Gaoth Dobhair ready for “free shot”

By Shaun Casey

GAOTH DOBHAIR are 60 minutes away from featuring in their first Donegal Senior Championship final since 2019, and boss Trevor Alcorn admits of the four semi-finalists competing for a final berth this weekend, his side is ranked at the bottom.

“For Gaoth Dobhair, we’re probably the underdogs. We’re named fourth out of them top four now at the minute and maybe a lot of critics around the county were kind of pushing Gaoth Dobhair further down and putting them out of the top four.

“But they’ve answered the critics and got into that top four. I know we’re probably bottom of the heap but as I’ve said before, it’s a free shot and we’ll be taking the opportunity with both hands.”

Alcorn’s side take on old rivals Naomh Conaill in a repeat of the three-game 2019 saga when two draws and extra-time was called upon to decide the Donegal winners. Naomh Conaill eventually got over the line and while there have been a few changes to both sides over the intervening years, that rivalry and respect remains.

“It’s a tough draw, throughout the county people would have been saying it’s St Eunan’s to lose or that Kilcar are flying, but Glenties have an amazing record and they know how to play on the big days and perform on the big days so it’s tough.

“We’re happy to be in the position we’re in, we suffered earlier in the year with injuries and stuff like that and maybe a late start, but Gaoth Dobhair have dealt with everything, took everything in their stride and we’re very happy to be in the position we’re in.

“The teams know everything about each other, I know things have moved on and the teams have obviously changed over the years, but the two teams have met in some titanic battles down through the years.

“There’s a lot of history there but there’s a lot of respect between the two teams as well.”

Gaoth Dobhair squeezed into the last four with a one-point win over Aodh Ruadh last weekend and they had to battle for their place in the semi-finals.

“We knew what Aodh Ruadh were going to come with, no more than our free shot now at Glenties, they had a free shot at Gaoth Dobhair and probably went in as underdogs against us that day.

“They were very physical, very strong, very fit. We didn’t go into that game anyway complacent; we know what a battle it was going to be, and we knew what we were going to be in for.

“We knew that they wouldn’t ever lie down or go away, they held us for long periods, and they stayed in the game, and they threatened the goal a few times and the game could have gone either way at stages.

“We probably had chances where we could have pulled away and we didn’t and they stayed in the game and it nearly worked out for them in the end, we were very fortunate, come the last couple of minutes we were glad to hear the final whistle.”

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