Yesterday, at sunny Coachford, the west Cork side produced a magnificent second half response to their difficult situation at the interval, but just came up short.
Milford had to sweat to get through to the fourth round and out of relegation danger, but they deserved to do so having dominated the first half and having eventually coped admirably towards the end of the second period.
Despite the brilliant individual effort from Barryroe’s man of the match Johnny O’Donovan – he contributed a magnificent 1-11 of his side’s total – Milford edged their way away from the danger zone. Instead, Barryroe must face a relegation play off against the losers of an upcoming fixture between Aghabullogue and Argideen Rangers.
Barryroe may take some consolation from yesterday’s determined performance and they showed they certainly won’t give up easily. Ten minutes from the end of the game they were within a point, within sniffing distance, and apparently on a roll.
Milford, however, finished the stronger, hitting three points to two in a dynamic four minute spell right at the end. Two of the points came from Seamus Whelan, his first scores of a game dominated on the scoreboard by captain Patrick O’Regan (0-7) and Henry O’Gorman, who added a point to his hugely important first half goals.
Milford’s Frank Flannery admitted it was touch and go and said that the two goals proved to be crucial in the end.
“Both teams were very nervous, it’s an awful position to be in, psychologically and everything; what can I say but that we got a couple of breaks in the first half, the two goals stood to us. We weren’t playing particularly well when we got those two goals, they were probably against the run of play and we just held out in the end.
Was the wind a factor? “Yes, maybe we used it a bit better. We played them last year and won by two points and our three best players then were missing here today. Last year these guys got 11 points between them. We thought we would be beaten today to be honest, but we’re back in the fourth round and, hopefully, we will have Anthony Watson back after a broken wrist.
H O’Gorman 2-1, P O’Regan 0-7 (0-6 frees), C O’Gorman, S Whelan 0-3 each, P O’Brien, E Dillon 0-1 each.
J O’Donovan 1-11 (0-8 frees, 0-1 ’65), D Harrington 0-2, D O’Sullivan, T Harrington, M O’Brien, J Fleming 0-1 each.
J Lenihan, P Watson, R Villiers, R O’Gormon, T O’Flynn, E Dillon, S Carroll, G O’Mahony, S O’Riordan, H O’Gorman, D Hannigan, P O’Regan, C O’Gorman, P O’Brien, S Whelan.
R Biggane for S Carroll (20), J Cremin for H O’Gormon (inj, 35), H O’Gormon for S O’Riordan (42), P Kirwan for P O’Brien (46), J Hartnett for P O’Regan (53).
G Keohane, E McCarthy, T Carroll, G O’Leary, J Whelton, J Fleming, K Griffin, J O’Donovan, T Harrington, D O’Sullivan, M Crowley, C Hurley, D Harrington, G Whelton, M O’Brien.
A Fleming for G Whelton, T Kearney for M Crowley (both half time), C Cahalane for Harrington (56)
D Moynihan (Grenagh).