Four Masters were made to rue a plethora of missed chances in the opening half as Aodh Ruadh took the Divisional Minor title on Wednesday.
The Donegal Town men could have been out of sight at half-time but they still had a six point advantage, but Aodh Ruadh struck back in the second half with a much improved display to finish much stronger.
Four Masters led by 2-3 to 0-3 at the break but could only manage two points in the second half.
Despite the miserable conditions of contintuous rain, this was a thoroughly absorbing final that had two very different halves.
Four Masters were so much on top in the opening half and but for some good defending and some excellent goalkeeping by Daniel Kelly in the Aodh Ruadh goal, the result would have been very different.
The tall Four Masters side had a plan which was to get the ball in quickly to their inside men and it was working. The only.
Daniel Kelly set the pattern as early as the first minute, saving from point blank range from Emmet Doogan and after Darren Doherty had the opening point, Kellly denied Sean Meehan with an even better save at the expense of a ‘45’.
The excellent David McGurrin had Aodh Ruadh level and by the 20th minute he had added two more to put Aodh Ruadh in a flattering 0-3 to 0-1 lead.
Darren Doherty was again denied by Kelly before he fired just over the crossbar on 24 minutes. Four Masters had racked up eight wides as well as the missed goal chances before they finished the half well with Pauric Carr getting their opening goal on 25 minutes.
Darren Doherty added a point before a high ball by Jason Carr in the final minute of the half was not dealt with by the Aodh Ruadh defence and Emmet Doogan finished to the net to leave the half-time score Four Masters 2-3, Aodh Ruadh 0-3.
The Ballyshannon side had it all to but they got the fillip they needed six minutes into the new half when Eamonn McGrath got the touch to a David McGurrin free to find the Four Masters net.
The introduction of Pauric Patton early in the second half was also a factor and it was his pass that set up the next score, David McGurrin finishing the point.
It seemed as if Four Masters had weathered the storm when they had two points in two minuts from Dillon Ward and Pauric Carr but the Carr point on 43 minutes proved to be their final score.
David McGurrin reduced the margin to two with points in the 48th and 49th minute and with Aodh Ruadh pressing, Four Masters ‘keeper Ryan Haughey was lucky not to be called for a penalty when he seemed to overcarry on his own goalline.
Philip Patton hit a point and David McGurrin levelled matters with seven minutes left.
It was that combination that saw McGurrin push Aodh Ruadh ahead for the first time in the half on 25 minutes and McGurrin put Niall Harley through for the insurance point with a minute of normal time left.
In the frantic closing exchanges Four Masters lost Emmet Doogan to a second yellow card. However, it was a game taht was played in a very good spirit.
Aodh Ruadh: Daniel Kelly; Matthew Maguire, Ryan Patton, Eugene Drummond; Eddie Lynch, Colm Kelly, Niall Harley (0-1); Darren Gethins, Eamonn McGrath (1-0); Philip Patton (0-1), Johnny Gethins, Jason Gallagher; James Kelly, David McGurrin (0-7,2f), Michael McNeely. Subs., Pauric Patton for Gallagher 34; Oisin Roper for J Kelly 60.
Four Masters: Ryan Haughey; Kalum McShane, Dylan Kennedy, Caolan Loughney; Dara Quinn, Leo McHugh, Daniel Bennett; Kevin Brslin, Jason Carr; Sean Meehan, Dillon Ward (0-1), Nathan Kelly ; Emmet Doogan (1-0), Darren Doherty (0-3), Pauric Carr (1-1). Subs., Patrick Reid for Meehan 40; Karl Griffin for
Referee: Michael McShane (Kilcar)