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November 12th 2003

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Masters come from behind to beat Cavan Gaels

A determined Peadar Espey shrugs of a tough tackle, Photo: Jason McGarrigle

Four Masters 0-13 : Cavan Gaels 0-11

A great win for Four Masters against Cavan Gaels at Ballybofey on Sunday – but at the end of the first half you would not have bet on the home side pulling off the victory. Trailing 8-4 at half time, there was a mountain to climb.
At the start of the second half, Charlie McNulty and Enda Caldwell replaced Derek Mc Ginty and Rory O’Donnell, Karl Lacey moved to half forward and Shane Carr to midfield. These changes helped made the difference. Cavan scored first in this half, but points by Barry Monaghan and Peader Espey brought the margin back to three. Then Karl Lacey scored - just two points between the sides. At this stage, Dunnion and Lacey were terrorising the Cavan back line but a few bad wides were nullifying their efforts.
Duffy scored for Gaels against the run of play before Doherty put the ball over the bar from a 45 - followed by a Lacey point to leave the minimum margin between the sides. Michael Doherty then scored from a free - sides level with 8 minutes to go. Playing brilliantly, the Masters were now rampant in all sectors. Another free by Doherty put the Masters ahead for the first time - 5 minutes to go. Then Ford scored for Gaels – level again.
With Masters camped in the Cavan half for most of the second period - the last minutes were nail-biting – 11 points a side – what was going to happen?
The time was ticking down when Masters were again awarded a free which Doherty pointed; 12-11, the tension was unbearable. A Cavan wide from Ling brought a huge cheer from the home supporters. Straight from the kick-out, Karl Lacey got the ball and scored - 2 points in front.
And thus it finished - a great win for Masters to set them up for a semi-final place against Antrim champs St Galls in two weeks time at Clones.

Sam back in
the Hills of Donegal!
Aghayarn Dinner Dance held in Abbey Hotel

Tyrone Senior team sponsor Willie John Dolan and Abbey Hotel man Shane Connoly proudly hold Sam aloft

Tyrone businessman pays €30,000 for Canavans Kit

Mr John McHugh, a roadworks contractor has paid just over €30,000 (Stg 21,000) for the kit worn by Peter Canavan in this years All Ireland football final at a fundraising auction in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town on a recent Saturday night. The fundraiser was for west Tyrone GAA club St Davogs, Aghayarn. It is not known what Mr McHugh plans to do with the kit but a club member said that he had bought it as a gift for his two young sons Edward and Garvin.
Club spokesman Mr Tommy Moss was more than delighted at the generosity shown by Canavan.
“We’re very grateful to Peter Canavan, he’s made a big impression on our club funds,” he said. Mr Moss was not surprised at the amount paid for the kit.
“I wasn’t really surprised such was the was the interest from other bidders, it was a very popular item and there was three or four men bidding as well. It’s one of the spin offs of winning the All Ireland”, he said.
The kit consisted of Canavan’s no. 14 Jersey, his togs,socks and boots Almost 450 attended the function paying Stg £100 per head. MC for the night was RTE’s Michael Lyster and the ‘auctioneer’ was well known rally driver Andrew Nesbitt.

Naomh Brid G.A.A. Notes

Congratulations to the senior team who won the county junior championship title. This was to bridge a 16 year gap since the club had any success and it was richly deserved. Indeed they were denied celebrating the double by a mere point. Red Hugh’s pipped them at the post in the league - ahead by a point. It was Red Hugh’s who were the opposition in the championship as well, but Naomh Brid were determined this time to take the honours . It was a tough sporting game and it was only at the final whistle that the supporters could breathe a sigh of relief. This was a great team effort. The hunger and determination was evident as was their superiority on the pitch throughout the match. Well done to manager Dermot Gallagher and his mentors.
With great pride and joy the cup was taken to home ground -visiting all corners of the parish accompanied by a large crowd of supporters who helped in the celebrations.
Thanks to Rosaleen and William Walls and family in the Country Inn for providing the lovely food for the team on Sunday night.
It was great to see so many supporters at the game. No doubt they were great encouragement to the players. Thanks to them all and to those who followed the team all year - at home and away.
The team play the Down champions now in the Ulster competition - date and venue to be decided soon. We wish them good luck. We hope the support will continue.

Four Masters - The Sporting Life

Elsewhere we have recounted the courage and determination of the County team in regaining their pride and dignity after humiliating defeats by Dublin last year and Fermanagh in early summer. That journey’s end coincided with the start of another for Barry Monaghan and Shane Carr when they rejoined Four Masters in training at the beginning of September.
Away back in June Four Masters could only draw with St. Nauls in the first leg of the opening round in the championship and the return leg in Mountcharles was set for that first week-end in September. It was not an auspicious start for what was to come.
They disposed of St Nauls rather handily, but having drawn the short straw for a meeting with St. Eunans in the next round they were not rated as contenders by that GAA chattering class who are so knowledgeable about the game. When Don Monaghan put the clampers on Devenny the younger members of the team took inspirations and confidently showed their class – so the favourites became history.
Four Masters were now in the semi-final against Ardara the new favourites. The new favourites Four Masters were still unrated by the begrudgers who regarded Mc Cools as the only possible barrier to an Ardara chamipionship. Mind you in rating Mc Cools they were simply being dismissive of the Four Masters –what’s new pussycat?
Over twenty years previously Tom Conaghan’s team were treated much the same even though they won two out of four finals in the early eighties. Donal Monaghan was the old man of that team – what pride he must have felt at the heroics of his three sons in this years defeat of St. Eunan’s.
Ardara’s high hopes of a second championship in four years were shattered by a confident and cohesive Four Masters display in the semi-final while Termon burst the McCool’s bubble in the other semi-final.
Well, Four Masters went on to championship victory. They have had no time to bask in the glory of it all as they have had to play each Sunday since in the Ulster Club Championship – two draws, two wins , and are now in the semi-final.
That is what the books of record will tell us, but the titanic nature of these matches will live long in the memories of the players and supporters.
This Four Masters team, which includes all the panel and the manager Michey Kelly and his mentors, have given expression and meaning to sporting competition, rarely seen, even in the GAA concept of club and parish. Mainly a young team, all locals - no big-heads, playing for each other in a competitive cauldron each Sunday, to the highest standards of sportsmanship.
It is a sporting life from which they are taking a full measure of enjoyment and can look back on with pride.
Brian Gallagher

The Donegal Times, The Diamond, Donegal Town, Ireland

Tel: +353-73-22860 Fax: +353-73-22937