Masters victorious in county final
Dominate Termon to lift Dr Maguire for first time since 1984
By Sean Dunnion
Four Masters 0-15 Termon 0-09
The victorious Four Masters team celebrate in the presentation area as they get ready to bring the Dr Maguire cup
through The Gap to Donegal Town for the first time in 19 years Photos: Jason McGarrigle
Four Masters became Donegal Senior Football Champions again after a lapse of 19 years following a comprehensive win over newcomers Termon on Sunday week last in Mac Cumhaill Park, Ballybofey.
There can be no argument but that Four Masters were deserving winners of the 2003 championship, having overcome St. Nauls, St. Eunans and Ardara in previous rounds, before dismissing the Termon challenge in the final with some delightful football. Before the biggest crowd at a county final in years, the platform for this victory was built around the magnificent half-back line of Karl Lacey, Gareth Britton and Barry Dunnion, midfield combination of the Monaghan brother Barry and Marcus and Shane Carr at centre-half-forward. However, this was a great team effort and not forgetting the other squad members and the management team as well.
After a nervous opening from both teams, Termon went into an early lead through Kevin McMenamin and Johnny McCafferty but by the 18th minute Four Masters had cut loose and raced into a five point lead 0-7 to 0-2 with quick-fire points from Shane Carr (2), Michael Doherty, Ciaran Cassidy, Rory O Donnell (2) and Barry Monaghan. Kevin Mc Menamin and Joel Carr exchanged points before half-time to give the Masters a comfortable five point cushion at the break.
Karl Lacey and Barry Monaghan extended the lead before a mini-revival from Termon, with points from Daireann Gibson, Johnny McCafferty and Kevin McMenamin to reduce the deficit to four points. Four Masters upped the tempo again and points from Karl Lacey, Michael Doherty (2) and Shane Carr opened up an eight point lead with nine minutes left. Termon battled gamely until the end and reduced the final deficit to six points but this was Four Masters day and there were joyous scenes when the Dr. Maguire Cup was presented to captain Barry Monaghan before heading back through the Gap for the first time since 1984.
Four Masters: Paul Durcan, Damien Cassidy, Don Monaghan, Patrick Gillespie, Karl Lacey (0-2), Gareth Britton, Barry Dunnion, Marcus Monaghan, Barry Monaghan (0-2), Derek McGinty, Shane Carr (0-3), Joel Carr (0-1), Rory ODonnell (0-2), Ciaran Cassidy (0-1), Michael Doherty (0-4) Subs. Martin Cassidy, Shane Gillespie, Kevin Clarke, Kevin Molloy, Peadar Espey, Charlie McNulty, Sean Durcan, Vinny Murray, Enda Caldwell, Lee Gorman, Niall Cassidy, James Doherty. Management: Michael Kelly, Paddy Muldoon, Corny Carr, Emlyn Hughes, Daire Brennan and Gerry Molloy.
Four Masters lift U-14 Title
by Sean Dunnion
Four Masters 1.13 St. Nauls 1.08
This eagerly awaited replay of the Under 14 championship final took place on Saturday week last between Four Masters and neighbours St. Nauls in Fintra, these two teams being the dominant forces in underage football for the past three years. The Masters had claimed the Under 12 title in 2001 with St. Nauls taking the Under 13 crown in 2002 so this was always going to be a close affair.
It was nip and tuck throughout with the Masters getting the early scores through Raymie Mc Groary and Conor Mc Monagle. Barry Rose replied for the Mountcharles lads but further points from Mc Monagle, Ryan Earley and Paul Mc Intyre had Four Masters 0.05 to 0.01 after 15 minutes. Pauric Coyle got a point for St. Nauls to give them a lift and two more points were pegged on by Shane Mc Hugh and Chris Burke. Paul Mc Intyre raced forward again for a fine point but with five minutes to go to half-time Pauric Coyle fielded a high ball from Barry Rose to turn and crash to the net for 1.04 to 0.06 interval lead for St. Nauls.
Early in the second period Paul Mc Intyre and Conor Mc Monagle had edged the Masters ahead but again Barry Rose brought the teams level. Again the Donegal Town lads pulled away with points from Hugh Mc Partland and sub Oisin Mc Ginty. Paul Mc Intyre and Brendan Breen exchanged points but with ten minutes to go Four Masters were beginning to dominate midfield and look the more likely winners. Indeed this was further evident when with five minutes left on the clock another sub Stephen Walsh struck from close range for a goal and try as they might St. Nauls could not recover from this killer blow.
Overall Four Masters were deserving winners on the day but there is no doubt that these two fantastic sides will meet again in championship deciders many times in the years ahead.
Four Masters: James Mc Daid, Darragh Sweeney, Josh Lacey, Jamie Mc Crea, Paul Mc Intyre (0.4), David Crawford, Ronan Harvey, Dermot Mc Hugh, Raymie Mc Groary (0.1), Sean O Kennedy, Conor Mc Monagle (0.3), Ryan Earley (0.1), Patrick O Kennedy, Hugh Mc Partland (0.1), Stephen Keeney. Subs. Oisin Mc Ginty (0.3), Stephen Walsh (1.0)
St. Nauls: Colm Kelly, Karl Rose, Shane Mc Devitt, Danny Brennan, Stuart Johnston (0.1), Colin Mc Erlean, Fiacra Mc Ginley, Barry Rose (0.2), Chris Burke (0.1), Shane Mc Hugh (0.1), Donagh Mc Brearty, Brendan Breen (0.2), Gerard Jordan, Pauric Coyle (1.1), Jonathan Carr Sub. Brian Mulhern
Masters almost topple Blaney in 1st round
Four Masters 0-08 Castleblaney Faughs 0-08
By Sean Dunnion
Derek McGinty charges upfield against the 'Blaney defence
Reigning county champions shook off the celebrations to almost cause an upset in this preliminary round of the Ulster Club Championship on Sunday in MacCumhaill Park. Castleblaney with many years experience in this competition were the fancied side and indeed showed their credentials early on by racing into a 0-04 to 0-01 lead after 12 minutes through three points from Kieran Tavey and one from Dermot Mc Ardle - Four Masters reply coming from a free from Michael Doherty.
Four Masters settled well and completely dominated the second quarter and three further points from Michael Doherty had the sides level at four points each at half-time. The Masters took up where they left off after the break with two further points from Doherty and a brace from Barry Monaghan to lead 0-08 to 0-04 with 9 minutes left. A fantastic save by Paul Durcan kept Blaney at bay but the Monaghan champions were driving forward at every opportunity. They were rewarded with points from Tavey and Dermot Duffy before a dubious free scored by Tavey again left the minimum between the sides.
Again Castleblaney won the kick-out and stormed forward for the equalising score from Edwin Murphy on the stroke of full-time. Four Masters will feel disappointed losing a four point lead but can take great encouragement going into the replay next Sunday in Clones that they are well capable of winning and advancing to the next round.
Donegal Town F.C.
The senior team got back to winning ways on Sunday last at the Hospital Field with a resounding 12-0 victory over Orchard Utd. Scorers on the day were Damien Dunnion with 4 goals, Paul Ringo Cannon 3, Darren Kelly 3, Warren Montgomorey and Peter Donaghy, with 1 each. While it was a very convincing team performance, JP Byrne was particularly impressive at the heart of defence.
Next weekend sees the team make the journey to Glenree for an Ulster Junior Cup tie.
The U16s also had a very successful weekend, their 2-1 victory over St Catherines in Killybegs on Saturday takes them joint top in the South Donegal Schoolboys League. Goals from Ciaran OReilly and Robert Timony were enough to secure all 3 points and keep them on course for league success. A great spirited team effort with Gareth Morrow and the McGroary brothers having outstanding games.
The U16s are at home to Swilly Rovers this Saturday 25th at 11am in the Barry Cup, all support welcome. The all-weather facility at the Hospital field is proving a great success and is constantly in use in the evening hours and is still available on Saturdays and Sundays. Any clubs or groups wishing to avail of these hours should ring 087 7556376.
The club will soon be launching its Christmas draw and with recent developments made at the club all local support for the draw would be appreciated. Tickets will be available from all club players and members.
Finally, we would like to congratulate the Four Masters senior and U14 sides on their great success in the County Championship recently and wish the seniors all the best for the trip to Clones next Sunday.