They may have had only three subs as opposed to their opponent’s panel of 35, but an excellent Four Masters clearly showed that quality would always trump quantity.
Four Masters . . . . . . 3-11
St Eunan’s . . . . . . . . . 2-4
And this was a thoroughly deserved victory for a clever, cohesive and well drilled side.
Eunan’s tried hard but tended to rely too much on the towering Sean McVeigh for inspiration.
Despite being wind assisted, the struggle to cope with a snappy early opening salvo from a feisty Masters side for which, Dermot Slevin was simply superb.
Tus maith, leath na hoibre or a good start is half the work as a lively Four Masters in an explosive opening quarter against the highly fancied St Eunan’s in Convoy.
The game was only 50 seconds old when the tiny but considerably talented Dermot Slevin was fouled and confidently drilled over the opening point.
And it was entirely fitting that this outstanding player should finish the match with a clinically struck goal to seal a thoroughly deserved victory for a very well drilled winning team.
But his early points signalled a ding-dong first ten minutes with Josh McCullagh swiftly replying for St Eunan’s.
Then the Cathedral Town went into the lead for the first and only time through Ryan Creevy in the third minute.
Four Masters Mark Jordan, who looks like a mini version of Martin McHugh, levelled matters and that heralded an explosive period of Donegal Town dominance.
Slevin turned provider when he found Jamie Gorrell with a perfectly weighted pass and Gorrell finished soccer style to the Eunan’s net.
It got even better for the winners when Slevin found himself in loads of space deep inside the Eunan’s defence and calmly picked his spot to put the winners into a 2-4 to 0-2 lead after just 12 minutes.
The scoring rate dropped considerably after that as Eunan’s, who were wind assisted, desperately tried to get back on terms against a slick moving Masters side.
Eunan’s registered their first point in 15 minutes when McVeigh flicked a dangerous cross over the Four Masters bar in the 20th minute.
Matters got more interesting when Peadar McGeehin scored a fine goal for Eunan’s in the 20th minute after Josh McCullough helped to unlock the Masters defence.
That left the winners leading by 2-5 to 1-4 at half-time.
The hard working Ultan O’Grady stretched the winners' lead early in the second half, before Eunan’s struck with deadly effect for the goal of the match.
McVeigh gained possession about 40 metres out from goal and powered through the centre before smashing a great goal to the Four Masters net to narrow the gap to two points.
But, that was as good as it got as Mark Jordan stood tall for the winners with two precious points on the trot as Masters began to make use of the fresh breeze.
They could have had another goal in the 40th minute but Slevin’s close control let him down, for once.
It was all Masters by this stage with Slevin and two Evan Gallagher points steering them home.
And Slevin’s final clincher sealed a memorable and deserved victory for Four Masters.