Naomh Conaill 0-08 Gaoth Dobhair  0-07

After three epic encounters Naomh Conaill are champions in Donegal but they had just a point to spare over 13-man Gaoth Dobhair in the replay in MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey.

The winners showed the greater hunger and they went three clear in the second half, but had to withstand another Gaoth Dobhair comeback which had the sides level late on. 

Then controversy arose as John O'Malley's winner looked wide and the umpires seemed undecided but it was awarded thanks to the intervention of a linesman.

The indiscipline of Gaoth Dobhair was a factor as they lost Eamon McGee after an incident as the teams left the field at half-time and Odhrán McFadden Ferry was sent off near the end.

Gaoth Dobhair had McFadden Ferry back in the starting line up while Naomh Conaill were without the experienced Eoin Waide because of injury.

The intensity levels were just as high in the opening half of this third game, especially from the Conaill defence.

Cian Mulligan got the scoring under way after just two minutes but Naomh Conaill were in front within a couple of minutes with two Charles McGuinness frees.

Ciaran Thompson added a third Naomh Conaill point from a 45 on 13 minutes before Michael Carroll hit a good point from play for the Magheragallon men.

Gaoth Dobhair were dropping shots short under huge pressure and two further points from Leo McLoone with the outside of his right and Ethan O'Donnell had the underdogs 0-05 to 0-02 ahead.

But before half-time Mulligan pulled a point back before Michael Carroll hit the point of the half to leave just a point in it at the break, Gaoth Dobhair 0-04 Naomh Conaill 0-05.

However, there was controversy at half-time after a scuffle between the players and McGee was shown red before the second half started.

Indeed, his brother, Neil was lucky to escape censure as tempers flared up. 

It took 10 minutes before we had a score in the second half with young Jeaic MacCeallabhui hitting a fine point, and a minute later MacCeallabhui was involved again as Thompson opened up a three-point gap.

After a gap of over 20 minutes Carroll cut the lead with 12 minutes left and Odhrán MacNiallais hit his first of the contest to leave just a point in it.

Gaoth Dobhair lost their best player, Carroll, to a black card but after a patient period they won a free with just over as minute left for Eamonn Collum to level matters once more.

Then came a controversial score as O'Malley lofted the ball towards the Gaoth Dobhair goals and the umpires were not sure, but it was given by the linesman to put Naomh Conaill ahead again.

In added time Gaoth Dobhair were reduced to 13 when McFadden Ferry was shown a straight red.

Scorers - Naomh Conaill: Charles McGuinness 00-2 (0-02f); Ciaran Thompson 00-2, 00-1'45'; Ethan O'Donnell, Leo McLoone, Jeaic MacCeallabhui and John O'Malley 0-1 each.

Gaoth Dobhair: Michael Carroll 00-3; Cian Mulligan 00-2, Odhrán Mac Niallais, Eamonn Collum (f) 00-1

Naomh Conaill: Stephen McGrath; Ultan Doherty, AJ Gallagher, Kevin McGettigan; Ethan O'Donnell, Anthony Thompson, Marty Boyle; Ciaran Thompson, Leo McLoone; Brendan McDyer, Eoghan McGettigan, Eunan Doherty; Jeaic Mac Ceallabhui, Charles McGuinness, Kieran Gallagher.

Subs: Stephen Molloy for M Boyle 39; Dermot Molloy for McDyer 42; John O'Malley for Mac Ceallabhui 50; Nathan Byrne for McGuinness 53; Marty Boyle for K Gallagher 69

Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney, Gary McFadden, Neil McGee, Seaghan Ferry; Niall Friel, Dan McBride, Dáire Ó Baoill; Michael Carroll, Eamon McGee; Odhrán McFadden Ferry, Odhrán Mac Niallais, Naoise Ó Baoill; Cian Mulligan, Kevin Cassidy, Gavin McBride.

Subs: James Boyle for G McBride 33; Peter McGee for S Ferry 51; Eamonn Collum for Carroll (black card 55)