Michael Doherty put on a display of excellent score taking with a personal tally of 11 points, to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for Four Masters at Pairc Tir Chonaill on Sunday last.
Four Masters 0-14
After leading by 10 points to four in the second half, Four Masters took their foot off the pedal and required three consecutive late points from Benny Byrne and Michael Doherty (2) to take the spoils. Byrne deserved his point which was just regard for a strong performance at midfield over the hour.The first half was a scrappy affair after Martin Shovlin’s early point was cancelled out by three Doherty points, two of these from frees.
Brendan McNelis added a long range free which was cancelled out by another Michael Doherty effort. By the 20th minute the game had become littered with mistakes, and whilst Four Masters enjoyed long periods of possession, it was Ardara who moved the scoreboard with another Brendan McNelis free and a Jimmy O’Connell effort from play.
Oisin McGinty opened the second half scoring which was the catalyst for five further Four Masters points without reply, all scored by Doherty, apart from one Conor McMonagle point from play. After another Brendan McNelis point on 46 minutes a high centre into the Four Masters square broke to Martin Shovlin who goaled past Sean Martin.
The game was then turned on it’s head after another high ball split the Four Masters defence and Barry Monaghan was adjudged to have fouled Peter McNelis inside the square. Gareth Concarr made no mistake to give the visitors a one point lead.
The final 10 minutes were highly entertaining for the large crowd in attendance as Concarr added to his penalty with two points from frees to go into the final minutes with a two point lead. Benny Byrne pointed a crucial score to stop the rot and with three minutes of added time being played, Michael Doherty rescued his team with two points from play to end a titanic struggle.
Four Masters: Sean Martin, Ryan O’Donnell, Barry Monaghan, Danny McGarrigle, Barry Dunnion, Conor Rooney, Raymie McGroary, Francis McMullan, Benny Byrne (0-1), Luke Keaney, Oisin McGinty (0-1), Sean O’Kennedy, Steven Keeney, Michael Doherty (0-11), Conor McMonagle (0-1). Subs used: Don Monaghan and Peadar Espey.
Ardara: Declan Gallagher, Neil Campbell, Declan Gavigan, Kevin Breslin, Oisin O’Donnell, Kevin Byrne, Nicholas Breslin, Jimmy O’Connell (0-1), Peter McNelis, Brendan McNelis (0-3), Kevin Herron, Michael Maloney, Martin Shovlin (1-1), Kieran Breslin, Gareth Concarr (1-2). Subs used – Stephen Boyle and Tomas Boyle.
Division One Reserve
Four Masters 3-9
Fergal Heena inspired Ardara reserves to an excellent comeback with a personal tally of 1-8, his goal coming from a penalty on 22 minutes. Four Masters lead at half-time by 1-6 to 1-4, Benny Cassidy registering four points from play and Barry O’Donnell goaling on 28 minutes after a tap down from Ryan Earley. O’Donnell finished the game with two goals, the second on 48 minutes was an unstoppable volley to roof of the Ardara net which wouldn’t have looked out of place at Euro 2012.
A Conor McDaid goal on 50 minutes put the home side into an eight point lead at 3-8 to 1-6 and it looked like Ardara were dead and buried. Declan Bushell added another point for Four Masters but to their credit, the visitors re-grouped and scored 1-06 without reply in the final 9 minutes to draw the game, Gerard McCabe bagging the crucial goal with a cracking shot that went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Four Masters: James McDaid, Enda Bonner, Shane Browne, Barry Farragher, Paul McIntyre, Shane Gillespie, Pauric Harvey, Charlie Gallagher, Dylan Muldoon, Barry O’Donnell (2-0), Declan Bushell (0-3), Jason Carr, Benny Cassidy (0-4), Ryan Earley (0-1), Conor McDaid (1-1). Subs used – John Boyle, Declan McMonagle and Leo McHugh.
Ardara: Ciaran Gildea, Killian Boyle (0-1), Francis Boyle, Kyle Gallagher, Sean McLaughlin, Noel McCabe, Kelvin Slowey, Brendan Boyle, Stephen McCahill (0-2), Ryan Sweeney, Nicholas McGuire, Paul Watters, Gerard McCabe (1-1), Fergal Heena (1-8), Joseph McLaughlin. Subs used – Patrick White, Eamon Doherty, Peter McHugh and Don Earley.