FOUR MASTERS made safe their senior championship status as they overcame Malin in tonight’s play-off in Convoy.
Four Masters 2-13 Malin 1-7
By Chris McNulty in Convoy
Goals in either half from Patrick Reid and Jamie Crawford steered Four Masters over the line as the Donegal Town men preserved their senior status.
The second goal, 14 minutes into the second half, was the killer score.
Crawford surged in from the right-hand side and fired beyond Darragh McLaughlin to put six between them.
Cillian Faulkner – in for his first taste of senior action – Eoghan Corley, Conor Daid and Kevin McBrearty, who landed five points, took added to the tally late in the game.
There were many on the terrace still zipping their coats closed when Four Masters struck gold with the first play of the game.
It’s not a moment that the Malin ‘keeper, Darragh McLaughlin, will be looking for a re-run of. Jamie Crawford’s ball in dropped short, McLaughlin couldn’t hold on and Reid slapped home. There were only 15 seconds gone on Connie Doherty’s stopwatch and a hammer blow for the north Inishowen men.
Kevin McBrearty, Crawford and Cillian Faulkner made it a six-point game after just five minutes.
The procession continued when Caolan Loughney drilled over and Malin were in big trouble.
Just when it seemed as if the game was in danger of running away from them, Malin were given a real lifeline with a goal on 13 minutes.
Christy McLaughlin sent Stephen McLaughlin on his way and the former Donegal panelist smashed past Martin Cassidy.
McBrearty and Conor McDaid, from a free, put five between them again, but Malin hit back and Christy McLaughlin landed a majestic 40-metre free, moments after a similar attempt crashed off an upright.
McBrearty was striking superbly and a delightful free from the chalk of the ’45 put Four Masters in front by five, but Sean O’Neill reduced the arrears right on the short whistle.
Four Masters had recovered from the disappointment of relegation from Division 2 in the League to shock Glenswilly with an 11-point away win in the group stage of the Championship, but defeats to Milford and Glenfin meant they had to go through the play-off ringer.
Malin – who finished with 14 men after the 48th minute sending off of Oisin McGonagle for a second yellow – must go again and face Ardara in a do-or-die play-off to see who drops to intermediate.
Four Masters: Martin Cassidy; Cathal Canavan, Dylan Kennedy, Brian Fagan; John Boyle, Barry Dunnion, Eoghan Corley (0-1); Kevin Breslin, Kevin McBrearty (0-5, 2f); Jamie Crawford (1-1), Caolan Loughney (0-1), Leo McHugh; Cillian Faulkner (0-3, 1f), Patrick Reid (1-0), Conor McDaid (0-2, 1f). Subs: Neil Ward for Reid (42), Emmet Doogan for Loughney (56), Oisin Reid for McHugh (60).
Malin: Darragh McLaughlin; Sean Byrne, Ciaran Doherty, Kieran McColgan; Conor Byrne, Damian Harkin, Oisin McGonagle; Christy McLaughlin (0-3, 2f), Dan McDaid (0-1); Charlie Byrne, Stephen McLaughlin (1-0), Sean O’Neill (0-1); Conor McGeoghegan, Paul McLaughlin (0-2, 1f), Josh Conlan. Subs: Conor Farren for Gonagle (16), Darren Mullarkey for McGeoghegan (39), Joe Doherty for O’Neill (42), McGonagle for McDaid (44), Matthew Mullarkey for Conor Byrne (49), Christopher Doherty for Byrne (56).
Referee: Connie Doherty (Naomh Conaill).Tags: