Four Masters edge out Clan na Gael

Fona/Cab Ulster Minor Football Tournament quarter-final 

Four Masters (Donegal) 1-10

Clan na Gael (Armagh) 1-9

Photographs: Bert Trowlen

Donegal champions, Four Masters edged out Clann naGael of Armagh in an exciting Fona/Cab Ulster Minor quarter final at Colaiste Feirste on Saturday to earn a place in next weekend’s semi-final.

The Dongal champions came from four behind to lead by five at one after substitute Oisin Doherty found the net, but the Armagh champions responded with an Aodhán Henderson goal but were unable to find an equaliser as Four Masters hung on for the win.

Clann na Gael had the aid of a slight breeze in the opening half and made a good start with midfielders Callum O’Neill and Shea Murphy on target before Four Masters drew level through Conor Meehan and Callum McCrea.

The Lurgan side gained the upper hand in the opening quarter and they kicked the next four points with Ronan McAlinden and Callum O’Neill points sandwiching a pair of James Austin frees to give thewm an excellent start.

But Four Masters began to find a way and they had drawn level by the break as Seanán Carr, Conor McCahill, Meehan and McCrea finished well as the sides were locked at 0-6 at the break.

The Donegal outfit picked up where they left off straight after the break with Meehan kicking them into the lead for the first time from a free and he added another after a McCahill point from play.

In a second half punctuated by stoppages with the game requiring  14 minutes of injury time, it took until the 45th minute for James Austin to get Clan na Gael’s first point. Both goals led a charmed life with a Meehan free dropped short and the ball cleared to safety while at the other end a dopping Callum O’Neill shot went outside the post.

McCahill’s third of the day restored Four Masters three-point advantage with Callum O’Neill pulling one back as the game entered a lengthy period of stoppage time. The game appeared to over when Kevin Muldoon picked out Doherty to finish low to the net.

Clan na Gael responded however with an O’Neill shot dropping and breaking to Henderson to fire the net and an Austin free left the minimum between the teams.

As Clan na Gael pushed for the equaliser, a trip by David Monaghan saw the Four Masters defender black-carded, and the free was moved to O’Neill but his shot tailed left and with that, the Donegal side advanced into the last four.

Four Masters: D McGinty; T Colhoun, F O’Donnell, T McGovern; T Carr, D Monaghan, C Sweeney; J Bell, J Graham; C McCahill (0-3), S Carr (0-1), K Muldoon; C Meehan (0-4, 3f), D Quinn, C McCrea (0-2).

Subs: D McIntyre for D Quinn (54), O Doherty (1-0) for C Meehan (58), L McNamee for K Muldoon (60+6), T McBride for C Sweeney (60+9).

Clan na Gael: C Lennon; S Reid, S McCann, O Moore; C Toland, J Lavery, C McCrory; C O’Neill (0-3), S Murphy (0-1); A Henderson (1-0), J Austin (0-4f), J McConville; R Marsden, R McAlinden (0-1), N McParland.

Subs: T Lavery for R McAlinden (24), E Scullion for S Murphy (39)

Referee: Gavin Finnegan (Down) 

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