A goal by Michael Doherty early in the second half was crucial to Four Masters’ victory away to Naomh Conaill helping to get new manager Emlyn Hughes off to a good start at a very cold Davy Brennan Memorial Park on Good Friday evening.
Naomh Conaill 0-7
Four Masters 1-8
However, centre-back Barry Dunnion left the field through injury. Four Masters were without the injured Karl Lacey while the home were missing flu victim Dermot Molloy. Naomh Conaill keeper Stephen Mc Grath was called into action early making a great save from young Masters corner forward Dylan Ward. The sides were level after 21 minutes at 0-3 apiece with Dara Gallagher scoring Naomh Conaill’s opening three points, two of them from placed balls, and Conor Mc Daid, Conor Rooney and Micheal Doherty (45) were on the scoreboard for Four Masters. Naomh Conaill finished the first half scoring three points in the last four minutes from Brendan Mc Dyer (free), Anthony Thompson and Ciaran Thompson to go in at the break leading 0-6 to 0-3 and they looked to be in a strong position.
As at the start of the first half, Mc Grath was forced to make two more good saves in the first minute of the restart. Doherty pointed a free and from the kick out McDyer was unlucky at the other end when his effort came off the crossbar. Doherty left a point between the teams on 38 minutes and a minute later the former Donegal corner-forward got the goal to put Masters two points up after he got on the end of a high ball sent into the square. They went on to take control of the game with further points from Doherty and Rooney. Naomh Conaill’s only score in the half was a free from Brendan Mc Dyer.
Naomh Conaill: Stephen Mc Grath; Jason Campbell, Ciaran Brennan, Stephen Molloy; Cathal Ellis, Anthony Thompson (0-1), Eoin Wade; Martin Regan, Leo McLoone; Brendan Mc Dyer (0-2, 2f), Johnny McLoone, Dara Gallagher (0-3 2f); AJ Gallagher, Marty Boyle, Leon Thompson. Subs Ciaran Thompson (0-1), Jamie McHugh
Four Masters: Paul Durcan; Josh Lacey, Jamie McCrea, Damian McGarrigle; Sean O’Kennedy, Barry Dunnion, Conor Rooney (0-2); Barry Monaghan, Kevin McBrearty; Luke Keeney, Shane Carr, Ryan Early; Dylan Ward, Michael Doherty (1-4 2f), Conor Mc Daid(0-1).
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).