MILLTOWN secured victory in the latest round of this year’s Tom Cross Junior Football Championship, racking up an impressive 20 points in a rollercoaster game full of incidents. Both sides enjoyed periods of dominance in the game, although two late Rathcoffey sending’s off granted Milltown the opportunity to win a four point cushion.
The second of a double header in Newbridge began at a canter, with the eventual winners notching up four points in quick succession. Ray Coleman got the best of them with a decent strike to get his side off to the best possible start. Martin McDonnell got his side underway when his fisted effort sailed through the posts.
A Rathcoffey purple patch of four interrupted points followed, as McDonnell and Jason Acton worked their way in to the affair. Credit is due to a strong work ethic from the Milltown midfield pairing of Eoghan O’Toole and Eoin Dowling however, as they rallied the troops to bounce back with two points of their own to regain their lead.
The side in green and red handed back this lead very quickly however, losing two goals in as many minutes before the break. The first was an own goal, when Eddie Owens was adjudged to have taken the ball across his own net, before Colum Fagan found the net seconds later with a low thundering shot past Sean Trant.
Following a brief intermission, Milltown returned to the field hell bent on chasing down the lead they so carelessly gave away. Following Acton’s impressive point from the left side of the field, Milltown shifted up a gear to begin a period of dominance. Through O’Toole, Coleman and Eoin O’Sullivan, they managed five points without response to draw the tie level with less than five minutes remaining.
Colin Dunne topped the run off with a brilliant strike before yet another twist unfolded. Rathcoffey’s Mark Butler was pulled down en route to goal, earning his side a penalty. If Acton was feeling the pressure, it certainly didn’t show as the centre forward dispatched the effort with ease to draw the tie level once more.
A dramatic turning point came seconds later when Craig Lawless and Acton were both sent for an early shower in separate incidents. The latter of which was a straight red for what appeared to be dissent coming from Acton, the hero moments previous. And this was enough to spark Milltown’s final push on goal, with Coleman capping off the day with a free inside the 45 as he watched his side score four points in stoppage time to seal the win
Sean Trant; Eddie Owens, Conor Malone, Ronan O’Shea; Thomas Kealey (0-1), Colin O’Shea, Wayne Dignam; Eoin Dowling, Eoghan O’Toole (0-4, 2fs); John O’Reilly (0-1), Ray Coleman (0-3, 1f), Eoin O’Sullivan (0-4, 3fs); Billy Scully, Colin Dunne (0-1), Myles O’Reilly (0-2, 2fs). Subs: Paul Mulhall (0-1) for M. O’Reilly, HT. Ian Fitzgerald for B. Scully, 46. Kevin Dowling for E. Dowling, 52.
Stephen Hayden; Paddy Duffy, David Berns, Craig Lawless; Jamie Brilly (0-1), Mike Kennedy, Mick Noones; Colum Fagan (1-1), Sean Hayden; Brian Tyrell, Sean Moriarty, Jason Acton (1-3, 2fs); Niall McManus, Martin McDonnell (0-2), Philip Duffy. Subs: Mark Butler for M. Noones, 34. Killian McManus for N. McManus, 47. Paul Tyrell for B. Tyrell, 50. Gary Cummins for K. McManus, 51.