Donegal SFC: Naomh Conaill thrilled to edge decider after two weeks of 'absolute mayhem' - Thompson

Naomh Conaill captain Ciaran Thompson admits the last couple of weeks have been 'absolute mayhem'
Naomh Conaill captain Ciaran Thompson admits the last couple of weeks have been 'absolute mayhem'

Naomh Conaill captain Ciaran Thompson says the last two weeks 'have been absolute mayhem' after finally beating Gaoth Dobhair in a marathon Donegal SFC decider.

Naomh Conaill edged the 2018 champions 0-8 to 0-7 in the second replay on Wednesday night after another tight clash in Ballybofey.

Gaoth Dobhair ended the game with 13 men after Eamon McGee and Odhran McFadden-Ferry received red cards.

"It means the world," said Thompson.

"The last two weeks have been absolute mayhem. From the joys of looking forward to the final to the anticlimax with the draw then the replay.

"We didn't know where we were, but credit to the management team and the players, we got grounded very quickly and drove at it again - we knew we had it in us and we knew we wouldn't give up."

Naomh Conaill's win - their fourth Donegal title and first since 2015 - sets up an Ulster SFC first-round meeting with Cavan champions Castlerahan on Sunday after their marathon county decider.

With the Glenties outift edging a closely contested game by a point, McGee was sent off by referee Seamus McGonigle before the start of the second half after allegedly clashing with a member of the Naomh Conaill management.

Thompson, who says he's not sure what happened in the McGee incident, says Naomh Conaill's numerical advantage barely showed as 'they made hard work of it' during a scrappy second half.

"It [McGee's red card] was obviously a boost, but it didn't really show in the end, but we're just delighted to get over the line," said Thompson.

"We knew we had the extra man and we kept the ball at the end, just drawing down the clock by getting the experienced players on the ball. We just ground it out."

We're in a tricky situation ahead of Ulster clash - Molloy

Naomh Conaill win marathon Donegal final as they beat Ulster holders Gaoth Dobhair

Given the intensity of their three encounters with Gaoth Dobhair, Naomh Conaill forward Dermot Molloy says they're in a 'tricky situation' ahead of the Castlerahan clash on Sunday.

"There's no point in saying we've been looking at any videos of Castlerahan because we've been focusing on Gaoth Dobhair," said 2012 All-Ireland winner Molloy.

"We're in a very tricky situation going into Ulster, but we're going to land up in Breffni Park on Sunday and, the one thing about Naomh Conaill, we'll be ready for it."

Having finally overcome Gaoth Dobhair, Molloy admits the last few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions, but feels the club silenced those who said they 'missed the boat' after missing two injury-time chances in the first game on 20 October.

"We were probably disappointed, but there was such a different feeling in our dressing room on Sunday night," he said.

"We were buzzing to get back here and finish the job and I think you could see that. We've lost the last two finals so to come back and win it is just phenomenal."

Naomh Conaill face Cavan champions Castlerahan in the Ulster SFC first round at Breffni Park on Sunday, with throw-in at 14:30 GMT.

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