With centre-back Ronan Geary and their twin strike force of Eoin Dillon and Niall Geary hitting the high spots early on, Milford more than held their own. But snap goals from Alan Hayes and David McSweeney within 60 seconds just before the interval break turned the tide in Kilbrittain’s favour.
Milford, with two fast points from Niall Geary and Michael O’Connor, powered their way into the lead within five minutes of the start. But Kilbrittain gradually found their feet and two points from Dan O’Connell levelled things at the end of the first quarter.
Then Milford grabbed the lead with a fine goal from full-forward Niall Geary in the 20th minute.
Milford were on song and three points without reply from Geary, Dillon and Mike Morrissey propelled them into a 1-6 to 0-5 lead coming up to the interval. But Milford’s world caved in as two great strikes from Alan Hayes and David McSweeney set Kilbrittain, who led by 2-6 to 1-6 at half-time, on the victory trail.
Both Hayes and McSweeney played vital roles in this latest Kilbrittain success story. Allied to these two heart-breaking goals, Kilbrittain centre-back Ross Cashman emerged as a dominant force following the change of ends and Kilbrittain were in the ascendancy.
Milford, despite playing with the aid of a freshening breeze, barely got a look in as Kilbrittain put a most superlative stamp on the proceedings and a second goal from Hayes in the 38th minute lifted Kilbrittain to new heights.
In total control, Kilbrittain were leading 3-11 to 1-4 before Milford, with a successful 65 conversion from Dillon, got their first score of the second-half in the 52nd minute. Ronan Geary had their second and last point of what was a most lamentable half for them, and Kilbrittain, with a pointed free from O’Connell and another from play by substitute Patrick Sexton, resolutely clinched victory for Kilbrittain and set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash with Kilworth.
Kilbrittain: A. Hayes 2-0, D. McSweeney 1-3, D. O’Connell 0-4 (0-3 frees), M. Sexton 0-2, R. Cashman, J. Deasy, C. O’Leary, P. Sexton 0-1 each.
N. Geary 1-1, E. Dillon 0-3 (0-1 65), R. Geary 0-2, M. O’Connell, M. Morrissey 0-1 each.
R. Hayes; S. O’Brien, J. Murphy, P. Hurley, T. Harrington, R. Cashman, J. O’Brien, V. O’Brien, M. Sexton, C. O’Leary, A. Hayes, J. Deasy, D. O’Connell, O. Sexton, D. McSweeney.
Patrick Sexton for O’Leary.
M. Morrissey; S. Fitzgibbon, P. O’Brien, R. Villiers, J. Leonard, R. Geary, J. O’Connor, P. O’Regan, M. O’Connell, J. O’Brien, E. Dillon, M. Savage, J. Cremin, N. Geary, B. Sexton.
B. Geary for Leonard; M. Cremin for O’Regan.
P. Downey (Inniscarra).