Four superbly struck points in almost as many minutes from man of the match Micheal Doherty sealed the deal for the home side in this well contested affair in Tir Conaill Park.
Four Masters 0-16
Gaoth Dobhair 1-9
Dazzling Doherty was on the target in a memorable blitz from the 55th minute to the 59th minute to see off the challenge of a decimated Gaoth Dobair who were minus eight players due to Donegal’s double big day out against the Dubs next week.
Four Masters were minus three players, but two of Doherty’s points would grace any arena.
The ex county marksman nailed two frees from almost 70 yards ….an amazing feat even allowing for an assisting breeze.
This affair was fairly evenly poised as the Masters led by a mere point after a Tomas Diver pointed free left the Masters leading by 1-8 to 0-12 before Doherty’s epics.
It was a different story in the opening half where ex county star Kevin Cassidy ran this match from the 40 and sprayed some splendid defence splitting passes with the citeog.
Cassidy found Tomas Diver on the edge of the square with a well- weighted pass and the corner forward blasted home to put the Gaeltacht men ahead by 1-3 to 0-4 in the 24th minute.
And it took a brilliant reflex save from Donegal Town ‘keeper Ryan Haughey to deny Diver after he was again set up by Cassidy in the 14th minute.
Four Masters kept in touch through some well struck frees from veteran Peadar Espey into the breeze and a slight slope as Gaoth Dobhair led by 1-4 to 0-5 at the break.
But it was a snappy scoring spree immediately after half-time that laid the ultimate foundations for victory for the Masters.
The winners switched the in form Barry Dunnion and used Josh Lacey as a sweeper to curb the influence of Cassidy.
And with the ageless Barry Monaghan giving the Masters an edge at midfield, the scores flowed from Conor McMonagle, Kevin McBrearty, Espey and Doherty that pushed the Masters to a 0-10 to 1-5 lead by the 38th minute.
Gallant Gaoth Dobhair were always chasing the game thereafter and struggled to get quality ball into Cassidy and impressive full forward Noel Kelly.
The Masters controlled the middle third and it was left to Tomas Diver to keep the Gaeltacht men in touch.
But with the supply to Cassidy, cut off, Gaoth Dobhair struggled to make any real impression playing into a freshening breeze.
A deserved victory for the Masters but Gaoth Dobhair’s absent “cairde” were badly missed “in am an ghatair”.
Four Masters: Ryan Haughey; Kevin Breslin, Danny McGarrigle, John Boyle; Josh Lacey, Conor Rooney, Barry Dunnion. Leo McHugh, Barry Monaghan; Sean O’Kennedy, Michael Doherty (0-7, 2f), Kevin McBrearty (0-2),;Conor McMonagle (0-1), Benny Byrne (0-1), Peadar Espey (0-5f). Subs; Raymie McGroary for Conor Rooney (27), Dillion Ward for Leo McHugh (22) Jamie McCrea for John Boyle (h-time).
Yellow cards: Josh Lacey (40)
Gaoth Dobhair: Charles John Doherty; Sean McGarvey, Chris McFadden, Gary McFadden, Kieran Ferry, Dan McBride, James Boyle, Ronan MacNiallais, Peter McGee; Sean Doherty, Kevin Cassidy (0-1), Paul Mulligan, Michael Roarty, Noel Kelly (0-31f), Tomas Diver (1-4f). Subs: Daniel McGee for James Boyle (38), Sean Boyle (0-1) for Michael Roarty (53)
Yellow cards: Kieran Ferry (47)
Referee: S McGonigle (Aodh Ruadh)
Bundoran stay on promotion track
In a game packed with goals and goal chances Bundoran took a big step towards a promotion play-off place, and dashing Glenfin’s hopes in the process.
Glenfin struggled to get going from the outset, with Bundoran managing to bag two goals in the first half. An early black card for Peter McGonagle meant Darragh Hoey was on and the new arrival duly hit the net to make an instant impact.
Both sides saw goal chances go begging, Glenfin in particular found goalkeeper Johnny Keane hard to beat. At the other end John Harkin made a last ditch intervention to deny the Bundoran men another goal, and the visitors also hit the inside of the post after Christopher Keaney flicked on a high ball.
Shane McGowan was impressive for Bundoran at centre half back, starting attacks and winning ball regularly. Tommy Hourihane scored 2-03 while Christopher Keaney added 6 points as their side controlled the match.
Glenfin marksman Gerard Ward had a quiet game by his standards, contributing 2 points, both from frees.
Despite a goal from Michael McGlynn Bundoran were able to keep a good distance between the scores for most of the contest. The home side were shown a black card of their own as Gary Herron was shown the line for what the referee adjudged to be a deliberate trip.
Glenfin seemed to have found a way back into the match in the second half as Gary Dorrian found the back of the net with a powerful effort and a high ball in was fisted down into the goal by Stephen McGlynn to leave just 4 points between the sides.
However Bundoran once again pulled clear with points from Alan Russell and another goal from Daniel Branley.
Michael McEniff was outstanding for Bundoran, setting up three of the goals and involved in all the scores that saw the visitors hit 1-3 to go clear at the start of the second half.
Glenfin: Andrew Walsh; Ronan Gallagher; John Harkin; Gary Dorrian (1-00); Daniel McGlynn; Mark McGinty Jnr.; Gary Herron (0-01); Stephen Ward; Paddy Costello; Jason Morrow; Gerard Ward (0-02;2f); Stephen McGlynn(1-01); Ciaran Moy (0-04;2f); Michael McGlynn (1-00); Malachy Martin. Subs: Martin O’ Donnell for Gary Herron; Lorcan Donnellan for Ronan Gallagher; Conor Ward for Stephen Ward; Jason Marley for Stephen McGlynn.
Bundoran: Johnny Keane; James Keaney; David Stuttard; Dermot McCaughey; Mikey McEniff; Shane McGowan (0-1); Peter McGonagle; Kieran McCaughey; Paul Delaney; Niall Dunne; Tommy Hourihane (2-3;1f); Adam Coyne; Alan Russell (0-1); Christopher Keaney (0-6; 2f); Daniel Branley (1-3). Subs: Darragh Hoey (1-1) for Peter McGonagle (b card); Johnny Boyle for Niall Dunne.
Naomh Ultan made the journey to Lifford count when the took the points on Saturday evenings clash.
N Padraig Lifford 2-6
Naomh Ultan 2-10
Despite a bright start going into a strong lead Naomh Ultan allowed Naomh Padraig back into the game with a goal and they ended the half all level at 0-6 to 1-03.
From the restart the visitors were quick get going. Two goals helped them on thee way to victory but not with out a scare with the Lifford side hitting the cross bar, which could have put them back into the game.
Naomh Padraig: P McDermott, P, McNamee, J Lafferty, M Catterson, M McBrearty, M Mcnally, K Lynch, M Ferry, P Carbury, P Lynch, D Tourish, G McGirr, D Gillespie, J Quinn, P Gibson.Sub: J Nelson for P Gibson.
Naomh Ultan: D McGlynn; P Gallier, J Cassidy, Ml McGlynn; J Alvey, A Kyles, D Shovlin; D Murrin, A Duddy; A Rodger (0-1), C Kennedy (1-1), C Shovlin; D Gallier (0-7), A Lyons (1-1), P White. Subs: C McNicholas for A Lyons; S Blain for C Shovlin; D Gallagher for A Roger; A Blain for P White