Stephen McBrearty was on fire as Kilcar brushed aside the weak challenge of Four Masters in the first of the quarter-finals in Fintra on Saturday.
Four Masters 0-8
There will be tougher challenges ahead for Kilcar, something that manager, Michael Molloy, acknowledged at the final whistle.
Kilcar led by 1-3 to 0-3 at the break, thanks to a brilliant individual break by Ryan McHugh and a clinical finish.
Four Masters had the wind at their backs but they didn’t have the forwards as they hit nine wides and their two midfielders Barry Monaghan and Leo McHugh got two of their points.
“We did well in the opening half and overall I would be happy,” said Kilcar manager. “We were expecting a tough game. We didn’t start the second half well,” said Molloy, who was just happy to be in the semi-final draw.
There will be much tougher games ahead for Kilcar for whom Patrick McBrearty started, but he didn’t look fully tuned. McBrearty hasn’t really trained for some time and Kilcar will be hoping that he can get in the mood for the semi-final.
Like all competitions there is a top tier and Kilcar are in that group while Four Masters are not in that group right now. Karl Lacey was just a shadow of himself and apart from flashes from Barry Dunnion, Sean O’Kennedy and Dillon Ward, they never raised a gallop.
Kilcar dominated the possession stakes in the opening half against the breeze and they were full value for their three point lead at the break. McBrearty had opened with a free while Mark Sweeney also got on the scoreboard. The highlight of the half came on 21 minutes when Ryan McHugh played a one-two with Mark Sweeney and powered through to fire home. Conor Doherty almost had a goal on five minutes, his effort very well saved by Ryan Haughey.
Four Masters had their best period in the opening minutes of the second half with Michael Doherty pointing a free after a foul on O’Kennedy, but gradually Kilcar got going with Michael Hegarty showing his experience. Ryan McHugh set up a point for Patrick McBrearty and then Stephen McBrearty added another before a Michael Hegarty initiated move ended with Andrew McClean squeezing home the second goal on 39 minutes. It put Kilcar 2-5 to 0-4 ahead and it was game over.
From there to the finish Kilcar cut open the Four Masters defence at will with Stephen McBrearty adding another 1-4, his goal a clinical finish after a powerful run through the middle on 44 minutes.
There were other goal chances with Ryan McHugh and Patrick McBrearty both opting for points with the Four Masters defence at sixes and sevens.
The Four Masters challenge was not helped when they lost Barry Monaghan to a black card on 42 minutes when he penalised for a third man tackle on Mark McHugh.
To their credit Four Masters kept trying with their young guns O’Kennedy, Dillon Ward and Caolan Loughney (2) adding points before the end.
Kilcar: K Campbell; D Lyons, B Shovlin, P Carr; A McClean (1-0), M McHugh, R McHugh (1-1); M Hegarty (0-1), C McGinley (0-1); A McGinley, S McBrearty (1-5,1f), M Sweeney (0-1); M McClean, C Doherty, P McBrearty (0-4,2f). Subs., C Cannon for M McClean 52; J Cunningham for A McGInley 57.
Four Masters: R Haughey; D Kennedy, D Quinn, B Dunnion; S O’Kennedy (0-1), K Breslin, J Lacey; B Monaghan (0-1), L McHugh (0-1); K Lacey, M Doherty (0-1,f), C Loughney (0-2); D Muldoon, K McBrearty, D Ward (0-2). Subs., S Meehan for K McBrearty 12; J Duignan for B Monaghan b card 13; E Doogan for J Lacey 52.
Referee: L McConigley (Downings).