Saturday League Division Two champions Kildrum Tigers came from behind at half-time with three second-half goals to beat a gallant Milford in the Shield final.
Kildrum Tigers 3 Milford United 1
Charlie Collins reports from The Moss
Milford were right in this final until Kildrum sub Ryan McCarron scored with virtually his first kick a minute after coming on in the 88th minute.
Milford had the better of the opening half and deservedly lead 1-0 at the break. The goal came in the 26th minute when early substitute Conor Meakin’s excellent corner was finished to the net by player-manger Ciaron Gibbons.
A minute later Lee Burke’s cross found Jonah Serrinha but he volleyed wide from 16 yards out.
Five minutes later another Milford set-piece caused problems and keeper Keenan Gibson had to react quickly to deny Ray Friel’s goal-bound header.
Just before half-time Kildrum did go close when the excellent Gareth Colhoun’s free-kick forced a good reaction save from Barry Gallagher.
Kildrum needed a good start to the second-half and they got it. Colhoun raced onto a through ball and was upended by Ciaran McGinley. Referee Marty McAuley was close to the incident and rightly pointed to the penalty spot , Colhoun dusted himself down and hammered the ball to the net , 1-1.
Three minutes later the league champions were ahead. Micheal Ayton – who had an excellent second-half – made a strong run down the right side to force a corner. Colhoun delivery was again good and when the ball broke to young Justin McGee he drilled it high into the net and Kildrum were ahead 2-1.
Milford responded well to these two quick set-backs. Ray Friel had fun a chance following a Pauric Curley free to the far post and when Ryan Campbell sent Jonah Serrinha racing through the young midfielder attempted pass across goal was well cut-out by keeper Gibson. Serrinha might have got a better result if he had gone for goal himself.
In the 65th minute another Curley free-kick caused problems for Kildrum and Lee Burke’s shot was somehow scrambled clear.
At the other end keeper Gallagher tipped over a Colhoun free-kick which dipped late.
In the 83rd minute Kildrum Keeper Keenan Gibson didn’t get a kicked clearance as he would have liked and when the ball landed at Milford sub Peter Doherty’s feet he immediately saw the opportunity to punish the keeper.
His effort on goal from near the half-way line dropped just feet wide of the goal frame much to the relief of keeper Gibson and his Kildrum teammates.
Milford to their credit continued to pile forward but it proved to be their undoing when Justin McGee showed a cool head to send Reece Duncan away down the right and he unselfishly squared the ball across for the recently introduced Ryan McCarron to clip expertly over the diving Gallagher and secure the win and the double of League and Shield for Kildrum Tigers and complete an outstanding season
Kildrum Tigers: Keenan Gibson, Emmet O’Donnell, Dominic Keys, Jonny Corcoran, Jamie McKinney, Michael Ayton, Justin McGee, Christopher Cronin, Darren McCarron, Daniel McNulty, Gareth Colhoun. Subs: Reece Duncan for McNulty (half-time), Johnny McGinty for Colhoun (75), Ryan McCarron for McCarron (88).
Milford United: Barry Gallagher, Ray Friel, Ciaran Gibbons, Pauric Curley, Lorcan Friel , Ciaran McGinley, Lee Burke, Jonah Serrinha, Ciaran Blaney, Darren McLaughlin, Ryan Campbell. Subs: Conor Meakin for McLaughlin (5 , Jason McConigley for McGinley (63), Ryan Flood for Friel (68), Anthony Hegarty and Peter Doherty for Campbell and Blaney (80).
Referee: Marty McAuley.