A blustery day in Dungloe led to a game of two halves with a strong breeze blowing straight up the pitch. Four Masters ground out a much-needed win in a low-scoring game dictated by the conditions.
Dungloe 0-8 Four Masters 0-9
Dungloe were first out of the blocks as, aided by the strong breeze, they took the lead with a point from tricky corner-forward, Oisin Bonner.
This was followed up by two long range points from play by Noel McBride using the breeze to perfection. Both teams were playing with a lot of men behind the ball and it was working to Dungloe’s advantage. Masters lost centre-half-back, Conor Rooney, to a knee injury after 15 minutes who was replaced by Eoghan Corley.
Dungloe had another point from play off the left boot of Daniel Ward. Four Masters were struggling to get close enough to goal to make their shots count while Dungloe were able to take pot shots from distance.
A high tackle on Daniel Ward led to a free from the 45 with Danny Rodgers coming up to slot between the posts.
Into injury time and a point from Adam Neely put six between the sides. Thomas McGowan handed Masters a lifeline with a pointed 45 against the breeze to close out the half.
The second half was a mirror image of the first with Four Masters making all the early running. An early turnover by Aaron McCrea, now operating at centre-half-back, set the tone. A shot from distance from David Quinn came back of the upright but was fed back out to Kevin McBrearty who made no mistake.
A free by Quinn was initially waved wide by referee Shane Toolan but, after discussion, was chalked up. A McGowan free left 2 between the sides and the momentum was with Masters.
Dungloe rallied well and had the next point from a free by Oisin Bonner followed by a wide from McBride off his left. Another Masters point from play by Quinn was cancelled out by a reply from Neely before Conor McDaid left two between the sides again. An off-the-ball challenge on McCrea left the Masters man needing treatment and when the ball next went out of play the referee brandished a black card to Jack Scally.
The game had opened up at this stage. Conor McMonagle got away from his man and worked the ball into the Dungloe 13 before passing to McDaid, who found Jamie Crawford but his shot was blocked and the chance lost as Dungloe got enough defenders back.
McGowan then followed up his first half 45 with another and Patrick Reid wriggled his way out of a tackle on the end line to aim for goal but his shot was high and went over the bar. Crawford found himself in space ahead of his man on the right wing before taking a few solos and slotting over putting Masters ahead for the first time in the game.
Dungloe were not finished however and pushed for an equaliser. Davy McCarron had the final chance but the wind took his lofted shot to the right and wide.
Dungloe: Danny Rodgers (0-1,f); Jason McBride, Matt O’Donnell, Jack Scally; David McCarron, Mark Curran, Christy Greene; Noel McBride (0-2), Darren Curran; Conor O’Donnell, Daniel Ward (0-1), Barry Curran; Adam Neely (0-2, 1f), Conor Greene, Oisin Bonner (0-2,1f). Subs: Shaun Wallace for Conor Greene (49), Shaun Sharkey for Jack Scally (black card, 53).
Four Masters: Martin Cassidy; Brian Fegan, Dylan Kennedy, Cathal Canavan; Aaron McCrea, Conor Rooney, Caolan Loughney ;Oisin Reid, Kevin McBrearty (0-1); Conor McMonagle, David Quinn (0-2,1f) Thomas McGowan (0-3, 3f); Jamie Crawford (0-1), Patrick Reid (0-1), Conor McDaid (0-1). Subs: Eoin Corley for Conor Rooney (15), Aidan McHugh for Eoin Curley (43).Tags: