Football

Wins for Four Masters and Castleblayney at St Paul's Ulster Minor Football Tournament

Four Masters players celebrate after their dramatic win over Magherafelt at the fonaCAB Ulster Minor Football Tournament at St Paul's      Picture: Seamus Loughran
Four Masters players celebrate after their dramatic win over Magherafelt at the fonaCAB Ulster Minor Football Tournament at St Paul's Picture: Seamus Loughran Four Masters players celebrate after their dramatic win over Magherafelt at the fonaCAB Ulster Minor Football Tournament at St Paul's Picture: Seamus Loughran

FonaCab St Paul's Ulster MInor Football Tournament quarter-final: Four Masters 2-9 Magherafelt 0-13

ELATION versus devastation. That was the story as Four Masters completed their comeback with a smash and grab ending that left a fancied Magherafelt team strewn across the pitch.

Two late goals in a dramatic and controversial ending flipped this game on its head.

Magherafelt led 0-13 to 0-8 with seconds of normal time to play. Two points from the sizzling hot Conall Higgins looked to have stemmed the Four Masters’ wave fuelled by dominance in the air.

Kevin Muldoon’s runs threatened without delivering. Until the dying embers. He played Tiarnan McBride through on goal. A clear chance. Goalkeeper Karl Campbell’s footwork was impeccable before dislodging the ball. Both players ended up on the ground. Referee Colm McDonald deemed it a foul. Penalty. A massive call.

Muldoon dispatched the ball to the net. Magherafelt still led but there was time for more drama.

Conall Higgins forced a pass forward. Patrick McGonigle made a vital interception. Inches. Magherafelt didn’t have hands on the ball after it.

Four Masters recycled play before tossing in a perfectly flighted ball, one just asking to be punched to the net. Tiarnan McBride got the vital touch. Goal. Four Masters were ahead for the first time in the 63rd minute an on their way to the last four. 

It seemed highly unlikely in the first half as the Derry champions – with Higgins leading the charge – were impeccable. They led by eight points before Tomas Carr’s 26th opener for Four Masters.

Of their first six shots, only one that came off the post was on target. A Four Masters win looked a million miles away.

After trimming the margin to seven points (to 0-9 to 0-2) by half time, they got to grips with the game. Turlough Carr and the lively Conor McCahill began to dominate from the steady supply of ball and the game changed.

Magherafelt did hit two points from Higgins on the counter. They had a chance to open up a seven-point gap but a combination of Aidan Quinn and goalkeeper McCaughan denied Cathair Kerr.

It was enough to give Four Masters another lifeline. When McCahill’s shot blazed the wrong side of the post, it looked like Magherafelt would prevail until the late, late show changed everything.

Four Masters: L McCaughan; A McHugh, D McGinty, T McGovern; C Gavigan, C McCrea, A Quinn; T McBride (1-0), T Colhoun (0-1); Tomas Carr (0-1), K Muldoon (1-0 pen), P McGonagle; C McCahill (0-5, 0-2 frees), O Doherty, Turlough Carr (0-2)


Subs: E O’Neill for C Gavigan (47), L McNamee for A McHugh (59), C Dunnion for A Quinn (63)


Black card:  C McCrea (37)


Yellow cards: T Colhoun (20), C McCahill (50)

Magherafelt: K Campbell; T Cartin, Z Gavigan, C McCabe; E Spiers (0-1), R Small, C Kerr; J Beattie (0-1), Conall Higgins (0-8, 0-2 frees); M McKenna (0-1), Caolan Higgins, L Higgins; B McCormack (0-1), C Spiers (0-1 free), M Higgins


Subs: K Maynes for B McCormack (38), T Beattie for C McCabe (54), M Lavery for C Kerr (54)


Black card: M McKenna (36)

Referee: C McDonald (St Gall’s)

Castleblayney edged out Armagh rivals Clan na Gael in the first quarter-final of the fonaCAB Ulster Minor Football Tournament      Picture: Seamus Loughran
Castleblayney edged out Armagh rivals Clan na Gael in the first quarter-final of the fonaCAB Ulster Minor Football Tournament Picture: Seamus Loughran Castleblayney edged out Armagh rivals Clan na Gael in the first quarter-final of the fonaCAB Ulster Minor Football Tournament Picture: Seamus Loughran

Castleblayney 1-12 Clan na Gael 1-11

CASTLEBLAYNEY held on to book their spot in the last four after a late Clan na Gael burst wasn’t enough in Saturday’s first quarter-final at Coláiste Feirste.

The Farney champions held separate five and four-point leads but the game’s star man, Ronan McAlinden, almost pulled the Armagh side over the line.

The Lurgan side had grounds for a penalty when McAlinden appeared to be fouled as they trailed by four points in the third quarter.

In the end, it took a vital Castleblayney possession on the game’s final kick-out to help them over the line.

Max McGinnity, one the Monaghan stars on the way to the All-Ireland final, was double marked by a combination of Aedan McGivern and sweeper Finn Hegarty.

The rain and swirling wind made conditions very difficult but it was ‘Blayney who settled first. McGinnity’s deft pass led to Shea Broderick’s goal.

There was a chance for goal at the other end with Harry McQuillan repelling Aodhan Henderson’s shot. Clan na Gael then had the butt of the post to thank with McGinnity’s shot pinging to safety.

Two Lorcan Mone points opened a 1-3 to 0-1 lead before the Clan na Gael fightback. The dancing feet and shimmies of McAlinden saw him kick the score of the game.

Leading 1-4 to 0-4 at the break, Castleblayney had ball over the bar in the first attack with a palmed Mone score and they tagged on another after winning the kick-out.

McGinnity and McQuillan add points and Castleblayney were in comfortable position.

Calvin McConville picked a Castleblayney defender’s pocket to play in Ross Marsden who curled over to start the comeback.

McAlinden’s balance and use of the ball helped Clan na Gael’s comeback get off the ground.

McGinnity and Tom Carey hit ‘Blayney scores and they had a goal chanced hacked off the line by Daire McConville’s first touch.

McAlinden scored three frees in the closing stages but it was McGinnity’s late point that proved to be the winner.

Castleblayney: T Flanagan; D Function, P Carville, A Higgins: H McQuillan (0-1), T Carey (0-1), T McGeough; S Hanratty, C Murphy; S Broderick (1-0) T Nugent (0-1), B Sherry; M McGinnity (0-5, 0-4 frees), L Mone (0-4), C Conlon


Subs: S Millar for B Sherry (37), C Hughes for C Conlon (56)


Yellow card: S Hanratty (11)

Clan na Gael: Z McCaughey; T Maginn, S Reid, A McGivern; F Hegarty; N McParland, J McConville, C McConville (0-1); C McCrory, S McConville Burke; R Marsden (0-2, 1m), R McAlinden (0-8, 0-6 frees), A Henderson (1-0); J McCaugherty, L Murray,


Subs: D McConville for J McConville (35), D Morrow for J McCaugherty (49)


Yellow cards: J McConville (30+1), A Henderson (49)

Referee: B Toland (Lamh Dhearg)

FIXTURES


Quarter-finals


Cavan Gaels v Irvinestown – Saturday 5pm Coláiste Feirste


Mayobridge v St Paul’s – Saturday 1pm – St Paul’s

Semi-finals


Castleblayney v Four Masters – Saturday 1pm - St Pauls


Cavan Gaels/Irvinestown v Mayobridge/St Paul’s – Tuesday, December 26 – St Paul’s

Final

Monday, January 1