Milford managed to keep their heads in front most of the game to take victory over against a gritty Fanad Gaels side in Portsalon on Saturday night.
Fanad Gaels . . . . . . . . 1-7
Milford . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-9
The visitors burst into life and were three points up from Darragh Black and two from Cathal McGettigan within the first ten minutes before Seamie ‘Nanny’ Friel opened Fanad’s account.
Brian McVeigh added another for the home side before David Curley struck back for Milford to leave it 0-2 to 0-4 after 16 minutes.
Milford’s Conor McNulty went down heavily and was carried off with a painful looking thigh injury and was replaced by Gavin Grier before Fanad hit back with a Niall Carr free.
They then went on to level the tie with a great point from Brian McVeigh in the 27th minute.
Just as Fanad began to settle Milford changed gears and went two points up just before half-time with Pauric Curley and Chris Barrett pointing from play to leave it 0-4 to 0-6 at the break.
Within seconds of the restart Milford’s PJ Hagan was quickest to pounce on a long, looping, shot that rebounded off the woodwork to hit the back of the net.
Seamie ‘Nanny’ Friel clawed a point back for the home side five minutes later but a Cathal McGettigan responded for Milford.
Fanad went on the attack with a sweeping move that saw a high ball floated in dangerously to the Milford area and and bundle of hands jumped to meet it but it appeared that in the scramble the towering Michael Sweeney rose highest to turn it into the net with his fist to leave it 1-5 to 1-7 ten minutes into the half.
Milford brought Luke Barrett and Kyle Black into the fold, whose fresh legs would prove important deep into the half, but Fanad kept on the pressure and a very long range point from Brian McVeigh saw them leave just a point in it before Cathal McGettigan pulled a point back from play.
A 58th minute free from McGettigan put three between them and Fanad went on the hunt for a goal to close the gap as the clock ticked down.
The goal never materialised and a 32nd minute point from Brian McVeigh was not enough for the home team to close the margin as Milford kept cool heads until the final whistle sounded for a hard fought victory.
Fanad late show gets the win
Fanad Gaels 1-10
A late long range point from Fanad’s Enda Coll helped them come back to take a win by the narrowest margin in a thrilling encounter against Milford.
There was never more than a couple of scores in it throughout and the lead changed hands a number of times before Fanad came from two points behind in the last five minutes to hit three fine scores to take the victory.
FANAD GAELS: S McAteer, B Martin, C O Diomsaigh, T O Cosnachtáin, M McConagley, C Carr, D McDermott, S Gallagher, O McFadden, S McSamhran, C McFadden (0-5, 2f), A McAteer, E Coll(0-4), R Feenstra(0-1).
Sub: O Black for C Carr, O Blaney (0-1) for McDermott, S McGonagle on for C Carr.
MILFORD: S Gallagher, P Ferry, P Grier, C Friel, K Sheridan, E McHugh, C Toland(0-1), P Sweeney(1-0), K Gormley, M Doyle(0-2), C Boyle, K McHugh(0-1), G Hilferty(0-2), P Fisher(0-1), E Connaghan.
Subs: A Fisher for E Connaghan, K McLaughlin for P Ferry.
Referee: Michael Mulhern.