Karl Lacey led the way as Four Masters overcame Malin by seven points at blustery Tir Chonaill Park.
Four Masters 1-10 Malin 0-6
By Chris McNulty at Tir Chonaill Park
The former Footballer of the Year and four-time All-Star hit three points for Kevin Lyons’ team, who saw Thomas McGowan blast home a first-half penalty.
Lacey, who is a selector with Declan Bonner to the Donegal senior footballers, hasn’t featured much for the Donegal Town men this year, but he was pivotal here and his afternoon included a couple of cracking points off the left boot.
Last weekend, Four Masters needed a late Kevin McBrearty goal for a win in Glenfin that saw them stay in Division 2 with barely the skins of their teeth to spare.
McBrearty struck in added time to keep Four Masters afloat.
In the process, it was Malin – just a week after they thought they were already safe – who dropped to Division 3 and the Inishowen side looked but a pale shadow of a side that was in two semi-finals in recent years.
Malin scored just once from play – via sub Dan McDaid – and will do well to lift themselves now to emerge from this group.
Four Masters’ goal arrived in the 22nd minute. Oisin Reid was fouled by Malin goalkeeper Daniel Mullarkey after connecting with McGowan’s centre. McGowan stepped up and slammed the penalty past a helpless Mullarkey.
There had been openings at both ends early in the game.
Four Masters’ Liam McHugh bore in on goal, but was denied by Mullarkey in the third minute.
At the other end, Paul McLaughlin saw a goal-bound shot, after being fed by Adam Byrne, deflect out off goalkeeper Martin Cassidy.
Four Masters finished the first half well with McGowan, Daire Quinn and Lacey putting them 1-4 to 0-2 in front.
McBrearty sailed over off the outside of his right boot and Lacey arched over following good approach work by Quinn.
Malin, by now, were in danger of folding, but they did stage something of a mini revival as Paul McLaughlin, Benny McLaughlin and McDaid ended a barren 20-minute spell.
Lacey bent over from a narrow angle with his left 10 minutes from the end and some brave defending prevented the home side getting in for a second goal.
Malin’s woe was completed when Mick McLaughlin was sent off in the 55th minute.
Four Masters: Martin Cassidy; Ciaran Monaghan, John Boyle, Aaron McCrea; Daire Quinn (0-1), Barry Dunnion, Cathal Canavan; Liam McHugh (0-1), Jason Duignan; Kevin McBrearty (0-2), Karl Lacey (0-3), Oisin Reid; Ryan Fagan, Thomas McGowan (1-3, 2f), Neil Ward. Subs: Emmett Doogan for Reid (23), Michael Doherty for Dunnion (49), Sean Meehan for Ward (50), Dylan Kennedy for Duignan (53), Caolan Loughney for Lacey (60).
Malin: Daniel Mullarkey; Gary Farren, Damien Harkin, Mick McLaughlin; Conor McColgan, Declan Walsh, Kieran McNicholas; Adam Byrne, Ciaran Doherty; Oisin McGonagle, Stephen McLaughlin, Seamus Doherty; Brendan McLaughlin (0-4, 3f, 1 ’45), Joe Doherty, Paul McLaughlin (0-1f). Subs: Dan McDaid (0-1) for McGonagle (half-time), Daniel Houghton for J.Doherty (41), Conor Farren for G.Farren (56), Sean Byrne for McNicholas (56).
Referee: Enda McFeely (St Mary’s, Convoy).Tags: