Action from Castlefinn v Milford game Picture: Thomas Gallagher
Castlefinn Celtic took a giant step in the race for the Donegal Junior League Premier Division title with victory over Milford United at wintery Park View Park this afternoon.
Emmett White scored the only goal in this clash of second placed Milford United and third placed Castlefinn Celtic.
On a day borrowed from a Siberian winter of hail, snow, sunshine and a strong wind, the goal came in the second half.
Ronan Tourish, who tormented the Milford defence right through the second period, delivered the perfect cross from out on the right wing for the marauding White the simplest tap in at the far post.
The goal on 65 minutes was no more than the locals deserved after Tourish (twice) and Raymond Foy had gone close to breaking the deadlock.
The game was played in dreadful conditions with the kick-off delayed 12 minutes after referee Paddy Duffy took the players off the field due to a heavy hail shower.
Castlefinn played with the wind in the first half and laid siege on the Milford goals from the off and in the opening 20 minutes confined Sean Sandilands’ Milford to sporadic raids into home territory.
In that period the locals had a host of good scoring chances in the opening quarter. But a combination of the woodwork and a handful of top drawer saves from Milford ‘keeper Caolan McGettigan plus a well marshalled defence they failed to break the deadlock.
Rory Dalton, Ronan Tourish, Emmett White and Raymond Foy all had chances.
As the game opened up a little more in the second quarter Milford came more into it and with Darragh Black raiding on the left wing they did have chances.
But the visitors would have felt they were in a good place as they trod off at half-time 0-0 and still very much in the game given they were going to have the elements in their favour.
Cathal McGettigan came agonisingly close within seconds of the restart to hit the target. But he shaved Chris O’Donnell’s right hand post from just inside the box.
Kyle Black drew a couple of good saves from O’Donnell and Gary Merritt was over the top from 20 metres as Milford dominated the opening ten minutes of the second period.
Castlefinn, having weathered the Milford storm, came more into the tie. Raymond Foy picked up his game in the middle of the park and Ronan Tourish began to make inroads on the right hand wing.
Tourish set up Foy for the best chance of the game in the middle of the half but the former Finn Harps man’s first touch let him down with the goal gaping and the chance was gone.
But with Tourish continuing to flourish the goal finally came. White, who covered every blade of grass on the Park View sod, did not let the chance slip.
Castlefinn were a little unlucky not to add a couple of more in the closing quarter with Tourish and Dalton both going close.
But in the end the goal was enough and the win now moves Castlefinn into second place, just a point adrift of leaders Kilmacrennan Celtic with a game in hand on the leaders.
Milford are still in third position and not out of the title race just yet, though the odds did lengthen somewhat on their chances.
CASTLEFINN CELTIC: Chris O’Donnell; Johnny Doherty, Marty Owens (Barry Tourish,59), Michael Dunnion, Peter Bryson, Raymond Foy, Rory Dalton, Corey Lee Brogan, Ronan Tourish, Ian Ward, Emmett White.
MILFORD UNITED: Caolan McGettigan; Rory O’Donnell, Dan O’Donnell (TJ Evesson, 80), Mark Flood, Johnny Logue, Gavin Grier, Darragh Black, Joey Cullen (Cathal McGettigan,40), Kyle Black, Merritt, Terence Shiels (Anthony Hegarty, 83).
REFEREE: Paddy Duffy.