THEY WAITED for their moments, but they arrived in devastating fashion as Gaoth Dobhair flexed their muscles against Kilcar advance into the Donegal SFC final.
Gaoth Dobhair 3-8 Kilcar 0-12
By Chris McNulty at Sean MacCumhaill Park. Pictures by Evan Logan
The champions were in control of this for the most part and, in front of 5,400 on a splendid day by the Finn, goals proved the winning of the game as they teed up an October 20 clash with Naomh Conaill.
This one was in the balance until Gaoth Dobhair hit a third goal on 54 minutes. Odhrán Mac Niallais kicked a long free, Cassidy caught, spun and found the net.
It came just when Kilcar had notions perhaps of tipping the game back in their favour, but Cassidy’s major put it beyond reach of Kilcar, who couldn’t get closer than two points in the second half.
Kilcar were out on the field for the second half for a good few moments before Gaoth Dobhair – who were 1-4 to 0-5 ahead, thanks to an Eamonn Collum goal – arrived back.
Once Jimmy White threw the leather to to the sky, Gaoth Dobhair hurried. Daire Ó Baoill burst forward and a thunderous finish ti the top corner gave Eamonn McGinley, the KIlcar goalkeeper, no chance.
Ó Baoill’s cracking finish was followed by a stylish Mac Niallais point.
Suddenly, Gaoth Dobhair led by six, 2-5 to 0-5.
Gaoth Dobhair survived a real scare last Sunday when they relinquished an eight-point advantage and ultimately needed extra time to get past Bundoran.
It was a shock to the system, but Gaoth Dobhair came good in the first period of extra time to get over the line.
And their nerves jangled here when Kilcar hit four-in-a-row, in a ten-minute spell, to get back into the tie.
Stephen McBrearty’s cracking score from the left-hand side raised the Kilcar decibels and Patrick McBrearty had the Towney men just two behind.
The gap would have been narrower still with Kilcar on top, but Mac Niallais came in with a timely block to charge down an effort from Conor Doherty that could have further reduced the arrears.
Naoise Ó Baoill stemmed the flow with a score that had White’s umpires at the Town End in disagreement. The point was awarded and Gaoth Dobhair settled again.
Six minutes from the end, Cassidy prodded in and Gaoth Dobhair were on their way back to the final.
Kilcar were decimated by injuries to Patrick McBrearty and Ryan McHugh in 2018 as their hold on Dr Maguire was loosened. They were back with a new summer of hope this time and a routine group phase was followed by last weekend’s dispatch of derby rivals Kilcar.
Matthew McClean’s double opened up an early advantage for the south-west men, but Collum and Niall Friel quickly had Gaoth Dobhair level.
Two from Patrick McBrearty restored Kilcar’s lead and Gaoth Dobhair’s 14-minute spell without a score ended when Collum palmed home at the back post after a strong run by Cian Mulligan.
Kevin Cassidy landed a huge score off his left foot and when Mac Niallais landed a beauty from 40 metres the champions were three in front.
A McBrearty narrowed the gap, but Gaoth Dobhair’s blistering start to the second half meant they had plenty to hold on to for the remainder to stave off a Kilcar comeback.
Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney; Gary McFadden, Neil McGee, Kieran Gillespie; Niall Friel (0-1), Dan McBride, Daire Ó Baoill (1-0); Michéal Carroll, Eamon McGee; Odhrán McFadden-Ferry, Odhrán Mac Niallais (0-2, 1f), Naoise Ó Baoill (0-1); Cian Mulligan (0-1), Kevin Cassidy (1-1), Eamonn Collum (1-1, 1f). Subs: Gavin McBride for Collum (57), Peter McGee for D.McBride (59), Seaghan Ferry for N.Ó Baoill (60), Christopher McFadden for McFadden-Ferry (60).
Kilcar: Eamonn McGinley; Barry McGinley, Conor McShane, Pauric Carr; Ryan McHugh, Michael Hegarty, Barry McGinley; Mark McHugh (0-2, 1f, 1 ’45), Ciaran McGinley; Andrew McClean (0-1), Conor Doherty, Eoin McHugh (0-1); Matthew McClean (0-2), Patrick McBrearty (0-5, 2f), Stephen McBrearty (0-1).
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).Tags: