CONNOR GORMLEY’S 62nd minute free earned Milford the Minor Division 2 Football Championship with victory over Kilcar at MacCumhaill Park this afternoon.
Milford 2-7 Kilcar 1-9
Gormley showed nerves of steel as he stood over the ball before driving it straight between the posts to the delight of the Milford support. It was the penultimate kick of the game and sealed the win in what was in the end, after a slow start to the game, a dramatic finish.
The side managed by Aodh McCormack (pictured above after their victory in the Northern Divisional final) had more of a scoring threat as Kevin Lyons’ Kilcar were dependent on the kicking abilities of Conor Doherty.
After Gary Molloy’s opener for Kilcar, Doherty scored four first half points – all from placed balls and with either foot depending on the side they were awarded – as the sides looked to be heading in level at 0-5 to 1-2 at half-time.
However, in first half injury time, Gormley’s long-range shot for a point didn’t have the legs and Colm Garvey in the Kilcar goal got both hands on the ball but was adjudged by match referee Paul Clifford and the umpires to have stepped behind the goal line.
Therefore, Milford, who had to start without Kane Barrett due to an ongoing groin injury, were in a good position three points up at the break, 2-2 to 0-5.
It was a cagey half, with both parties unwilling to give too much away, although Milford managed to get the only goal in that period when a lumped ball into the square by Shay Durning caused confusion and wasn’t dealt with and Shane McNamee, who lines out with Derry City Under-17s, got a decisive touch on the ground.
Garvey had the Kilcar goal then made a good save to deny Gormley as Gavin Grier and Ryan McMahon, with a peach, also got their names on the scoresheet for Milford.
The introduction of Barrett five minutes into the second half lifted Milford, as did his score soon afterwards.
Kilcar needed something to lift their spirits and it arrived in the 42nd minute when Gavin McFadden, the Milford goalkeeper, palmed out and then made a great second stop from Brian O’Donnell.
However, just like that fate that bestowed Garvey beforehand, McFadden looked up to see the green flag waving as he too was adjudged to have carried the ball over the line. The goal cut Milford’s lead to one and two minutes later, when Shane Gillespie pointed twice, Kilcar were one up at 1-7 to 2-3.
With just four minutes left, Milford appeared to be the team in trouble but Grier found himself in space to level. As the match caught fire, Garvey made a super stop from McNamee in a one-on-one situation in the 58th minute. With advantage being played, Barrett edged Milford ahead only for Daniel Lyons to get them back on terms.
With things in the melting pot, Doherty, with his first score of the second half pushed Kilcar ahead in the 61st minute and it looked as though it would be Kilcar’s. But the didn’t keep possession late on and Martin Doyle managed to level it at with seconds left. From the final play of the game, Gormley stood over the free and his kick was true to win it.
Kilcar: Colm Garvey; Eoin Byrne, Paddy McShane, Gavin Moore; Pauric McShane, Kenny Doogan, John James McNelis; Daniel Lyons (0-1), Brian O’Donnell (1-0); John Gibbons, Shane Gillespie (0-2), Ryan O’Donnell; Oran Doogan, Gary Molloy (0-1), Conor Doherty (0-5, 5f). Subs: David Love for Gibbons (54)
Milford: Gavin McFadden; Patrick Ferry, Kieran Sheridan, Shay Durning; Odhran Coll, Cormac Toland, Ryan McMahon (0-1); Connor Gormley (1-1, 1f), Luke Trearty; Conor McHugh, Adam Serringa, Martin Doyle (0-1); Shane McNamee (1-0), Ryan Flood, Gavin Grier (0-2). Subs: Kane (0-2, 2f) Barrett for Flood (35), Ryan Toye for McHugh (50)
Referee: Paul Clifford (Buncrana).Tags: