Cathal McGettigan scored 3-5 as fourteen-man Milford blitzed Sean MacCumhaills in the second half to claim a huge win in a relegation four-pointer at Moyle Park.
Milford 5-8 Sean MacCumhaills 1-12
By Chris McNulty at Moyle Park
Milford had Luke Barrett sent off eight minutes into the second half, but out-scored MacCumhaills 4-6 to 0-8 in the second half, with Christopher Barrett and Kane Barrett also landing goals.
When Barrett was sent off, Milford had just inched themselves in front for the first time, thanks tog frees by McGettigan (2) and Kane Barrett.
MacCumhaills led by two points, 1-4 to 1-2, but lost their way in the second half as Milford went goal-crazy.
The night’s significance was not lost on the participants and there was plenty for Connie Doherty, the referee, to deal with.
The Naomh Conaill official spent a large chunk of time at the interval in discussion with the respective managers and the team captains in a bid to cool the temperatures.
Two separate melees broke out towards the end of the first half and the mercury rose again early in the second half.
Luke Barrett was shown a red card when he struck out at Padhraic Patton during a stoppage in a play. Barrett could have no complaints, although the MacCumhaills man could count himself fortunate that Doherty was unsighted as he appeared to strike out at the Milford midfielder.
Darren O’Leary’s free, when things simmered, drew MacCumhaills level again, but the energised 14 men found a stirring response.
Rory O’Donnell and James Doyle had big hands in setting Christopher Barrett up for the second Milford goal in the 43rd minute. With MacCumhaills still reeling, Danny O’Donnell’s men added a third as Kane Barrett drilled emphatically past Eoin Gallen after getting on the end of Daragh Black’s probing ball from the right channel.
The red-hot Cathal McGettigan was on target with a first-half goal and he took receipt of a ball from Kane Barrett to strike Milford’s fourth.
McGettigan’s hat-trick goal was needed after three O’Leary frees narrowed the gap to four and it finally put the contest to bed on a night when understrength Milford had big displays from McGettigan, James Doyle and the excellent Kane Barrett.
It felt but a distant memory that moment in the 11th minute when Gary Wilson flicked to the net from Brian Lafferty’s delivery to give MacCumhaills the impetus.
Five minutes later, Milford struck gold when McGettigan batted home from Black’s pass to the far post.
Milford were without a host of key players, not least Donegal U20 Ryan McMahon and achilles victim Ronan Docherty, whose season has been ended.
Milford can expect to welcome back the likes of Kyle Black, Gary Merritt, Pauric Curley, Joey Cullen and Gavin Grier in the coming weeks to add a significant boost to the Moyle men.
They were indebted to goalkeeper Caolan McGettigan, who denied Gavin Gallagher with a superb save late in the opening half. McGettigan fisted away from Gary Wilson’s deliver. His clearance fell perfectly for Gallagher, who looked set to fire to the net, only for McGettigan to brilliantly redeem himself with a top-drawer save.
It kept Milford alive and within striking distance to build a second-half comeback that yielded a second win of the year.
Milford: Caolan McGettigan; Peter Curran, Sean Black, Conor Coll; James Doyle, Anthony Fisher, TJ Evesson; Rory O’Donnell, Luke Barrett; Conor McHugh, Christopher Barrett (1-0), Cathal McGettigan (3-5, 5f); Daragh Black, Kane Barrett (1-2, 1f), Paddy Peoples. Subs: Marty Doyle (0-1) for McHugh (49), Patrick Ferry for Black (60).
Sean MacCumhaills: Eoin Gallen; Conor Griffin, Ronan McMenamin (0-1), Adam Lynch; Rory Mulligan, Gary Dunnion, Andrew McCloskey; Gavin Gallagher, Padhraic Patton (0-1); Gary Wilson (1-1), Steven O’Reilly (0-1), Brian Lafferty; Carl Dunnion, Darren O’Leary (0-7, 6f), Martin O’Reilly. Subs: Aaron Kelly for C.Dunnion (43), Chad McSorley for McMenamin (47), Stephen Mulligan (0-1f) for Lafferty (50), Jack Burke for Griffin (60), Ryan Finn for Lynch (60).
Referee: Connie Doherty (Naomh Conaill)Tags: