Milford are the masters

Milford are the masters
Tom Comack sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Milford are sitting on top of the AllSportStore.com Division Two League following yesterday’s two point win over Four Masters at Moyle View Park in Milford.

Milford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-16

Four Masters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-14

The win meant that they leapfrogged Four Masters, who went into the game in the top position but were relegated to second just a point adrift.

Cathal McGettigan topscored for the winners and ended the game with a personal tally of 0-11, seven of them from frees. Gavin Grier, with his first touch, seconds after replacing Kieran Sheridan, scored the goal on 37 minutes.

Conor McMonagle 0-5, Conor McDaid 0-4 and Barry Monaghan 0-3 scored the bulk of the Masters points while Patrick Reid scored the Four Masters goal three minutes from the end.

The teams were level eight times in the opening 27 minutes before McGettigan landed two late frees, one a monster kick from 50 mtres, to give Milford a 0-10 to 0-8 half-time lead.

McGettigan, Darragh Black (who was red hot at full-forward), David Curley and Gary Merritt , who was James McCaffrey-like at wing-back throughout the game, kicked the first half Milford points.

McDaid, McMonagle, Monaghan, Luke Keaney, who had his first game back in the Masters colours in over a year, posted the opening half points for Four Masters.

“It was a typical top of the table clash in the first half where both teams were respecting each other and were being very cagey,” said Milford manager Danny O’Donnell.

“It was score for score for a long time with a lot of the scores coming from frees. We were level seven times before we pulled away just before half-time to go in two up.

“We were probably the marginally better team in the first half; we had a massive goal chance in the first half and did not take it, but took a point instead.”

“We won the game in the first ten minutes of the second half and scored 1-2 to a point in the first seven minutes to go six up.

“We said at half-time that our full-forward line was on fire and we had to get the ball into them and once we took over in the middle of the field I thought we played some brilliant football.”

Merritt and Black scored the early second half Milford points and McDaid responded for Masters before super sub Cullen struck for the crucial Milford goal.

Cullen did well to beat Four Masters’ keeper, James McDaid, to flick the ball to the Masters’ net after brilliant interplay between Daragh Black and Gary Merritt.

Leading 1-12 to 0-9 with 37 minutes on the clock McGettigan made it 1-14 to 0-9, before the wily old Barry Monaghan, playing closer to the Milford posts in the second half, scrambled two points, to reduce the margin to four.

But McGettigan made it a five point game once again with a little under eight minutes of normal time remaining.

And the fat was in the fire when Patrick Reid flicked a long range Monagan delivery into the goalmouth past Coalan McGettigan and the margin back to four, 1-15 to 1-11.

Milford nerves were jangling when McMonagle (2) and Barry Dunnion pointed for a one point game and a grandstand finish.

But Milford held their nerve and fittingly McGettigan brought down the curtain deep in injury time with the game’s final white flag.

“Four Masters came back at us as we knew they would but our lads didn’t panic and Cathal kicked the insurance points.

“It was no more than they deserved and we are delighted to have gone to the top of the table.

“When we set out at the start of the year we set ourselves a target of 16 points and after that win we are on 14 and we are only at the halfway stage.

“All we need is two more points to reach our target and when we have that achieved we will reassess the situation.”

Milford: Caolan McGettigan; Conor McNulty, Barry McNulty, Kieran Sheridan; Gary Merritt (0-2), Paddy Peoples, TJ Evesson; Anthony Fisher, Sean Black; Darragh Black (0-2), Christopher Barrett, Johnny Logue; David Curley (0-1), Pauric Curley, Cathal McGettigan(0-11,7f). Subs: Joey Cullen for B McNulty 11 inj; Gavin Grier (1-0) for K Sheridan 36; P J Hagan for C McNulty 46.

Four Masters: James McDaid; Darren Walsh, Dillon Kennedy, Leo McHugh; Barry Dunnion (0-1), Luke Keaney (0-1), Johnny Boyle; Patrick Reid (1-0), Kevin McBrearty; Darren Doherty, Conor McMonagle (0-5,4f), Conor McDaid (0-4,1f); Barry Monaghan (0-3), Dillon Muldoon, Michael Doherty. Sub: Peadar Espey for D Doherty 45.

Referee: Enda McFeely, Convoy