Masters’ incredible scoring feat was made all the more remarkable when one considers that he was confined to bed with the flu during the week.
The Cork footballer scored 2-2 from play, hit 1-7 from frees and converted two 65s as Nemo stunned a Ballymartle side that looked very promising early on and more than held its own until the decisive closing quarter.
The sides were level on no fewer than nine occasions before Masters broke the heart of Ballymartle’s challenge and powered Nemo to a comprehensive triumph. Ronan Murphy, William Morgan, David Niblock, Alan Cronin and Mick Daly also got their names on the Nemo score-sheet but this was ‘The Masters show’ from start to finish.
Ballymartle, with centre forward Ger Cummins and 17-years old right winger Brian Corry figuring prominently in attack, grabbed the lead with a goal in the 7th minute when full forward Anthony McCarthy connected with a high lobbing free from Cummins.
The sides were level for the second time at 1-2 to 0-5 at the end of the opening quarter when McCarthy almost found the net again. However his powerful shot was brilliantly saved by Nemo goalkeeper Mark Cotter who proceeded to make a great double stop at the expense of a 65, which Ger Cummins converted to edge Ballymartle in front again.
Ballymartle, with Cummins scoring four points from frees, and young Corry adding three real beauties from play, managed to keep their noses in front and led 1-9 to 0-9 approaching half-time. However, just before the half-time whistle, Masters grabbed his first goal, and then pointed a ‘65’ to nudge the Capwell side 1-10 to 1-9 in front at the break.
The south east representatives never really recovered from the psychological effect of this reversal of fortune even though they stayed in touch during an often tempestuous third quarter, with referee Peter Downey doing well to keep a lid on things.
But this gripping clash was turned on its head in the 43rd minute when Masters scored an electrifying goal with a bullet-like drive to the roof of the net. Ballymartle only scored once more, a point from a free by Cummins 13-minutes from the end, while a third Masters goal from a 60-metre free in the 48th minute sealed Nemo’s triumph.
Scorers for Nemo Rangers: J. Masters 3-11 (2-2 from play; 1-7 from frees; 0-2 from 65s), R. Murphy, W. Morgan, A. Cronin, D. Niblock and M. Daly 0-1 each.
Ballymartle: A. McCarthy 1-0; G. Cummins 0-7 (0-6 from frees; 0-1 from 65.); B. Corry 0-3; R. Dwyer 0-2; B. Dwyer and C. Sheehan 0-1 each.
NEMO RANGERS: M. Cotter; T. Morgan, P. Brophy, G. Crowley; R. Murphy, P. Morgan, J. Griffen, M. Cronin, W. Morgan; A. Cronin, M. Daly, P. O’Shea; J. Masters, D. Niblock, C. O’Shea.
Subs: I. Madden for P. O’Shea; S. Horgan for T. Morgan; T. Morgan for Daly (leg injury).
BALLYMARTLE: J. Lordan; D. Coleman, D. Lordan, Brian Dwyer; D. Dwyer, K. Coleman, N. Sheehan; R. Dwyer, C. Sheehan; B. Corry, G. Cummins, Barry Dwyer; P. Coughlan, A. McCarthy, S. Fehilly.
Sub: B. McCarthy for Keith Coleman (leg injury).
Referee: P. Downey (Inniscarra).