Here’s to the history-making Boys from Baile na nGalloglach, those swift, short stepping soccer stars from Milford and surrounding areas, who made Gaelic history as the mist stole in over Alt na Peiste on Saturday night.
Three years ago, Danny O’Donnell’s feisty men were in Division 4 but they will now be slugging it out with the likes of Kilcar, St Eunan’s, St Michael’s and Naomh Conaill, thanks to a most impressive victory over Glenfin at the scenic Pairc Taobhoige.
And the scoreline flatters the losers as they got their second goal in the 64th minute from midfielder Stephen Ward to a put a slightly more respectable gloss on matters.
A delighted team boss Danny O’Donnell saluted his young side’s ability to win away from home.
“They deserve all the credit as it was a fantastic achievement.
“It is unbelievable and it is a great tribute to people who put in the work before and Division One won’t faze them because some of these lads have won U-16 and Minor A Championships.
‘They are carrying that winning mentality through to the seniors.
“We tend to start slowly, but once we get to the pace of the game, we are very hard to stop.
“We got the goal at the right time and it settled us and we were the better team overall.
But there was never any real doubt about the outcome of this affair and even though the winners trailed by 0-3 to 0-0 after 13 minutes playing into a fresh breeze.
However, once David Curley angled over their first point, the Milford men gradually asserted themselves playing patient attractive football, showing great first touch with some splendid finishing from wing forwards Cathal McGettigan and Christopher Barrett.
Glenfin’s great general Frank McGlynn was well man marked by Gary Merritt and that stunted much of the losers' moves.
Up front Gerard Ward was their stand out star, but all of Milford’s front-runners looked creative and dangerous and this was the main difference between the sides.
They also looked sharper than their Gaeltacht opponents.
But the really crucial score of this match was a fisted goal from impressive substitute Kyle Black who kept his eye on a high lob from Gavin Grier and flicked the ball to the Glenfin net in the 53rd minute to put the winners into a 1-12 to 1-lead.
Black’s patient and clever finish cancelled out a well finished goal from Glenfin corner forward Ciaran Foy who drove low to the Milford net three minutes previously to cut the winners lead to 0-12 to 1-8.
However, once Black found the net, Milford scented victory and the excellent McGettigan from frees, Barrett and Pauric Curley got the points that ensured victory.
The winners were well worth their 0-7 to 0-6 half-time after showing their mettle by overhauling quick early points from Foy, Gerard Ward and Stephen Ward.
Paddy O’Connor put the losers ahead by 0-4 to 0-1 with a well -struck left-footed effort in the 16th minute.
But Milford started to win a lot of breaks around midfield and the scores flowed from McGettigan, T J Evesson and Barrett.
Both sides missed two great goaling chances in this half as Glenfin keeper Liam O’Meara made a point blank save from Milford’s Joey Cullen after just four minutes.
At the other end Ciaran Foy decided to volley a perfect pass from Gerard Ward over the bar when he had ample time to gather and find the net in the 26th minute.
Milford stepped up a gear in a wind assisted second half but their keeper Caolan McGettigan was forced to pull off a fine block from Kevin McGlynn in the 38th minute.
The winners looked the more purposeful side in the second and had had eased into a 0-12 to 0-8 lead before Glenfin found the net through Foy.
But, once Black found the net, there was always going to be only one winner and it was thoroughly deserved.
Welcome to the big time Milford, for you thoroughly deserve it!
Glenfin: Liam O’Meara, Martin O’Donnell, Gary Herron, Kyle Doherty; Dean Herron, Frank McGlynn, Stephen McGlynn; Peter McGrath, Stephen Ward (1-1); Daniel McGlynn, Paddy O’Connor (0-21f), Jason Morrow, Gerard Ward (0-42f), Ciaran Foy (1-2). Subs; Daniel Carr for Kevin McGlynn, Jason Marley for Dean Herron (45), Ethan McGlynn for Gerard Ward (56).
Milford: Caolan McGettigan, Gavin Grier, Barry McNulty, T J Evesson (0-1); Gary Merrit, Paddy Peoples, Johnny Logan (0-1); Sean Black, Joey Cullen; Christopher Barrett (0-4), Pauric Curley (0-1), Cathal McGettigan (0-6,3f), David Curley (0-2), Darragh Black, P J Hagan. Subs: Kyle Black (1-0), for Darragh Black (ht), Conor McNulty for Sean Black (40), Sean Black for Gavin Grier (55), Kieran Sheridan for Gary Merrit (b-card 59)
Referee: Paddy McGonagle (Buncrana)
Late goal gives Malin win
Malin came away with a hard fought win in Pairc Na nGael thanks to two goals in a minute from Brendan McLaughlin, five minutes into the second half.
Naomh Columba 2-10
The losers had led by 2-4 to 0-5 thanks to similar efforts within two minutes from Ryan Gillespie and Paddy Byrne, midway through the first half.
But the killer goal for the winners came eight minutes from time from the evergreen Anthony Kelly in a match where Glen lost Michael Maguire to a black and a yellow card just before half-time and Malin lost Conor Farren to two yellow cards in the final minutes of an entertaining affair at Pairc na nGael.
Scorers - Naomh Columba; Ryan Gillespie 1-4, Paddy Byrne 1-0, Pauric Ward 0-2, Pauric O'Neill, Declan McGuire, Kevin McNern, Phillip Doherty 0-1 each.
Malin: Brendan McLaughlin 2-3, Mathew Byrne 0-4, Anthony Kelly 1-1, Dan McDaid, Darren Mullarkey 0-1 each.
Killybegs edge out MacCumhaill's
Killybegs edged out Sean MacCumhaills in a high scoring affair peppered with five goals, at Fintra on Saturday night.
Sean MacCumhaill's 3-9
The winners led by 2-7 to 2-4 in a keenly contested opening half where Evan Broderick and Shane Molloy found the net for the Fishermen.
The energetic Shane Duffy and Darren O’Leary replied in kind for MacCumhaill's.
The second half was a real ding dong affair with O’Leary netting his second goal.
But Killybegs were crucially more accurate in front of the posts for an entertaining second half where Hugh McFadden got some vital scores for the winners.
Killybegs scorers: Evan Broderick 1-4, Shane Molloy 1-1, Hugh McFadden 0-3,1f, Christopher Murrin 0-2, Daniel Breslin, Kevin Martin (f), John Ban Gallagher 0-1 each.
Sean MacCumhaills scorers: Darren O’Leary 2-5,4f, Shane Duffy 1-1, Barney Lafferty, James Lynch, Aaron Kelly 0-1 each.
Easy win for Cloughaneely
Home side Cloughaneely eased away from relegation threatened St Naul’s in a feisty affair at Pairc Naomh Fhionan.
St Naul’s 2-5
The home side only led by two points on a score of 0-7 to 1-2 after Shaun Griffin found the net from a pass from Stephen Griffin after just seven minutes.
But the winners gradually pulled clear through points from Cillian Gallagher, John Fitzgerald and Darren McKeever in the third quarter.
Fitzgerald found the net for the home side in the16th minute, but John Rose hit back with a similar score for the Parish of Inver men.
Cloughaneely continued to tack on the points and a Lee O’Brien injury time goal sealed matters.
Cloughaneely: Ciaran Gallagher, Martin Ferry, Paul McFadden, John Harley; Paddy Cannon, Eamonn McHugh (0-1), Ciaran McGeady; Kevin Mulhern , Michael McCausland; Cillian Gallagher (0-3), Darren Ferry (0-1), John McGarvey; Eugene McGuire, Shaun McGarvey (0-2, 2 F), John Fitzgerald (1-2). Subs: Shaun McGuire (0-2) for Shaun McGarvey (28); Darren McGeever (0-2) for Martin Ferry (HT), Lee O’Brien (1-0) for Eugene McGuire (37), Ciaran McFadden Snr for Michael Causland (Black card, 48)
St. Nauls: Patrick Burke, Conor McBrearty, Brendan McCole, Martin Breslin; Edward Kane, Aidan Kennedy, Andrew Gallagher; Lee McBrearty, Des McGroarty; Stephen Griffin (0-3, 2f), Cathal Lowther (0-1), John Rose (1-1) ; Brian McCabe, Shaun Griffin (1-0}, Shane Conneely. Sub: Barry Rose for Edward Kane (ht).