Milford squeeze past Naomh Brid


Milford squeeze past Naomh Brid

Two lucky goals helped a nervy Milford reach the Intermediate semi-final as the overcame 14-man Naomh Brid in Convoy.

Milford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-12

Naomh Bríd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-12

Milford came into the game as clear favourites and after a slow start, they established a seven points to three lead by the 24th minute, and looked like they were going to push on and take command of proceedings.

However, Naomh Bríd rallied towards the end of the half and they only trailed by two points at the break.

The Ballintra men stuck with their opponents at the start of the second half, and then went in front when David Walsh palmed to the net.

Milford's response was emphatic as Kyle Black hit a three-pointer less than a minute later.

Naomh Bríd kept their composure and with eleven minutes of normal time remaining, they were one point ahead.

However, a disastrous two-minute spell saw them lose Thomas Gallagher to a second yellow card, and then Pauric Curley scored a scrappy goal.

Milford weren't overly convincing in the closing exchanges, but Danny O'Donnell's team still did enough to get over the line and secure a spot in the last four.

The Moyle View Park outfit have enjoyed a great season winning promotion to Division 1 for the first time, and their eyes are now set on the championship.

Naomh Brid registered the first score of the match in the second minute when Darragh Brogan converted a free.

The underfoot conditions were wet and heavy and the teams struggled to adapt to that, with both sides guilty of two wides apiece in the opening ten minutes.

Cathal McGettigan eventually got Milford off the mark from a placed ball, but Callum Gallagher quickly cancelled that out with a fine point from play.

McGettigan levelled matters with a free in the 13th minute, and Milford went in front when Kyle Black floated over a point from play, following a turnover in the middle of the field.

Sean Gormley replied with a well-worked score for Naomh Bríd, but O'Donnell's team were starting the get into their stride, and David Curley and Gary Merritt (free) notched points.

Christopher Barrett fired over, before Merritt tagged on a superb 50 metre free as Milford enjoyed their best spell of the game

Milford were pushing up on the opposition's kick-outs and Naomh Brid were struggling to get the ball out of defence.

However, they lifted their game towards the end of the half and hit three points in succession. Darragh Brogan and Shane Walsh scored frees, while Paul McGrory – home from England for the match – dissected the posts from play.

Cathal McGettigan had the final say of the first half with a free, and Luke Barrett got the second period up-and-running with another placed ball.

David Walsh had a point disallowed much to the anger of the Naomh Bríd bench, before Ross Gallagher scored a point.

Timoney's side then shocked Milford by swooping for a goal in the 37th minute. Callum Gallagher played the ball into Shane Walsh, who teed up David Walsh for the easiest goal he will score in his career.

Milford responded brilliantly and seconds later, Christopher Barrett found Kyle Black, and while the corner-forward's first effort was well saved by Padraig McDaid, he fired home at the second time of asking.

Naomh Bríd didn't buckle and Brogan landed a brace, before Shane Walsh fired over from distance. Yet just as they had taken the lead, Thomas Gallagher was dismissed and that was a huge blow to the Naomh Bríd cause.

Milford grabbed their second goal of the match in the 50th minute when David Curley's shot hit the post, and when the Naomh Bríd defence failed to clear their lines, Pauric Curley drilled low to the net.

Cathal McGettigan should have scored another goal one minute later, but his effort hit the woodwork. Milford did manage to recycle possession and Christopher Barrett slotted over.

Darragh Black extended Milford's lead out to four with a point, and that cushion could have been greater, but his goalbound shot was saved by McDaid.

Shane Walsh and Kyle Black exchanged points, and Brogan made it a three point game with a huge free in injury-time.

However, they couldn't find a goal to bring the game to a replay and Milford march on to the semi-finals.

MILFORD: Caolan McGettigan; Gary Merritt (0-2, 2fs), Barry McNulty, TJ Evesson; PJ Hagan, Paddy Peoples, Jonny Logue; Luke Barrett (0-1,1f), Joey Cullen; David Curley (0-1), Pauric Curley (1-0), Cathal McGettigan (0-3,3fs); Christopher Barrett (0-2), Darragh Black (0-1), Kyle Black (1-2). Subs: Sean Black for Jonny Logue 40, Anthony Fisher for P.Curley 54, Gavin Grier for Hagan 64.

NAOMH BRID: Padraig McDaid; Alan Quinn, Sam Burgess, Conal Rooney; Cian Gallagher, Sean Gormley (0-1), Clint Walsh; Thomas Gallagher, Ross Gallagher (0-1); Shane Walsh (0-3,1f), Callum Gallagher (0-1), Gearoid Gallagher; David Walsh (1-0), Paul McGroary (0-1), Darragh Brogan (0-5,5fs). Subs: Gary McCafferty for C.Walsh 28, Dermot Langan for G.Gallagher 54, Pauric Brennan for D.Walsh 58.

REFEREE: James Connors (St Eunan's).