St Nauls 4-7 Four Masters 1-7
St Nauls took the two points in their push for promotion while Four Masters remain in deep trouble near the foot of Division 2. In the reverse fixture in April St Nauls margin of victory was 3 points which flattered Four Masters as they were 9 points behind when Barry Griffin was red-carded and scored 1-3 without reply to put a decent gloss on the scoreline. It was a very different story today with Four Masters playing the better football for most of the hour but getting caught on the break.
Four Masters set their stall out early winning the first few kickouts through Kevin Breslin, Leo McHugh and Kevin McBrearty, a midfield dominance they retained for much of the game while St Nauls appeared to be happy to sit back and soak up the pressure. After a couple of wides Masters had the first score through a well worked goal from Jamie Crawford after good work down the right by Barry Dunnion and a low pass through from McBrearty.
Masters were completely dominant and had another wide before they had another goal chance. Sean O’Kennedy had a shot which went across the face of the goal and Oisin Reid slid in at the far post but his touch went around the post and wide. Nauls replied with a free from Stephen Griffin. Four Masters were seeing a lot of the ball but Nauls were defending well with some robust tackling. David Quinn took charge of a long period of Masters possession to float over a point and a minute later Conor McDaid had one off his left following another period of Masters possession.
Griffin had two wides before he hit another free over the bar. This was followed by a very good point from Peadar Mogan from wide on the right. Nauls then hit the front with good work down the left by Stuart Johnson who flashed the ball across the face of the goal to leave Barry Griffin with the simplest of palms to the net.
Quinn had a point from a free but Masters had two more wides to leave the scores even at half-time. Although against a slight breeze Masters would have felt they should have been well in front at this point.
HT: St Nauls 1-3 Four Masters 1-3
The second half started in the same fashion with Four Masters dominant at midfield. Breslin, who was having a fine game, worked his way up the field in a great passing move and found himself in front of goal but his shot was blocked out for a 45 by Enda O’Hagan. Quinn converted the 45 and this was followed, after two more wides, by a point from play by McDaid. Griffin replied with a free before Quinn replied again from play to put Masters two up.
Stuart Johnson reduced the arrears before, in the 16th minute the turning point of the game came. An apparent foul on Dunnion in the middle of the field was met with a shrill blast of the referees whistle. However the free was inexplicably awarded to St Nauls and Griffin reacted first sending the ball into Mogan who turned his man, made up 20 metres before passing across the face of the goals for Daniel Brennan to finish to the net.
Breslin went off injured which added to Masters woes. Mogan made another good run and was provider once again, this time for Cathal Lowther to finish to the net. McBrearty replied with a point but as Masters pressed forward gaps appeared at the back. Griffin had two points from frees sandwiched between a good goal from young wing-back Michael Coughlan.
Masters had more wides before Cathal Lowther received a black card and Barry Griffin a second yellow followed by a red.
Masters will rue the many wides and will have to dig deep in the final three games while Nauls have a real chance of promotion to Division One.
ST NAUL’S: Enda O’Hagan – Brendan McCole, Dermot Gallagher, Caolan Gaffney – John Relihan, Conor McBrearty, Michael Coughlan (1-0)- Lee McBrearty, Barry Griffin (1-0) – Daniel Brennan (1-0), Stuart Johnson (0-1), Peadar Mogan (0-1) – Shane Conneely, Cathal Lowther (1-0), Stephen Griffin (0-5,5f). Subs: Ian Campbell for John Relihan 20, John Rose for Caolan Gaffney 36, Martin Breslin for Michael Coughlan 54, Daniel Meehan for Cathal Lowther (b/c 62)
FOUR MASTERS: Martin Cassidy – Caolan Loughney, Kevin Breslin, Dylan Kennedy – Aaron McCrea, John Boyle, Cathal Canavan – Oisin Reid, Kevin McBrearty – Jamie Crawford (1-0), Sean O’Kennedy, Leo McHugh – Conor McDaid (0-3,1f), David Quinn (0-4,3f), Barry Dunnion. Subs: Emmett Doogan for Sean O’Kennedy 39, Brian Fegan for Kevin Breslin 48, Thomas McGowan for David Quinn (53).
St Nauls Reserves 2-12 Four Masters Reserves 4-11
Four Masters Reserves: Eamonn Jordan – Aidan McHugh, Danny McGarrigle, Colm McDonnell – Brian P. Gallagher, Eoghan Corley (0-1, 45), Fergal O’Callaghan (0-1f)– Jason Duignan (0-1), Ray Balogun (1-0) – Cathal Feeney, Stephen Graham (1-1, 1-0pen), Eoghan Gorrell (0-1) – Killian Faulkner (2-3, 0-2f), Neil Ward, Joe Sheerin. Subs: James McHugh for McDonnell (17), Benny Cassidy (0-2, 0-1f) for O’Callaghan (25 b/c), Charlie Gallagher for Ward (ht), Matthew Wilson (0-1) for Sheerin (ht).