly (1-0), Niall Friel, Neasan Mac Giollan Bhíde; Michael McKelvey, Michael Carroll (1-0); James Carroll, Naoise Ó Baoill, Sean Doherty; Shaun Boyle (1-1), Gavin McBride (0-3, 1f), Joe Duffy. Subs: James Gallagher for J.Carroll (11), Ethan Harkin for S Boyle (40), Daniel McLaughlin (0-1) for Friel (51), Sean Ó Baoill for M.Carroll (56).
Referee:Mark Dorrian (Gaeil Fhánada).Tags: