Despite the fact that they were the better team for long periods of this All Donegal Ulster Schools Final, played at the Convoy Centre of Excellence, it wasn’t until Kyle McFadden pounced on Shane Black’s shot which came back of the inside of a post and slotted the ball into the far corner of Daithi Roberts net that you felt this victory had finally been achieved.
LORETO COMMUNITY SCHOOL MILFORD 1-09 V 1-03 POBALSCOIL GAOTH DOBHAIR.
It was fitting that McFadden ( 1-02 ) had the game’s final say, as he along with corner forward partner Johnny Mc Groddy ( 0-04 ) were the main men in terms of taking scores at vital times in a match that saw both teams but especially Loreto Milford kick too many wides and too many balls into the goalkeeper’s hands.
Four points, seven wides and four into the keeper’s hands was Milford ‘s first-half return while Pobalscoil Gweedore could only manage one point in that opening half to trail 0-04 to 0-01 at the break.
After Mc Groddy has missed a early goal chance when Ciaran Moore set him up points by Rory O’Donnell, McGroddy and Liam McGrenaghan had Milford three ahead in the 17th minute.
O’Donnell did great work at the other end of the pitch in the 20th minute when his brilliant block tackle denied Kyle Doohan a goal after Eoin de Burca’s strong run and pass had set him up.
Cian McAteer’s point in the 23rd minute finally got Gweedore on the scoresheet but Mc Fadden restored Milford’s three point lead on the stroke of half-time.
Two excellent points from Johnny McGroddy at the start of the second-half stretched that lead to five but that very quickly was reduced to just two when Joey Gillespie fisted the ball to the Milford net following super play by Stephen Mc Fadden in the 36th minute and it was game on again at 0-06 to 1-1.
McGroddy kicked over his fourth point in the 41st minute and then Gweedore keeper Daithi Roberts made an excellent save to deny Ciaran Moore as the midfielder went for goal two minutes later. Gillespie’s free reduced the deficit to just two again in the 48th minute but Moore burst forward two minutes later to make it 0-08 to 1-02 with ten minutes left.
McFadden kicked his second point to restore the three point lead but in the 58th minute Gillespie converted another free to again leave the kick of a ball between them at 0-09 to 1-03 .
But a minute later it was finally over as a contest as Milford launch an attack from deep inside their own half and when Shane Black’s shot came back off the post Kyle Mc Fadden reacted quickest and drilled the ball low to the net to ensue that Loreto Milford would join the likes of PCC Falcarragh and Colaiste Na Carrick as Donegal winners of the Ulster Schools Arthur’s Cup.
LORETO MILFORD: Aodh McBride, Liam McAlary, Conor Coll, Dylan Dorrian, Stephen Black, Conor Black, Aaron Reid, Rory O’Donnell (0-1), Ciaran Moore (0-1), Shane Black, Liam Mc Grenaghan (0-1) , Tiarnan Mc Bride, Johnny McGroddy (0-4, 1f) , Steve McDaid , Kyle McFadden (1-2, 1f). Subs: Conor McBride for Tiarnan McBride (32), Ethan Cullen for McDaid (37), Matthew McLaughlin for Mc Grenaghan (48).
GAOTH DOBHAIR: Daithi Roberts, Michael Doherty, Ruan Turk, Aodhan Breathnach , Donal Mc Bride , Fionnan Coyle , Conor Hanlon , Eoin de Burca , Fiachra Coyle, Cian McAteer (0-1), Kyle Doohan , Joey Gillespie (1-2, 2f), Cian McBride , Stephen Mc Fadden , Jamie Doherty. Subs: Patrick Ferry for Cian McBride (h-t).
REFEREE; Eoin Doherty (Naomh Columba).