Loreto Milford stage an amazing comeback to win by one in Donegal U-16 VS final

Tom Comack


Tom Comack

Loreto Milford stage an amazing comeback to win by one  in Donegal U-16 VS final

Connor Campbell scoring a goal for Abbey in first half Picture Thomas Gallagher

Loreto CS, Milford are celebrating a first Donegal U-16 Schools’ Championship success following a one point win over Abbey Vocational School.

Loreto CS,  Milford .......... 2-14

Abbey VS ....................4-7

In the game, played at the Donegal Training Centre in Convoy, Loreto producing a storming second half performance as they came from seven points down with a little under 20 minutes of normal time remaining.

The winners hit eight points without reply in those closing exchanges as they came from 2-6 to 4-7 down with 40 minutes on the clock.

Centre half-forward Kyle McFadden posted five of the points, the bulk of them from placed balls, with Matthew McLaughlin, Eoin O’Donnell and Liam McGrenaghan posting the other points.

Abbey were the better side in the opening half and thanks to goals from Connor Campbell, Rhys Boyle and Alex McCalmont, they led 3-5 to 2-3 at half-time.

McCalmont and his midfield partner Richard O’Rourke lorded the opening 30 minutes and provided Abbey with the platform to control most of the half.

Liam McCauley and Matthew McLaughlin scored the first half goals for Loreto, who led for a short period in the middle of the first period.

Conor Campbell and Frank Cornyn, who had good games, scored two quick points on the resumption for Abbey to move them into a seven point lead.

And while Loreto responded with strikes from McLaughlin and Kyle McFadden to reduce the margin back to four points, Abbey were soon seven ahead again when Rory Kennedy slotted home goal number four after the ball skidded on the slippery surface under the Milford ‘keeper John Matthews.

But much to the amazement of Abbey manager Brian Carty and his assistant Michael Lafferty, the Donegal Town boys did not score again for the remainder of the game.

Prompted by Liam McGranaghan and Ethan Cullen in the middle of the park, the Milford boys took over and with the Abbey boys drawn into defending a lead, the scores flowed for Loreto. Matthew McLaughlin and Eoin O’Donnell got the revival up and running before man of the match Kyle McFadden kicked five unanswered points, four of them from placed balls.

The fifth of those points tied up the contest on 59 minutes and then McGrenaghan, with a huge kick, landed the winner in the early seconds of injury time to clinch a famous victory for the Loreto boys.

LORETO CS; John Matthews; Fallon McBride, Tiarnan McBride, Eamon O'Donnell (0-1); Eoin O'Donnell, Dean McBride, Rory Pyper; Liam McGrenaghan (0-1), Ethan Cullen; Liam Donnelly (0-1), Kyle McFadden (0-7,5f), Liam McCauley (1-0); Shane Black (0-1), Matthew McLaughlin (1-3,2f), Ryan Canning. Subs: Patrick McDaid for E McBride 12; Lorcan Callaghan for R Canning 25, Manus O'Donnell for R Pyper 38.

ABBEY VS; Oisin McCallig; Sean Boyle, Shane Meehan, Andrew Monaghan; Shane Breslin, Jamie Gorrell, Tom Daly; Alex McCalmont (1-1), Richard O'Rourke (0-1); Ultan O'Grady (0-2), Connor Campbell (1-2,1f), Rhys Boyle (1-0); Mark Jordan, Frank Cornyn (0-1), Rory Kennedy (1-0).  Sub: Jarred Harvey for U O'Grady 54.

REFEREE: Gerard McHugh (Convoy)