Milford took another step up the football leader with this victory over Kilcar in the Division Two Minor Championship final .
Midfielder Connor Gormley was the toast of Milford on Saturday night after his late free clinched a first major minor championship for the Moyle View Park club.
Gormley, who had a fine game in the engine room throughout, showed nerves of steel three minutes into injury time to split the Finn End goals in MacCumhaill Park from close on 40 metres and from out on the stand side.
From the kick out referee Paul Clifford blew the final whistle and Milford had snatched a late and dramatic win at the end of an absorbing contest.
Two minutes earlier it looked as if the title was heading to the south west when Conor Doherty - Kilcar’s standout player - lofted over from 37 metres, seconds after Daniel Lyons had tied up what was a close contest for the fifth time.
But to their credit Milford, who were the physically stronger and the better balanced outfit, refused to buckle.
Mark Doyle with a brilliant point under pressure levelled it once more before Gormley had the final say in a frenetic closing five minutes.
Up to that the football and the fare was of the mediocre type and a bit like the curate’s egg, good in patches.
Milford led by a point, 2-2 to 0-5, at the end of the first half. Shane McNamee and Gormley scored the goals. McNamee got the final touch on a dipping drive from Shay Durning to deflect it out of the reach of Kilcar ‘keeper Colm Garvey. That was on seven minutes and Gormley scored the second two minutes into injury time when Garvey was adjudged to have caught the midfielder’s strike behind his own line.
In between the Milford goals, Doherty scored four of his five points, three of them from frees.
Kane Barrett, who did not start due to injury, converted from close range for the first score of the second half to open up a four point lead - 2-3 to 0-5.
However, Kilcar were back in the game when Brian O’Donnell goaled. This time the Milford ‘keeper was judged to have palmed O’Donnell’s stinging strike from behind the line.
Shane Gillespie quickly added two points and Kilcar were ahead by one, 1-7 to 2-3.
Gavin Grier and Barrett responded to make it 2-5 to 1-7 to set up the closing five minutes of high drama which ended with Gormley’s winner.
Milford: G McFadden; P Ferry, K Sheridan, S Durning; O Coll, C Toland, R McMahon (0-1); C Gormley (1-1,1f), L Trearty; C McHugh, A Serrinha, M Doyle (0-1); S McNamee (1-0), R Flood, G Grier (0-2). Subs: K Barrett (0-2, 2f) for R Flood (34), R Toye for C McHugh (49).
Kilcar: C Garvey; E Byrne, P McShane, G Moore; P McShane, K Doogan, J J McNelis; D Lyons (0-1), B O’Donnell (1-0); J Gibbons, S Gillespie (0-2), R O’Donnell; O Doogan, G Molloy (0-1), C Doherty (0-5, 4,f). Sub: D Love for J Gibbons (52).
Referee: P Clifford (Buncrana)