Killybegs secure important win in Milford to make sure of their senior championship status

Declan Kerr


Declan Kerr

Killybegs secure important win in Milford to make sure of their senior championship status

Eoghan Ban Gallagher on the ball for Killybegs in Milford

Killybegs made sure of their place in the next year’s Donegal Senior Football Championship with a deserved three-point win in the end over Milford at Moyleview.

Milford 0-10 Kllybegs 1-10

County senior player Hugh McFadden turned in a man-of-the-match performance for the visitors and the result now leaves the hosts facing the relegation play-offs in a bid to avoid the drop down to the Intermediate Championship.

On a near perfect evening for football, the sides were tied at 0-6 each at the break after a first half when both sides were guilty of missing decent goal scoring chances with Milford certainly rueing the 14th minute penalty that Cathal McGettigan failed to convert.

And there was to be two more spot-kicks with the first of these being converted by McFadden in the 42nd minute. It proved to be a key moment in the Group D match as it drew the visitors level and McFadden added two more to put his side 1-8 to 0-9 in front with 11 minutes of normal time remaining.

Danny O’Donnell’s men only scored once in the final 23 minutes of the game and in the end were fortunate not to lose by more as McFadden opted for the safe option of stroking a late injury time penalty over the bar.

With Eoghan Ban Gallagher returning from injury Killybegs started the brighter with Michael Gallagher posting the first point and the same player was denied a goal by an excellent Caolan McGettigan save.

Milford then hit a good patch to go 0-3 to 0-1 in front as Cathal McGettigan hit two fine long range frees including a 45 while Luke Barrett was also on the mark from a close range placed ball.

And the hosts should have extended that lead with a goal in the 14th minute after referee Aidan McAleer pointed to the spot following a foul on Tony McNamee but McGettigan’s penalty saw Kevin Martin get down well to push the ball out for a 45. McGettigan did convert from that but McFadden was on the mark at the other end to leave the visitors just two behind.

McGettigan and Garry Merritt completed the first half scoring for the home side while McFadden and Ryan Cunningham got the last two points to leave it level at the break.

The hosts made a good start to the second half  from a Luke Barrett (free) and two from play courtesy of McGettigan and Tony McNamee. Then came a defining moment in the game when McFadden fired his penalty past Caolan McGettigan after the big midfielder had been hauled down. He tagged on a 45 and another free to put his side two in front.

Milford’s only other point of the game came from Kane Barrett on 52 minutes. McFadden made it 1-9 to 0-10 in the 56th minute and while Danny O’Donnell’s outfit did push forward the finishing wasn’t good enough as a couple of efforts dropped short and wide.

Then in the third minute of injury time a foul by Milford defender Conor McNulty saw a second penalty awarded to the visitors with McFadden opting for the safe option of putting the ball over the bar.

MILFORD: Caolan McGettigan; Ronan Docherty, Barry McNulty, Conor McNulty; Tony McNamee 0-1, Sean Black, David Curley; Joey Cullen, Luke Barrett 0-2 (2fs); Kane Barrett 0-1, Christopher Barrett, Cathal McGettigan 0-5 (2 45s, f); Darragh Black, Garry Merritt (0-1), Pauric Curley. Subs: Ryan McMahon for D Curley 51, Kyle Black for P Curley 59.

KILLYBEGS: Kevin Martin; Jack Beehin, Ciaran Conaghan, Ryan Carr; Jack McSharry, Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Christy Cunningham; Evan Broderick, Hugh McFadden 1-7 (3fs, 45, pen); Daniel Breslin, David McGuinness, Christopher Murrin; Michael Gallagher 0-2, Paul Cunningham, Ryan Cunningham 0-1. Subs: Michael Statham for Murrin black card 46 mins, Brendan McGuire for Breslin 59, Shaun Gorrell for P Cunningham 63.

REFEREE: Aidan McAleer