David Dolan of Aodh Ruadh and Cathal McGettigan, Milford will renew rivalry in the semi-final on Sunday
When Aodh Ruadh and Milford met in group games back at the beginning of May, eight points separated the sides in Moyle Park, Milford.
Aodh Ruadh were emphatic 2-15 to 1-10 winners on that occasion and they have remained unbeaten ever since in the championship.
They had a narrow one point win over Naomh Ultan and then put Carndonagh to the sword in the last game in the group.
“The one thing you can take for sure is that there won’t be eight points between the sides either way this time around,” said Aodh Ruadh manager, James O’Donnell.
“We played very well that evening but I also think we caught Milford on the hop too.
“They will be ready for us this time and they will have their homework done.
“Milford are a good side and we have great respect for them and the way they were promoted from Division Three to Two and from Division Two to One and holding their own in Division One.
“They have a good squad of players and are well coached and well organised.
“The two teams know each other very well and there won’t be a kick of a ball between us either way and of course we hope we come out on the right side of the result.”
Milford bounced back from that first day defeat to Aodh Ruadh with big number wins over Naomh Ultan and Carndonagh when the championship resumed last month.
They had eight points to spare at the end of their joust with Naomh Ultan.
And they booked their place in the last four with a hard fought three point win over Cloughaneely, in the quarter-final in O’Donnell Park, the weekend before last.
Cathal McGettigan kicked 0-7, Darragh Black posted 0-4 and Kane Barrett chipped in with 1-1 against Cloughaneely.
“We had to dig deep against Cloughaneely and hopefully that game will stand to us against Aodh Ruadh,” said Danny O’Donnell, the Milford manager.
Aodh Ruadh were very impressive in their quarter-final win over Buncrana. Seamus Kane rolled back the clock with two goals and Philip Patton and David McGurrin kicked 0-5 each in their double score (2-14 to 1-7) win over Buncrana.
“Aodh Ruadh are the form team and we are going to have to go up a level or two if we are to compete with them.
“They have a lot of quality right through the team but we have prepared well and it is now a matter of rising up to the challenge that Aodh Ruadh will put up.
“We met at the semi-final stage last year too and we came out on the right side of the result.”
Milford had four points to spare at the end of that game as they ran out 2-10 to 0-12 winners before losing the final in a replay to Burt.
Gary Merritt, who has missed all the championship through injury, and Anthony Fisher, who sat out the Cloughaneely game also suffering from a knock, have returned to training.
“Gary and Anthony have recovered and are in the squad for Sunday. It is the first time this year so far that we will have a fully fit squad.
“All in all we are in a good place and really looking forward to getting another crack at getting back to the final.”
Aodh Ruadh will be without half-back Johnny Gethins, suspended after being sent off against Buncrana in the quarter-final.
Otherwise James O’Donnell has reported a clean bill of health and he also feels that his charges are ready for Milford.
“The good thing is that other than Johnny Gethins we have everybody else and we feel we are in a good place.
“Milford will be favourites given they are the Division One team and are playing at a high level. But we also feel if can build on the Buncrana performance that we will be in with a shout and we won’t be far away at the finish.”