Late goal stuns Aodh Ruadh

Senior Reserve Football Divison 3
27 June 2014
Milford 2-12
Aodh Ruadh 2-11

The senior team travelled to Milford knowing that a win would keep the momentum up on their drive for promotion, and were well on track until an outrageous ending which saw some questionable reffing which left both the home and visiting sides bemused.

Both sides were cagey from the start, with not too many scoring chances in the opening stages. It took what is becoming a trademark 'Boyler' to get the score board moving, the Erne keeper making the trip up the field to convert a long range effort for the opening point of the game.

Milford responded with the next two scores, before Diarmaid McInerney finished well to level the scores at two points a piece. The first half was very much nip and tuck, both teams having to grind out any scoring opportunities. Milford managed to regain the lead shortly after, which was cancelled out by a fine effort from the left boot of Jamie McDonald. Again Milford struck, to which David Dolan responded with his first sight of the posts, to leave the sides level again at 0-4 to 0-4. Then came the defining moment of the half, as Jamie McDonald was played through and made no mistake as he stuck the ball into the net. Milford managed the last score of the half to leave the homeside trailing 0-5 to 1-4 at the break.

If the first half was cagey then the second certainly was not, with a serious increase in aggression levels and with an explosion of scores. Aodh Ruadh brought on David McGurn at the break to try to open up play. However, it was the homeside who came out the more fired up, and put three points on the board within minutes to take the lead.

The Erne men eventually settled into the second half and started to play some fine flowing football hitting five unanswered points, starting with a fantastic score from distance from Kieran Keown, followed by points from Pauric Patton, Peter Boyle with a 'Boyler' - a 50 yard free, David McGurrin, and a monster score from Anthony 'Gandhi' Boyle, to leave the visitors 1-9 to 0-8 ahead.

Milford were struggling at this point and were relieved to stop the rot with a point. Then came a crucial moment in the game as Kelly fouled his man on when Milford were on the break. The ref decided it was enough to warrant a second yellow, which was harsh enough, leaving the visitors to play put the last ten minutes with 14 men.

The resultant free was popped over to leave two points between the sides. McGurrin then answered with another to make it 1-10 to 0-10 with five minutes left to play.

What unfolded in the final minutes of the game can only be described as extraordinary. Milford managed to find the net with left minutes left to tie the sides, however it was Aodh Ruadh who wanted it more and pressed for the winning score. After two good scoring chances were spurned, it took another 'Boyler' from the 45 to restore the lead. Then, with almost 30 minutes on the clock, David Dolan got on the end of a loose ball to find the net to put four points between the sides.

Milford responded immediately with a point. Then came the madness, as Milford played the ball deep into the area. The breaking ball came to Conor Patton, who was should have been awarded a free on two occasions, first whilst picking the ball up, the second after a two man tackle. Under fierce pressure, Patton managed to lay off a pass to the keeper on the line, who lost the ball when being pushed over the goal line by the Milford forwards. The loose ball dropped to a Milford man who managed to poke the ball into the net to tie the match at 2-11 each. If ever there was a case for video replay at club level then this was it.

With the visitors still protesting with the ref, and with time as good as up, Milford won possession from the kick out and managed to work a score to put them ahead at the death, leaving the visitors to wonder what must surely have been.

If nothing else it will serve as a good lesson in finishing games out, as a bit more cunning and experience would have seen the lads through. In any event, this was never a do or die match in the race for promotion, as all teams vying for the top two places still to place each other in the final rounds of matches. There were some fine Aodh Ruadh performances, with the two Pattons, Conor and Pauric, along with Cleary and McGrath in the spine of defence, getting a real hold on the game for long spells.

Vital Statistics
Aodh Ruadh
Peter Boyle (0-3, 3f); Michael Ward, Damien Cleary, Colm Kelly; Johnny Gallagher, Eamonn McGrath, Michael Dolan; Conor Patton, James O'Donnell, Pauric Patton (0-1), Anthony Boyle (0-1), Ronan Drummond; Diarmaid McInerney (0-1), David Dolan (1-1), Jamie McDonald (1-1).
Substitutes: David McGurrin (0-2) for McInerney; Kieran Keown (0-1) for Jamie McDonald, Ronan Matthews.
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Last modified: Monday, 30 June 2014 at 9:05am