John Haran double helps St Eunan’s to narrow win over spirited Milford

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TWO GOALS FROM John Haran helped St Eunan’s to a narrow victory over Milford at O’Donnell Park this afternoon in the All-County Football League Division 1.

St Eunan’s 3-7 Milford 1-11

The Division 1 newcomers, Milford, gave a very good account of themselves and in the first half led by five points at one stage in a fixture that was reversed to the Cathedral town as Moyle View was deemed unplayable due to the heavy overnight rain.

However, St Eunan’s greater experience saw them over the line with 40-year-old Haran netting twice and Rory Kavanagh also scoring a goal. Milford, though, scored five points on the bounce to keep themselves in with a shout and might certainly have got something from the game in a frantic finish.

And St Eunan’s goalkeeper Blake Forkan had to make two last saves to keep his team in front.

The Letterkenny side, who defeated Dungloe last weekend, finished with 14 men with substitute Darragh McWalters sent off for a heavy challenge on Darragh Black with 10 minutes remaining.

Joey Cullen slapped the first goal of the afternoon from close range following a centre from Darragh Black on 13 minutes to put Danny O’Donnell’s team into a 1-2 to 0-3 lead with the wind.

Then, scores from a Luke Barrett free, Kyle Black and Cathal McGettigan put the away team 1-5 to 0-3 in front.

Rory Carr posted his second free to add to two earlier scores from Conor Parke before St Eunan’s finally found their upper gears towards the end of the half.

Kavanagh nipped possession from Luke Barrett 90 seconds left in the first half and having broken free down the left, fed John Haran, who shot a goal past Caolan McGettigan. Then, a Conor Gibbons score right on the whistle meant St Eunan’s went in 1-6 to 1-5 in front at the break.

Nine minutes into the second half, Haran played a neat give and go with Carr to tuck home his second goal and then, three minutes later a move that involved Haran and Lee McMonagle saw St Eunan’s grab their third goal. Kavanagh smashed home from eight yards.

Milford hit back with scores from Christopher Barrett, Pauric Curley and Luke Barrett and with McWalters having been shown the line, were certainly in the contest till the bitter end.

Another free from Barrett meant Milford were just three down, 3-6 to 1-9, with three minutes to play. Kyle Black had to improvise to slap a ball from Curley goalwards but his effort hit the side-netting.

In the last minute, Gary Merritt went for goal and Forkan had to tip over the crossbar and in injury time, the St Eunan’s goalkeeper had to save again – this time from Tony McNamee.

At the other end, Barry McGeehin knocked over the last point of the day for the home team, while Luke Barrett scored his fifth of the day for Milford, who had a late penalty appeal with Christopher Barrett going down. However, referee Aidan McAleer waved away the protestations.

St Eunan’s: Blake Forkan; Conor Moore, Eamonn Doherty, Conor Parke (0-2); Kevin Kealy, Sean Hensey, Barry McGeehin (0-1); Oisin Toal, John Haran (2-0); Paddy McGowan, Rory Kavanagh (1-0), Conor Gibbons (0-2, 1f); Brian McIntyre, Lee McMonagle, Rory Carr (0-2, 2f). Subs: Michael Miller for McIntyre (27), Darragh McWalters for Kealy (42), Kieran Sharkey for Hensey (50), Daniel Gillespie for Carr (57, black card)
Milford: Caolan McGettigan; Conor McNulty, Barry McNulty, TJ Evesson; Tony McNamee, Paddy Peoples, Sean Black; Joey Cullen (1-0), Luke Barrett (0-5, 4f); Gary Merritt (0-1), Cathal McGettigan (0-2), Christopher Barrett (0-1); Darragh Black, Kane Barrett, Kyle Black (0-1). Subs: Gavin Grier and Pauric Curley (0-1) for K Barrett and C McNulty (half-time), Johnny Logue for S Black (42).
Referee: Aidan McAleer (Naomh Padraig, Muff).

MA in Journalism graduate from NUI Galway and BBS Marketing and NC in Online Marketing from LyIT, who has worked covering sport in Donegal since 2004. Part of Donegal Democrat who won McNamee awards in 2013 and 2015 for 'best provincial publication'. Reseacher for 'Jimmy's Winnin' Matches' documentary and Rory Kavanagh's autobiography 'Winning'

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