Four Masters went top of Division 2 on Saturday night after winning at home to Naomh Columba and MacCumhaill’s losing at Glenfin.
Milford, promoted from Division 3, are the surprise packets so far, defeating Cloughaneely on Saturday night to move to third in the table.
Four Masters . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-9
Naomh Columba . . . . . . . . . . 0-7
Four Masters go top of the table in Division Two after a hard earned win over Naomh Columba in Donegal Town.
It almost seemed impossible to separate these two teams but the Masters , without Karl Lacey, were celebrating at the final whistle on a wet and miserable night.
Both teams opened the game with high-class football with Christopher Byrne getting on the scoreboard in the 2nd minute followed by a free from full-forward Ryan Gillespie in the 7th minute.
Four Masters hit three wides before getting their first score from the speedy corner-back Caolan Loughney who sprinted from one end of the field to point it from 35 metres out.
And two well worked points from wing forward Conor McDaid, one a fisted point on the 12th minute, and a high flying shot on the 15 minute put the men in blue ahead by two.
Though the men in green and gold didn't panic, the speed and strength of centre half-back Michael Maguire tore down the centre of the field and fired at goal only to be denied from the giant in nets Ryan Haughey.
Glen struck again, two minutes later from the lively corner forward Pauric Cunningham, but another superb save by Haughey put the ball out for a 45 that was scored by Paddy Byrne.
But Glen would not score again for 24 minutes.
Two excellent frees from the left boot of the talented Dillon Ward put the Masters ahead at half time by two points on a score of 0-5 points to 0-3.
Glen made three half time switches with the introduction of Paul Doherty, Jamie McNern and Stephen Jones.
This didn't bother Four Masters much, as they seemed to take complete control at the start of the second half with two more points from Dillon Ward.
On the 14th minute Glen hit their purple patch after referee Andrew Mullin showed Four Masters midfielder Patrick Reid a black card and sent him to the line.
This inspired the men from south west Donegal to fight back with two points in one minute from former county minor Philip McNern and Christopher Byrne.
It was neck and neck stuff with repeated scores from both sides with a free hit by Conor McMonagle and followed on the other side by Ryan Gillespie.
A final well-worked Four Masters point from Darren Doherty still did not seal anything as Glen drove in numbers for goal.
A late free from Ryan Gillespie in the 61st minute was not enough as Four Masters walked out relieved with a two point win.
Four Masters: Ryan Haughey, Darren Walsh Kevin Breslin, Caolan Loughney; Enda Bonner, Leo McHugh, John Boyle; Patrick Reid, Sean O'Kennedy; Darren Doherty (0-1), Conor McMonagle (0-1), Conor McDaid (0-2); Kevin McBrearty, Dillon Muldoon, Dillon Ward (0-4,2f). Subs: Michael Doherty for Patrick Reid (13); Barry Farragher for Conor McDaid (25)
Naomh Columba: Pauric O'Donnell, Barry Carr, Kieran McBrearty, Philip Doherty; Martin Cunningham, Michael Maguire, Philip McNern (0-1); Christopher Byrne (0-2), Declan McGuire; Paddy Byrne (0-1 45), Kevin McNern, Ryan McNern; Pauric Cunningham, Ryan Gillespie (0-3f) Pauric O'Neill. Subs: Paul Doherty for Pauric Cunningham, James McNern for Pauric O'Neill, Stephen Jones for Martin Cunningham (ht)
Glenfin turn tables on local rivals
Glenfin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-15
Sean MacCumhaills . . . . . 1-9
Glenfin had just enough energy left in the tank to pip Seán Mac Cumhaills in the derby on Saturday evening in a match played In constant rain and eventual fading light.
Both sides were without their county player, Glenfin fielding without Frank McGlynn and Martin O’Reilly absent for the visitors.
The hosts were quickest out of the blocks with Paddy O’Connor hitting three points and Mac Cumhaills came close to an early goal but Adam Lynch’s effort rattled the crossbar.
Stephen Mulligan knocked over a free and Darren O’Leary was brought down for a free and he smashed his effort in low for a goal.
A Darren McGowan ball in found O’Leary once again and he turned sharply to point over.
Another O’Connor free and a point from Kevin McGlynn had Mac Cumhaills on the ropes and Ciaran Foy pointed to send the hosts in a point up at half-time on a score of 0-5 to 1-1.
Glenfin opened the second half in the same vein of form as the first through Michael McGlynn and a Paddy O’Connor trio of frees. Another O’Leary free helped to keep the scores ticking for Mac Cumhaills and Stephen McGlynn was given his marching orders for a second yellow card.
Points from O’Connor and Michael McGlynn put the hosts further in the lead and Darren McGowan hit a reply for Mac Cumhaills. O’Leary and Mulligan added three more scores and the Glenfin lead was now four points.
Glenfin hit two further points to finished their scoring while Darren and Shaun McGowan added points as Mac Cumhaills attempted to snatch a late goal for a draw.
Glenfin: Liam O’Meara, Martin O’Donnell, John Harkin, Gary Herron, Stephen McGlynn, Daniel Harkin, Kyle Doherty, Stephen Ward, Paddy O’Connor (0-10), Gary Dorrian, Daniel McGlynn, Jason Morrow, Kevin McGlynn (0-1), Michael McGlynn (0-2), Ciaran Foy (0-2)
Sean Mac Cumhaills: Chris Patton, Gerard Grindle, Martin Gallagher, Conor Griffin, Andrew McCloskey, Gary Dunnion, Gary Wilson, Steven O’Reilly, Nathan Gavigan, Aaron Kelly, Alan Patton, Darren McGowan (0-2), Stephen Mulligan (0-2), Darren O’Leary (1-4), Adam Lynch. Subs: Barney Lafferty for Alan Patton; Shaun McGowan (0-1) for Adam Lynch.
McFadden impresses in narrow Killybegs win
Killybegs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-5
Malin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-10
Killybegs edged out Malin in hard-fought affair at Fintra on Saturday night.
The home side had a great start when Hugh McFadden netted an early penalty from a rebound.
It got even better for the home side when Shane Molloy also found the net to leave the Fishermen leading by the 2-2 to a goal as Malin also found the net.
The home side led by 2-3 to 1-4 at the interval.
Gritty Malin stormed back in a ding-dong second half but mighty McFadden once again found the net to leave the home side leading by 3-3 to 1-6.
But the Inishowen men kept plugging away, and the home side eventually prevailed by the barest margin
Killybegs: K Martin, D O’Donnell, C Conaghan, C Cunningham; A O’Hara, S Molloy (0-1), D McGuinness; H McFadden (2-2) C Murrin; D O’Keeney (0-1), E Ban Gallagher, P Conaghan; D McGuire, P Cunningham (0-1), E Broderick. Subs: O Gallagher for D O’Donnell
Malin: D McLaughlin, M McLaughlin, C Farren, T McLaughlin: C Doherty, G Farren, P McLaughlin; C McColgan, A Kelly; S McLaughlin, J G McDermott, B McLaughlin; D McCarron, S Doherty, D Mullarkey. Sub: S Grant for J G McDermott.
Big win for Milford
Cloughaneely . . . . . . . . . 0-10
Milford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-9
Milford travelled to Páirc Naomh Fhionán on Saturday evening for the return leg of the Cloughaneely encounter.
Having succumbed to a home defeat to Cloughaneely, Milford were well geared up for the 2nd leg which was evident from the fact that their first two scores of the day were goals.
Cloughaneely also were down a number of key players in their starting 15 through injury and soccer commitments.
The home side was first on the scoreboard with a Mark Harley point.
Milford however went straight for goals with Garry Merritt blasting home Milford’s first goal in the 3rd minute of play. Cloughaneely managed to pull level with points from Darren Ferry and John McGarvey.
Milford’s David Curley then took his shot on goal that went straight at Cloughaneely’s net minder Shaun McClafferty who got a hand to the ball but escaped his grasp and dropped over the line.
John McGarvey narrowed the margin with another point and Darren Ferry converted a free, but Milford continued on their quest with a point from Thomas Evesson and three converted frees from Cathal McGettigan shortly before half time.
Cloughaneely’s Ciaran McFadden Snr was then unfortunate to be handed a straight red card for a minor incident just before the half-time whistle as Milford led by 2-4 to 0-5 at the break.
Milford was out of the blocks early with a quick David Curley point to which Shaun McGuire.
But Curley’s point was to be a their last score for a period of 15 minutes.
Cloughaneely replied through Darren Ferry and Declan McGarvey but the winners replied through Johnny Logue and Pauric Curley.
And the home side had to settle for a last minute point from Paul Sweeney.
Cloughaneely: Shaun McClafferty, John Harley, Paul McFadden, Declan McGarvey (0-2,1f), Ciaran McFadden, Shaun McGuire (0-1), Cian McFadden, Ciaran McFadden Snr, Ronan Cannon, John McGarvey (0-2), Darren Ferry (0-3,2f), Ciaran Scanlon, Mark Harley (0-1), Paul Sweeney (0-1), Cillian Gallagher.
Milford: Caolan McGettigan, Conor McNulty, Barry McNulty, Brandon Toye, Garry Merritt (1-0), Patrick Peoples, Thomas Evesson (0-2), Sean Black, Luke Barrett, Darragh Black, Pauric Curley (0-1), Joseph Cullen, David Curley (1-2), Christopher Barrett, Cathal McGettigan (0-3,3f). Subs: Johnny Logue (0-1) for S Black bcard 43 mins.
St. Naul's secure narrow win
Naomh Muire . . . . . . . . . . . 0-6
St Naul’s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-4
St Naul’s left the Banks with both points having led this match from the 2nd minute from a Daniel Brennan goal.
Naomh Muire’s first score of the game came in the 23rdminute from a Shaun ‘the Yank’ Boyle point and at half-time the visitors led by 1-1 to Naomh Muire’s 0-2 in a ragged and disjointed performance by the home side.
Three points from Naomh Muire’s Harry Harden sparked life into a Naomh Muire recovery
And with ten minutes to play the game was all square at 0-6 to 1-3.
At this stage Naomh Muire had enough possession to push on and win the match.
But a series of wides frustrated their chances and a Stephen Griffen point, his second of the match, saw the spirited St Naul’s edge ahead to win by a point.
Both teams would have had an eye on their respective Championship matches next Sunday so St Naul’s would have left the Banks much the happier side.
Naomh Muire scorers: Harry Harden (0-3), Shaun “Yank” Boyle (0-2), Johnny McCafferty (0-1)
St Naul’s scorers: Daniel Brennan (1-1), Stephen Griffin (0-3), Barry Rose (0-1).