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Masters seek deferral of semi

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From Chris McNulty in Ballybofey

THE Four Masters club has tonight tabled a request to the Donegal Competition’s Controls Committee (CCC) seeking a deferral of their Donegal SFC semi-final with Naomh Conaill.

Following tonight’s 1-15 to 1-8 extra-time win over St Michael’s in MacCumhaill Park, club officials made the request.

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The game is scheduled to be played on Sunday at 4pm in O’Donnell Park, but Four Masters are seeking a mid-week game next week.

While there was a very healthy attendance at tonight’s game, it is believed that the CCC would not be in favour of postponing the fixture until next week.

The final is scheduled until Sunday November 4th – a fortnight on Sunday – but CCC officials are understood to be insistent that the game will be played as planned on Sunday.

With little time between games, sources say that the CCC are fearful of a drawn game were they to put the game back – and leave them with just a week between a replay and the final.

“We are going to try to negotiate to see if we and get some sort of wriggle room,” said Four Masters manager Joe Lacey.

“They talk about player welfare and all of that, so we’re hoping that we might get a few days.”

Four Masters lost the influence of Shane Carr and Michael Doherty (pictured above) in the first-half, while Sean O’Kennedy had to withdraw after sustaining a groin injury later in the game.

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Of the three, Doherty – their ace scorer – is rated as having the best chance of making it for the semi.

Manager Lacey heaped praise on his side for a memorable win.

He said: “Down through the years, Four Masters have been accused of having no bottle.

“In fairness they showed in spades tonight – especially after losing Shane Carr and Michael Doherty in the first-half.

“We had only one forward on the bench but the boys stepped up to the mark. They battled and battled – and we knew if we could get at them that we could do it.

“We were in there and every man made a promise that they would do it for the boys – and for Don Monaghan and Peadar Espey, who are also injured.

“We’re all in this and it’s a close-knit family.

“We came back every time and the boys got what they deserved.”

The game’s big score was certainly Oisin McGinty’s goal – but even before then Lacey could sense victory was there for his team.

He said: “The goal sealed the deal, but even when we went two up in extra time I couldn’t see St Michael’s getting back into it.

“Once we kept Colm McFadden quiet we were always in with a chance.

“I thought young Jamie McCrea was excellent – this is his first year with the senior team and he’s a clinker.”

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