Killeavy caught in injury-time

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Killeavy caught in injury-time thumbnailKILLEAVY'S Donal O'Neill goes on the attack against Donegal side Milford at Armagh on Sunday.

KILLEAVY manager Paddy McGuinness expressed pride of his team after an injury-time point denied them an Ulster Intermediate semi-final showdown against Rostrevor.



It was a game the south Armagh men probably deserved more from and the Killeavy boss admitted he was keen on taking on Shane Mulholland's Reds.

"I would have loved to have got a crack at Rostrevor it really would have provided a lot of interested in the locality," said McGuinness.

"Obviously we are disappointed as we thought we could have got more from the game but you could tell that Milford were a well-seasoned team and I am proud of my team.

"The lads already know they have had a great season and they are a young team and it is important they build on the progress made this year."

Played in Armagh's Athletic Grounds, Killeavy were exceptional in the opening half but they failed to fully exercise their dominance on the scoreboard and ultimately paid the price in the second half.

Milford were the better side in the second half and in truth the Donegal champions could have won with a more handsome margin had it not been for two magnificent goal-line saves from full-back Cathair McKinney. One in the first period where he acrobatically tipped the ball over the bar and then on 45 minutes he somehow denied Darragh Black.

The Donegal men also had the ball in the net on two further occasions in the closing stages but they were disallowed for over-carrying and square-ball.

Killeavy's chances were hampered without their talisman and sharp-shooting Raymond Teggart as well as their county player Ciaron O'Hanlon and deserve enormous credit for how they equipped themselves on Sunday.

They didn't look like a team that were missing key components and remarkably put in polished first half with James Donnelly ruling the roost in midfield and Ronan McGuinness bursting forward at times.

Cathal Boylan was another who starred as the Donegal side found it hard to live with the Killeavy's speed and power. In fact Milford seemed happy to stand off the south Armagh men and even at times they were hesitant to counter-attack but they changed that tempo in the second half and they were much more forceful and put Killeavy somewhat on the back-foot.

The Atty Hearty Cup holders got off to a bright start with midfielders Boylan and Donnelly opening the scores within three minutes but Milford levelled the score following a brace of points from Kane Barrett.

Killeavy edged ahead with Ronan McGuinness popping over his first of three points but again the sides were level with Cathal McGettigan also registering his first of three points.

But on 19 minutes the south Armagh men made the breakthrough when Paul Quinn coolly finished to the net following slick build up play by Donal O'Neill and Michael Murphy.

Killeavy were deservedly in front and they had McKinney's fingertip save a minute later to keep them that way.

Eoin McParland pointed and a massive long-range effort from McGuinness stretched Killeavy's lead but the south Armagh side could have done more. Six first half wides as well as hitting the post twice proved costly as Darragh Black pulled back a point even though McGuinness (free) replied, with the first score from a dead-ball on 28 minutes.

Kane Barrett's point left a goal between the teams and that's how it remained, 1-06 to 0-06, at the break.

Luke Barrett got Milford's ball rolling with a point only 26 seconds into the restart and McGettigan's score narrowed the gap.

The Donegal men were physically stronger and they pressed high on Killeavy, although the south Armagh men pulled away again through two Conor O'Neill converted frees and another point from Donal O'Neill.

But with 15 minutes to go the sides were level. Darragh Black tapped over the bar and then Tony McNamee rattled the Killeavy net. And Milford could have added another but for McKinney's brilliant block on the goal-line.

A converted free from McGettigan gave Milford the lead for the first time with 49 minutes played and the game seemed to be slipping from Killeavy's grasp.

But the Armagh Intermediate champions weren't going to roll over and Conor O'Neill's point levelled the score, which resulted in tense finale.

Luke Barrett swung the game in Milford's favour but Killeavy substitute Paddy Hannaway levelled the score once more. Referee Anthony Marron disallowed two Milford goals much to Killeavy's relief but there was no doubting Tony McNamee's point which put the Donegal side ahead with normal time up.

However, Conor O'Neill's injury-time point had the sides all square for the sixth time and as the large crowd were preparing for extra-time that man McNamee delivered a late, late winning point to set Milford up for an Ulster semi-final clash against Rostrevor on Sunday, November 12.

While it wasn't the end Killeavy wanted, it has been a tough, a tragic and a successful season. Promotion back to the Senior League and an Armagh Championship Intermediate title, shows the club is going forward - just how far is up to them.

Killeavy: Sean O'Hanlon, Ciaran McGuinness, Cathair McKinney, Jamie Cosgrove, Ronan McGuinness (0-3, 1f), Donal O'Neill (0-1), Kyle Mallon, Cathal Boylan (0-1), James Donnelly (0-1), Eoin McParland (0-1), Conor O'Neill (0-4, 2f), Michael Murphy, Niall O'Neill, Miceal McNamee. Subs used: Niall McGuinness for Niall O'Neill (42'), Paddy Hannaway (0-1) for Ciaran McGuinness (48'), Tom Behan for Micael McNamee (52'), Gordon Magennis for Mallon (54').


Milford: Caolan Bolton, Gary Merritt, Barry McNulty, TJ Evesson, David Curley, Patrick Peoples, Ryan McMahon, Joey Cullen, Luke Barrett (0-3), Christopher Barrett, Ronan Docherty (0-1), Cathal McGettigan (0-3, 2f), Darragh Black (0-2), Kane Barrett (0-2), Tony McNamee (1-2). Subs used: Anthony Fisher for Ryan McMahon (48'), Kyle Black for Christopher Barrett (53'), Sean Black for Kane Barrett (60+1).


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