GAA Football

Milford fancied to lift honours against Our Lady's, Castleblayney

Séamas McAleenan

Danske Bank Irish News Cup final: Wednesday January 29 at 2pm in Garvaghey: Our Lady's, Castleblayney v Loreto, Milford

TWO strong contenders for the Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup will line up this evening in Garvaghey hoping to boost their MacLarnon challenge by picking up the Irish News Cup for the league section of the competition.

Both obviously topped their group before Christmas and then they won semi-final ties a fortnight ago.

Castleblayney's semi-final with St Pius X, Magherafelt went to extra time and then to the last kick of the ball before Stephen Mooney edged the Monaghan side through to the decider.

Mooney's free-taking was a crucial component in the victory, but so too was Our Lady's resilience after a poor start.

They were able to score goals at just the right time; Conor Eccles 15th minute strike got them over the bad start, Josh Mone's resurrected the challenge after St Pius X had threatened to overrun them in the third quarter, while Jason Duffy's was the first score in extra time.

However there were also periods in the game when they were dominated and could easily have left themselves with too much to do.

Overall they are a solid enough all round team with Mooney's free-taking a huge asset.

Loreto Milford had made waves before Christmas with victories over three other Donegal schools, Abbey Vocational, Carndonagh Community and St Columba's, Stranorlar.

In addition midfielder Rory O'Donnell became the first player from the school to be awarded an All-star as the school made the transition from winning back-to-back Arthurs Cups to playing senior at the higher grade and players such as O'Donnell, Johnny McGroddy, Conor Coll and Matthew McLaughlin will test any opponent.

Kyle McFadden is carrying an injury and didn't play against Knock in the semi-final.

His scoring power and general drive around half forward will be needed for an extended run in the MacLarnon and his absence might hamper their chances today.

Milford have a winning mentality from those successes in the Arthurs Cup as much as from the games this season.

If they win today they will be hard to curtail in the MacLarnon. They are slight favourites to land the first part of a double.

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