Late win not enough for Four Masters against Glenfin

Alan Foley at Tircon

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Alan Foley at Tircon

Late win not enough for Four Masters against Glenfin
And so with Stephen Keeney having kicked a stoppage time winning point for Four Masters against Glenfin all eyes then turned to Twitter.

And so with Stephen Keeney having kicked a stoppage time winning point for Four Masters against Glenfin all eyes then turned to Twitter.

Four Masters 1-13

Glenfin 1-12

This is the new dynamic the Donegal SFC has developed with its fledgling Champions League format.

The Donegal Town team’s narrow win on Saturday evening was their second in the competition but it wasn’t to be enough.

When the full-time score was read from Kentucky, where Sean MacCumhaill’s had pipped their hosts 0-13 to 1-8, it meant the Donegal Town locals could tip off into the dusking June sky bemoaning their luck.

It came down to scoring average and three into two didn’t go. Four Masters’ brave comeback from five points down would prove academic when it was time for the tills to roll out the receipts.

And whether the news from Ardara it was via a social network, on a text message or by phone, all the conclusions were to prove the same.

Last season, when Karl Lacey hobbled off at O’Donnell Park at half-time in the county semi-final against Naomh Conaill, his team’s hopes went with him.

On Saturday the four-time All-Star’s introduction was almost what saved them.

Lacey was thrown into the fray five minutes into the second half at a stage in the match when his side were barely able to keep their head bobbing above the water level.

Ciaran Moy had just opened the second half with a couple of points to put the visitors 1-8 to 0-6 in front.

However, Lacey’s introduction obviously lifted his teammates and will also be a source of satisfaction for Donegal manager Jim McGuinness ahead of the Ulster final against Monaghan in Clones in three weeks’ time.

Four Masters began to claw their way back into the match with the impressive Dylan Ward proving to be an able replacement for the sidelined Michael Doherty from the placed balls.

Ward stitched over three successive second period frees, adding to his trio he had registered in the first half, to get Four Masters back to within striking distance, 0-9 to 1-8 down.

The second of those frees might’ve been an even bigger concession for Glenfin as Frank McGlynn was forced to haul down Keeney right outside the square. The Glenfin centre-back was booked for his troubles.

Referee Ian Molloy was correct in his awarding of a free-kick and not a penalty, although Glenfin might’ve been awarded a spot kick or two themselves in the first half.

But only two points down and not really sure what was being offered from Pearse Park, all Four Masters could do was get their own house in order and leave the calculations for afterwards.

Twelve minutes into the second half , they finally managed to force their way ahead when Luke Keaney’s squared ball caused consternation in the Glenfin square.

Eventually the ball fell into the path of Barry Dunnion and his shot trickled past Andrew Walsh - the roar from the crowd in the stand almost blew the ball over the line.

Within a minute, though, Glenfin were back on terms again through Gerard Ward, who had a fine game at full-forward and was definitely the most dangerous player on the pitch.

Lacey then eked his team back in front by the bare minimum with a well-taken score only for Ward to level the match up at 1-10 apiece with 10 minutes to go.

It really was anyone’s game at this stage but Glenfin’s odds were lengthened when Stephen McGlynn, who had already been booked, was given a straight red card for swinging at Barry Monaghan.

Then, within minutes, Monaghan had steadied himself to edge Masters a point in front once more. And when Conor McMonagle also pointed, Four Masters had a relative cushion.

Glenfin continued to press, though, and two points - one each from Moy and Gerard Ward - meant parity again with time ticking in whatever was deemed for injuries.

It looked like ending in a draw, only for Keeney to kick a late winner but it was ultimately scant reason for celebration as both teams had failed to qualify.

Glenfin, after losing two from two, knew their fate beforehand but contributed to a decent first half.

McMonagle and three Dylan Ward frees for the home side were not enough to match Glenfin’s 1-3 on 13 minutes.

Francie Martin’s team had oy’s brace and Gerard Ward on target, while Conor Ward scored the match’s first goal when he got on the end of a fine move and pass from Michael McGlynn on nine minutes.

Keaney scored a fine point on the run before Michael McGlynn and then Gerard Ward, with his fist, scored to ensure that Glenfin were 1-6 to 0-5 in front.

Their main reason for trying to avoid defeat was to stay as far away as possible from the four-way play-off with the losers falling through the trapdoor and into the intermediate bracket.

Jash Lacey scored the final point of the first half, which meant Glenfin had a three-point cushion at the break.

Moy’s brace at the start of the second half would push that gulf out to five but that was to prove as good as it was going to get for Glenfin.

And although Emelyn Hughes can be content with the way his team battled back into the match from such a daunting position, in the end there are only crumbs of consolation for Four Masters.

Glenfin now face a battle to retain their senior status for next season.

Four Masters: Paul Durcan; Darren Walsh, Jamie McCrea, Danny McGarrigle; Sean O’Kennedy, Barry Dunnion (1-0), Josh Lacey (0-1); Hugh McPartland, Barry Monaghan (0-1); Stephen Keeney (0-1), Luke Keaney (0-1), Conor McMonagle (0-2); Raymie McGroary, Dylan Ward (0-6, 6f), Shane Carr. Subs: John Boyle for McCrea (33), Karl Lacey (0-1) for McPartland (35).

Glenfin: Andrew Walsh; Gary Dorrian, Gaving McDermott, John Harkin; Stephen McGlynn, Frank McGlynn, Daniel McGlynn; Michael McGlynn, Paddy Costelloe; Conor Ward (1-0), Kevin McGlynn, Ciaran Foy; Ciaran Moy (0-5, 3f), Gerard Ward (0-7, 4f), Malachy Martin. Subs: Ronan Gallagher for Foy (34), Mark McGinty for Dorrian (57).

Referee: Ian Molloy (Naomh Conaill)