GAOTH Dobhair sank Milford with a late salvo in the dying light at Moyle View Park this evening.
Milford 0-17 Gaoth Dobhair 3-11
By Chris McNulty at Moyle View Park
Substitute Gavin McBride (pictured) netted two second-half penalties as understrength Gaoth Dobhair came from behind to claim the win in the second round of the Regional League.
With two minutes of normal time remaining, a Ryan McMahon point had Milford good value for a two-point (0-15 to 1-10) lead.
The tide swung, though in dramatic fashion.
From Gavin Sweeney’s kick-out, after McMahon’s score, McBride fetched high and offloaded to the scampering Odhrán McFadden-Ferry. The Donegal player drove into space before a thundering drive for goal was kept out by Paddy Peoples.
Referee Greg McGrory penalised, harshly it must be said, the Milford man for a foot block infringement and McBride sent the penalty beyond Sean Gallagher, the home goalkeeper.
Bad became worse for Milford as Gallagher’s subsequent kick-out was intercepted by Kevin Cassidy, who tucked home a third Gaoth Dobhair goal to leave the hosts shellshocked.
Christopher Barrett and Kane Barrett hit points to make for a nervy finale, but Eoin De Burca boomed over the game’s final score.
The likes of Christopher Sweeney, Neil McGee, Odhrán Mac Niallais, Micheál Carroll, Gary McFadden, Seaghan Ferry, Cian Mulligan, and Dan McBride were among the absentees from the Gaoth Dobhair XV. New recruit Michael Lynch – who made his debut last Friday in a win over Cloughaneely – was also among the observers from the stand.
Gaoth Dobhair are contesting a 12-week suspension proposed for Lynch, who was said to have played last week in advance of a clearance date for his transfer from Naomh Colmcille to be approved.
Christopher Barrett and McMahon hit early points before Eamonn Collum got Gaoth Dobhair off the mark with an eighth minute free.
Kane Barrett looked to have posted for the home side, but McGrory over-ruled his umpire and flagged a wide, much to the chagrin of the Milford followers.
Soon after, McGrory flipped a decision to flag an attempt by Daire Ó Baoill as a wide as Gaoth Dobhair got a second point of the evening.
Cathal McGettigan and the lively Matthew McLaughlin opened up a three-point lead, but Gaoth Dobhair stayed in touch with Collum and a brace by Sean Boyle drawing Mervyn O’Donnell’s men on level terms again.
The teams were level three times in the closing stages of the first period, with McGettigan having landed one beauty for the hosts wide on the right-hand side.
Deep into added time at the end of the half, corner-back TJ Evesson gave Milford a 0-8 to 0-7 lead with a score that was hotly disputed by the visitors.
Just four minutes into the second half, McBride – sent on as a half-time replacement – smacked home from a penalty after Cassidy was adjusted to have been pulled down.
McBride followed up with a well-taken fisted effort, but Milford – themselves without the likes of Daragh Black and Ronan Docherty – shook their heads clear with Luke Barrett, Christopher Barrett and McGettigan putting them into the driving seat again.
When McMahon prodded over, SP Barrett’s men looked to be on their way only for the game to have another, decisive, swing.
The watching Martin Regan, the Naomh Conaill manager, was an interested observer here. Just what he’ll have learned as he ponders the defence of the Dr Maguire, remains to be seen, though.
Next week, Milford make the daunting trek to Davy Brennan Memorial Park while Gaoth Dobhair’s arsenal ought to be considerably strongly when the 2019 SFC runners-up go to Four Masters on Sunday-week.
Milford: Sean Gallagher; Conor Coll, Sean Black, TJ Evesson (0-1); Shay Durning, Ryan McMahon (0-2), Gavin Grier; Lorcan Friel, Rory O’Donnell; Cathal McGettigan (0-7, 5f), Luke Barrett (0-2, 1f), Christopher Barrett (0-2); Conor McHugh, Kane Barrett (0-2, 1f, 1m), Matthew McLaughlin (0-1). Subs: Peter Curran for Coll (44), Paddy Peoples for Black (42).
Gaoth Dobhair: Gavin Sweeney; Christopher McFadden, James Ó Baoill, Prionsais Ó Gallchóir; Niall Friel, Eamon McGee, Shaun Doherty Bhríde; Daire Ó Baoill (0-2), Eoin De Burca (0-1); Sean Boyle (0-3, 2f), Odhrán McFadden-Ferry, Liam Wiggins; Eamonn Collum (0-4, 3f), Kevin Cassidy (1-0), Conor Boyle. Subs: Gavin McBride (2-1, 2-0pen) for C.Boyle (half-time), Neasan Mac Giolla Bhríde for Friel (half-time), Aidan Breathnach for Ó Baoill (37), Cathal Gillespie for S.Boyle (45), Fiachra Coyle for Wiggins (45).
Referee: Greg McGrory (Four Masters).Tags: