Milford United celebrate their cup final win over Letterkenny Rovers.
A dramatic afternoon at the Flagpole Field on Saturday eventually saw Milford Utd crowned John Gorey Cup champions as they scored a late late equaliser before going on to win on penalties over a Letterkenny Rovers side who were oh so close to lifting the trophy.
Milford United . . . 1
Letterkenny Rovers . . . 1
(AET, Milford win on penalties)
Milford, under the guidance of Joe Ferry, have just returned to the league this season and may see this as just reward for hard endeavours.
This win could be the catalyst for a famous double as they also have an Ulster Cup semi final to look forward to. They will be indebted to Darragh Greene who scored an 89th minute equaliser just as it looked as if a 73rd minute penalty from Zach Gorman was to prove to be the trophy-clinching goal.
This was Letterkenny's second final defeat on successive weekends and it was a case of what might have been for Anthony Gorman's charges who were hoping to clinch trophy success for a trojan effort also put in this season,.
A strong wind was the predominating factor in this game and it favoured Rovers in the opening period. But it was Milford who adapted better to the conditions although very little of note was created in the early exchanges despite the Moyle View Park men forcing a number of corners.
Greene did force Eoghan Jordan to turn the ball around the post with a daisycutter of an effort on 17 minutes while Greene shot across the bows of Jordan but saw his effort go wide.
Letterenny did begin to exert some authority towards the latter stages of the half with some set pieces and throw ins causing bother for the Milford rearguard and had two decent chances to take the lead. Somehow Eoghan Kelly shot well over from a Gorman corner on 43 minutes while a tame Ruairi Dennehy shot on the stroke of half time may have reaped greater reward.
Rovers though were better in the 2nd period and took the game to Milford. But despite dominating possession never really troubled Milford custodian Joshua Pond with two efforts from Jerome Angel-Atahuene the nearest Rovers came to opening the scoring.
The game though sprung to life on 73 minutes when Rovers did hit the front after a penalty was awarded against Milford's Niall Trearty who upended Karl McGinley in the box and Gorman stroked home the penalty with aplomb.
Milford responded well and Ryan Flood forced Jordan into a good save on 81 minutes but it was Letterkenny who sensed a second with the introduction of the lively Brian Diver causing some headaches for the Milford rearguard.
Rovers though were left to rue not converting a couple of good chances as Milford levelled with just 80 seconds left when Jonah Serrinha played a ball over the top to which Daragh Greene ran onto before superbly dispatching his effort across Jordan much to the delight of their supporters.
Letetrkenny had the best chances in overtime with Karl McGinley pulling off a fantastic stop to deny McGinley while Brian Diver also came close. But it went to penalties and successful spotkicks from Serrinha and Greene made it 2-0 after Rovers saw their opening two efforts thwarted by Pond and when Rovers missed their 3rd attempt it was left to Conor Coll to fire home the successful title winning penalty.
Letterkenny Rovers: Eoghan Jordan, Eoghan Kelly, Ruairi Dennehy, Alan Stephenson, Shane Doherty, Jerome Angel-Atuahene, Brandon Manues, Calvin O'Brien, Sean Curran, Codey Brogan, Zach Gorman.
Subs; Karl McGinley for O'Brien 66 mins, Brian Diver for Manues 81 mins, James Tourih for Dennehy 90 mins, Ryan O'Donnell for Brogan 90 mins, Ciaran Daffan for Stephenson 107 mins.
Milford Utd: Joshua Pond, Adam Graham, Oisin Doherty, Ryan Flood, Niall Trearty, Jonah Serrinha, Kieran Black, Rory O'Donnell,Darragh Greene, Ryan Toye, Stephen Bryant
Subs;Conor Coll for Doherty 45 mins, Kieran Connor for Bryant 60 mins, Luke Serrinha for Graham 79 mins,
Referee; Marty McGarrigle.