GAOTH DOBHAIR got the better of a spirited Four Masters in Donegal Town with Kevin Cassidy and Odhrán Mac Niallais the goalscorers.
Four Masters 0-7 Gaoth Dobhair 2-17
Pat Campbell’s team had been written off in all quarters ahead of the fixture against the 2018 Ulster champions and although they were well-beaten in the end, Masters did put it up to the esteemed guests initially, both on the scoreboard and in the physical stakes.
However, Gaoth Dobhair, with threats all over the park even without the suspended Eamon McGee and Odhran McFadden-Ferry following last year’s final dismissals, punctured more holes in the bucket than Masters had fingers to plug. Martin Cassidy, the home team’s goalkeeper, had an excellent match in defeat – just like last year in Glenfin.
The Garda made one-on-one saves from Kevin Cassidy and Cian Mulligan in the first half and then Niall Friel in the second.
However, the one time he was beaten was by his namesake Kevin on 28 minutes, although the plaudits rightly went to Gavin McBride.
Odhrán Mac Niallais slung in a deep ball and McBride marked excellently in the crowded square and had the awareness to lay off to Cassidy who had the simplest of tasks of tucking into the empty net.
Gaoth Dobhair were just one up on 25 minutes but finished the half well to go in 1-8 to 0-4 in front. Ethan Harkin scored two excellent long-rangers, while Eamon Collum also struck over twice.
Killian Faulkner, the Masters corner-forward, was a handful and there was a buzz each time he was on the ball and after losses to Naomh Ultan and Naomh Brid in the league, the home support had something to get them on their feet.
The second half was one-way traffic, with Gaorh Dobhir having ironed out the creases in a much more seamless showing. McBride, Michael Carroll, Cassidy, Daire Ó Baoill, Naoise Ó Baoill and MacNiallais all posted points.
The second goal came five minutes from time when MacNiallais stroked home a penalty after he was fouled by Caolan Loughney.
Gaoth Dobhair welcome Killybegs next weekend and Four Masters will be hoping to repeated their win last year in Glenswilly.
Four Masters: Martin Cassidy; Cathal Canavan (0-1), Caolan Loughney (0-1), Brian Fegan; Barry Dunnion, Dylan Kennedy, Daire Quinn; Leo McHugh, Kevin McBrearty (0-1, 1f); Jamie Crawford, Neil Ward, Aaron McCrea; Killian Faulkner (0-4, 3f), Patrick Reid, Matthew McKenna. Subs: David Quinn for Ward (half-time), Cian Hegarty for Reid (44), Cathal Feeney and Oisin Reid for McCrea and McKenna (55)
Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney; Gary McFadden, Neil McGee, James Ó Baoill; Niall Friel (0-1), Donal Mac Giolla Bhride, Neasan Mac Giolla Bhride; Michael Carroll (0-2), Daire Ó Baoill (0-1); Cian Mulligan(0-1), Odhrán Mac Niallais (1-2, 1-0 pen), Eamon Collum (0-2); Gavin McBride (0-4, 2f, 2 45), Kevin Cassidy (1-1), Ethan Harkin (0-2). Subs: Naoise Ó Baoill (0-1) for Harkin (55).
Referee: Enda McFeely (St Mary’s Convoy)Tags: