St Paul’s FonaCAB Ulster Minor Football Championship
Four Masters 5-04-2-10 Naomh Molaise, Irvinestown
Kevin Herron reports from Coláiste Feirste
Undoubtedly the game of the weekend in the St Paul’s FonaCAB Ulster Minor Football Championship was the meeting of Four Masters and Naomh Molaise, Irvinestown.
Played under lights at Coláiste Feirste on a bitterly cold evening with brief snow showers both sides served up a thrilling preliminary round clash.
Barry Goodwin edged Naomh Molaise ahead with a fine point, but Seanán Carr squeezed a low shot in off the post at the other end.
The Irvinestown side regained the lead with three scores unanswered, Conor O’Hanlon drifted into a shooting position and steered his shot high over the bar and back-to-back frees from Mattie McDermott gave his side a 0-04-1-00 lead.
On eight minutes Four Master’s hit their second goal of the game, springing a fast attack up field through scorer of the first goal- Carr and he doubled his account for the evening with a thumping finish- a contender for score of the tournament at this early stage.
Points were traded in the aftermath between Conor O’Hanlon and Kevin Muldoon before Naomh Molaise got back on terms.
Mattie McDermott dropped a quick free into the path of Barry Goodwin to bend a shot over and Goodwin then landed a 45’ to draw the sides level at 2-01-0-07.
Four Masters upped the ante before the break and hit 1-03 without reply to lead at the break.
Conor Meehan edged his side ahead for the third time from a converted free, he would add another- but in-between times Kevin Muldoon burst forward and saw his effort clip the crossbar on its way over.
A minute before the break Muldoon doubled his sides lead with the Donegal Champions third goal of the half to make it 3-04-0-07.
Naomh Molaise weren’t disheartened and replied immediately at the other end. Mattie McDermott worked the ball across to Barry Goodwin to thump home and ensure that just three-points separated the sides at the midway point (3-04-1-07).
Four Masters drew first blood in the second period and netted for the fourth time to restore their six-point lead they held towards the end of the first half.
A lucky bounce saw Daniel Quinn take up possession and he slipped in Conor Meehan to round Shea Mulligan and slot into the empty net to give his side a 4-04-1-07 advantage.
It took longer than their response at the end of the first half, but Irvinestown were back in business when Oisin Swift bundled home from close range to bring things back to a three-point game once again (4-04-2-07).
It took 14 minutes for the next score to arrive in proceedings as Four Masters hit their fifth goal of the evening.
Half-time substitute Oisin Doherty fisted the ball over the head of out coming keeper Mulligan to surly secure progression for the Donegal side- making it 5-04-2-07.
Naomh Molaise talisman Barry Goodwin hit back-to-back frees and scorer of their second goal Oisin Swift then dropped an effort over the bar to bring things back to three-points approaching injury-time.
The Fermanagh side were unable to make further in-roads though as Four Masters edged the thrilling encounter 5-04-2-10 to set-up a quarter-final meeting with Clan na Gael in the final last eight clash.
Four Masters: D McGinty, T Colhoun, F O’Donnell, T McGovern, L McGowan, D Monaghan, C Sweeney, J Bell, J Graham, D McIntyre, S Carr (2-00), K Muldoon (1-02), C Meehan (1-02), D Quinn, C McCrea. Subs: O Doherty (1-00) for D McIntyre (HT), T Carr for L McGowan (47), C Dunnion for C Meehan (57).
Naomh Molaise, Irvinestown: S Mulligan, P Maye, B Stewart, A Hall, C McGoldrick, O Swift (1-01), R McMulkin, A McCaffrey, C O’Hanlon (0-02), J McDonnell, O McGovern, J Hanna, J McDonnell, M McDermott (0-02f), B Goodwin (1-05, 0-02f, 0-01 45’). Subs: P Hughes for J McDonnell (38), C McCaffrey for P Maye (60+2).
Referee: Charlie Hemsworth (Naomh Pol)