John Haran scored two goals from midfield and Rory Kavanagh scored a third as St. Eunan’s just about saw off the challenge of Milford at O’Donnell Park.
St. Eunan’s . . . 3-7
Milford . . . 1-11
This game was very even up until the 40th minute when St. Eunan’s scored two goals within the space of two minutes to gain control.
But despite trailing at one stage by seven points, Milford dug deep and got back to within two points of St. Eunan’s with the game entering added time.
They had a couple of late goal chances too with Kyle Black going closest when his fisted effort from point-blank range beaten away by the keeper, Blake Forkan.
St. Eunan’s managed to withstand some late Milford pressure to eventually win with two points to spare.
This game was switched from Moyle View Park to O’Donnell Park and it was the visitors who started well with Luke Barrett and Cathal McGettigan scoring early points.
Rory Carr, back in the starting team for St. Eunan’s, marked his return with an early free, and a fisted effort from Conor Parke levelled the game by the 11th minute.
Parke had an excellent first half for St. Eunan’s, raiding down the left from defence when the opportunity allowed and he kicked the home side in front on 13 minutes with another well taken score.
But Milford, who had won so impressively in Bundoran in their first game, struck for the game’s opening goal soon after - and what a goal it was. Luke Barrett passed to Darragh Black who in turn showed wonderful awareness to pick out an inch perfect delivery for the in-rushing Joey Cullen who palmed the ball to the corner of the net past Blake Forkan.
Points from Kyle Black and Cathal McGettigan followed and suddenly Milford’s lead was out to five points.
But St. Eunan’s responded well and in the closing four minutes of the first half, they hit 1-3 without reply. Their goal came from John Haran who hammered to the net after Rory Kavanagh had robbed Sean Black of possession.
Along with points from Carr (free) and two from Conor Gibbons, the goal helped St. Eunan’s into a one point lead at half time, 1-6, 1-5.
Milford were denied a second goal in the early stages of the second half when keeper Forkan produced a brilliant save from Christopher Barrett. It was a big moment because soon after, St. Eunan’s scored two goals in quick succession. The first came after a deadly counter-attack which was finished to the net by Haran. The same player was also involved in the move which ended with Kavanagh scoring his team’s third goal.
Losing 3-6 to 1-5, Milford gave themselves hope with three quick points from Christopher Barrett, substitute Pauric Curley and a Luke Barrett free.
They were also helped by the dismissal of St. Eunan’s substitute Darragh McWalters following a challenge of Darragh Black.
Milford threw everthing at St. Eunan’s in the dying minutes and got back to within two points. However, despite their best efforts, and strong appeals for a late penalty, they were unable to deny St. Eunan’s a second victory from their two outings.
ST. EUNAN’S: Blake Forkan; Conor Moore, Eamonn Doherty, Conor Parke (0-2); Kevin Kealy, Sean Hensey, Barry McGeehin (0-1); Oisin Toal, John Haran (2-0); Paddy McGowan, Rory Kavanagh (1-0), Conor Gibbons (0-2, 1f); Brian McIntyre, Lee McMonagle, Rory Carr (0-2, 2f).
Subs: Michael Miller for McIntyre 26, Darragh McWalters for Kealy 41, Ciaran Sharkey for Hensey 48, Daniel Gillespie for Carr (black card) 57.
MILFORD: Caolan McGettigan; Conor McNulty, Barry McNulty, TJ Evisson; Tony McNamee, Paddy Peoples, Sean Black; Joey Cullen (1-0), Luke Barrett (0-5, 4f); Gary Merritt (0-1), Cathal McGettigan (0-2), Christopher Barrett (0-1); Darragh Black, Kane Barrett, Kyle Black (0-1).
Subs: Pauric Curley (0-1) for C McNulty 30, Gavin Grier for K Barrett 30, Johnny Logue for S Black 41,
REFEREE: Aidan McAleer (Muff).