A much hungrier Four Masters were easy winners over Glenswilly in an open game at Tirconaill Park.
Four Masters 0-17
Four Masters needed the points more and it showed in the performance. The home side were without Karl Lacey (injured heel), Barry Monaghan and Barry Dunnion (who became a dad early on Sunday morning). Neil Gallagher was not togged for the visitors as he picked up a leg injury in county training on Saturday.
Peader Espey had the winners on their way after just 25 seconds and the story of the first half was the free-taking of Paul ‘Papa’ Durcan, who landed four from outside the 45m line. He was off target with just one and made up for that with another in the second half.
It was impressive, especially as Masters were playing into the stiff breeze in the opening half. They led 0-4 to no score before Gary McFadden had Glenswilly’s first point from a free on 12 minutes.
While Kevin McBrearty pushed the lead out to 0-6 to 0-1 by the 18th minute, Glenswilly were on terms seven minutes later with points from Darren McGinley and a Michael Murphy free before Murphy slipped a neat pass to Joe Gibbons, who finished the only goal of the game.
However, before half-time frees from Peadar Espey (2) and Durcan left Four Masters ahead by 0-9 to 1-3 at the break.
Great work by Patrick Reid, saw Conor McMonagle point and Espey put five between them with eight minutes of the second half played. Gary McFadden pulled a point back, but that was to be Glenswilly’s only score of the second half.
Michael Murphy, well watched by Luke Keaney, did have a couple of goal chances, hitting an upright when clean through and also pulling an effort across goal, but Four Masters kept pulling away with Sean O’Kennedy, Pauric Harvey and Michael Doherty stretching the lead to 0-14 to 1-4 with 10 minutes left.
Glenswilly had no answer and Durcan hit another effort from well outside the 45m line while Michael Doherty and substitute Emmett Doogan closed out the scoring.
Just before the end both sides picked up a black card with Darren McGinley of Glenswilly and Daniel McGarrigle of Four Masters replaced.
Apart from Durcan, Kevin McBrearty impressed for the winners along with Conor Rooney, John Boyle, Danny McGarrigle, Peadar Espey and Conor McGonagle. For a disappointing Glenswilly, Darren McGinley, Aidan McDevitt and Joe Gibbons were best.
Four Masters: P Durcan (0-5,5f); D Walsh, L Keaney, R O’Donnell; J Boyle, C Rooney, J Lacey; K McBrearty (0-1), D McGarrigle (0-1); G Bennett, P Espey (0-4,3f), P Harvey (0-1); P Reid, M Doherty (0-2), C McMonagle (0-1). Subs., S O’Kennedy (0-1) for Bennett 32; C McDaid For Reid 41; S Meehan for R O’Donnell 52; G Bennett for McGarrigle, black card 56; E Doogan (0-1) for Espey 57; R Balogan for Harvey 60.
Glenswilly: P O’Donnell; J Gibbons (1-0), E Ward, R Diver; C Callaghan, A McDevitt, C Gallagher; B Molloy, C Kelly; P Diver, Darren McGinley (0-1), C Gibbons; G McFadden (0-2,1f), M Murphy (0-1,f), O Crawford. Subs., Dermot McGinley for P Diver 27; R Toner for Molloy 42; P McGonagle for C Gibbons 47; G McGrenra for Darren McGinley, black card 55.
Referee: M McShane (Kilcar)