Played in perfect conditions at Greenbrae Park, Gweedore began brightest, with Damien O’Sullivan and Cathal Campbell in centre midfield winning possession for the away team and Jamie Boyle and Brendan McGeady causing problems on the left wing. For all the pressure Gweedore didn’t create any clear openings.
Lifford gradually came into the game and dominated for the final 20 minutes of the first-half. As the game progressed they should have taken the lead on three separate occasions, chances falling to Johnny Mahon, Alan Gethins and Patrick Sumners. On each occasion they failed to hit the target. David McGee came on for the injured Cathal Campbell after 35 minutes. Eamon McGee forced the Lifford Keeper into a good save on the stroke of half-time with a shot from the edge of the box.
It was Gweedore who created the better chances as the second half wore on and they got their reward after Eamon McGee flicked on a long ball to Finnan Diver who scored from close range on 75 minutes. Lifford protested for offside but the goal stood.
As Lifford committed more men forward in search of an equaliser several clear cut chances fell to Gweedore as they counter-attacked. Jamie Boyle headed over from an Eamon McGee cross and Finnan Diver and Eamon Curran both missed one-on-ones with the Lifford Keeper. Ciaran Ferry replaced Eamon Curran with 5 minutes to go.
Lifford continued to search for an equaliser but the Gweedore defence stood firm with Paul Rua McBride and new signing Russell Porter outstanding.
Gweedore Celtic: Michael McKelvey, Johnny McGinty, Russell Porter, Paul McBride, Brendan McGeady, Eamonn Curran, Damien O’Sullivan, Cathal Campbell, Jamie Boyle, Eamonn McGee, Finnan Diver. Subs: David McGee, Ciaran Ferry