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Replay produces a winner

posted 19 Dec 2010, 03:44 by Unknown user

Milford v Monaleen – City Junior A Final Replay, Oct 2nd 2010

After playing out a high-scoring draw six days earlier, last Satuday saw Castletroy rivals Milford and Monaleen clash for a second time to try to decide the fate of the Limerick Post Junior A Football title for 2010.

As in the drawn game, Milford began with the aid of the breeze, and attacked the riverside goal. However, unlike the previous encounter, scores were at a premium in the opening quarter: Ger Collins and a cracking long range effort from Dominic Joyce giving the Sky Blues an early two point lead, Cathal Parkes reducing the arrears shortly after with Monaleen’s first score.

The second quarter began with a key score: after Monaleen were awarded a free, the Milford defence appeared to switch off – a quick delivery through gave Darragh Connolly a clear run on goal and he finished confidently to the top corner of the net (0-2 to 1-1). A series of wides from both sides followed before a great crossfield pass from Collins was collected by Mark O’Keeffe, who narrowed the gap to one. Monaleen responded immediately through a Ross O’Neill point, before a critical intervention by the referee saw the holders awarded a very harsh penalty. When the resultant kick was slotted home by Parkes, Milford faced a five point deficit, with half time fast approaching.

Collins pointed a free to keep his side in touch, before a fantastic team move, involving Joyce, Mike Hayes and Mark O’Keeffe was clipped over by Collins to end the scoring in the half.

Half-time score: Milford 0-5 Monaleen 2-2

O’Neill added to the Monaleen lead with an early score, but Collins countered for the challengers, firing over his fourth point. Crucially though, despite good pressure from Milford over the following 15 minutes (including a series of fruitless ‘45s’) , further scores didn’t come, and Monaleen edged clear with two more points from O’Neill (one free) and a fine breakaway score from sub John Gilmartin (0-7 to 2-6).

A Collins free broke Milford’s 22-minute drought, but the game was slipping away at this stage, as Monaleen were content to sit deep and counterattack effectively. Three more Monaleen points, with only a fisted effort from Mark O’Keeffe in response, saw the holders ease seven points clear and they held on comfortably to retain their title.

Final-time score: Milford 0-8 Monaleen 2-9

Milford team and scorers:

Kevin Keenan, Eamonn Hawe (c), Alan Hayes, Tony Crosse, Al Dolan, Mike Hayes, John Cullinan, Kevin Grant, Dominic Joyce (0-1), Ger Collins (0-5, 0-2f), Albert O’Sullivan, John Doheny, Liam O’Keeffe, Mark O’Keeffe (0-2), Nathan McGinty

Subs: Brian Kelly for A O’Sullivan

A disappointing afternoon for Milford, whose performance never scaled the same heights as in the drawn game. A return of just eight points was far below expectations, especially after making a sharp start and taking an early two point advantage.

Monaleen’s two goals proved key, giving them a half time lead, and they showed their experience in absorbing Milford’s second half pressure, while breaking away to kick the game-clinching points.

Despite the loss, Milford’s Junior As remain in the hunt for county honours: next Sunday sees them face a difficult assignment against the West champions Glin at Askeaton, throw in at 4pm.