Ulster Senior League holders Cockhill Celtic showed they are still the team to beat in Inishowen when they defeated their rivals Buncrana Hearts by three goals to nil.
The other big result of the weekend saw Letterkenny Rovers come from behind to grab a late point against Kildrum Tigers, while the agony continued for Convoy Arsenal after their 11-0 pasting at the hands of Killea FC.
Buncrana Hearts 0
Cockhill Celtic 3
Reigning Ulster Senior League champions Cockhill Celtic enjoyed a three-goal win over neighbours and rivals Cockhill Celtic.
Cockhill opened the scoring after a through ball from James Bradley was not blown up for offside as the Buncrana defence clearly thought otherwise and Mark Moran was on hand to round Paddy Quigley and make it 1-0.
Into the second half and Cockhill got a dream start two minutes in when Paul Mckinney collected the ball 30 yards out and beat two men before sliding the ball into the bottom left corner to double their lead. Buncrana then pressed and a fumble from Cockhill goalkeeper Stephen Conroy nearly gifted them a goal but Malachy McDermott was on hand to clear McDaid’s shot. Buncrana had a couple of long range efforts from Johnny Bonner and Stephen McHugh but neither did little to threaten the Cockhill goal.
The game was effectively over as a contest when a high ball into the hearts box was spilled by the keeper and a further clearance was mis-hit which let Gerry Gill control and curl the the ball from almost the corner flag into the empty Buncrana net. Cockhill maintain there unbeaten league start while Buncrana Hearts suffer a third straight league defeat after beating Derry on the opening day.
Kildrum Tigers 1
Letterkenny Rovers 1
Substitute Darren McElwaine rescued a point for Letterkenny Rovers in St Johnston on Friday night in a tense contest with Kildrum Tigers that could have swung either way.
In a game Rovers manager Eamon McConigley said beforehand his side couldn’t lose, McElwaine rattled home 11 minutes from time to cancel out a brilliant opener by Cormac Carlin. Kildrum had the better of the chances in the first-half, with big Carlin heavily involved in most of their play. On 25 minutes, he managed to get away from Conal McGonagle to get a low shot away that was saved by Caolan McGettigan. Carlin had the Rovers netminder beaten two minutes from half-time when he did well to get onto the end of Neil Lloyd’s deep cross, only for McGonagle to head from the line.
Three minutes into the second-half the home side took the lead when Matthew Crossan’s delightfully floated free kick from the left-hand side was met by Carlin, who made no mistake with a magnificent finish to the bottom corner. McGettigan was relieved to see only the yellow card emerge from the referee’s pocket in the 68th minutes when he raced from goal and took down the advancing Darren Doran, while the Rovers ‘keeper was called into action to keep out Gavin Doherty’s effort.
Rovers levelled on 79 minutes when McElwaine prodded home from close range after Jonathan Minnock’s free crashed off the bar. Neil Lloyd cut through to force a shot at the other end that was saved by McGettigan, but in the closing stages it was Rovers who had the better chances, McElwaine somehow missing after another Minnock free dropped invitingly, while Glen Hamilton saw another effort come off the goal-frame, and as it was the sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Killea FC 11
Convoy Arsenal 0
This unusual football game made history in that it was the first time an Ulster Senior League club from Donegal - with official approval from the football authorities - played a home league fixture in Northern Ireland, as Killea hosted Convoy at the Templemore Sports Complex in Derry.
This was also Killea’s highest score as an intermediate club.
Convoy gave as good as they got in the early exchanges and the home were twice forced into desperate defence to keep the visitors out.
However, once Calvin Mooney and Anthony McHugh got the breakthrough goals Convoy’s resistence wilted and it was 4-0 at half time.
The wind and the rain favoured the home team in the second half and Convoy in the difficult conditions had no answer to their slick passing game.
Mooney went on to grab four goals, winger Gary Crossan in his best form of the season so far scored a hat-trick, outstanding midfielder Neil Harkin was on the scoresheet twice and flying winger Paul Simon Treacy and centre-back Billy Garnon got one apiece.
Drumkeen United 1
Derry City 4
Derry City enjoyed a comfortable four goals to one win against Drumkeen United.
The home team took the lead right on half time after a good move started by Philip Whyte saw Richie Moore free Peter McNamee down the right. McNamee played a super ball across goal and Marley slid the ball home at the back post. The visitors got back in the game right from the restart when Barr’s shot was spilled by the keeper and Ryan Curran tapped home. Derry took the lead five minutes later when Ciaran McCaul crossed for Aaron Harkin to tap home.
Derry almost increased their lead on the hour but Daryl Brown’s free from 30 yards was well saved by the keeper. However they did not have to wait to long as, just two minutes, later they got their third when Brown scored a fabulous goal. He started the move from his left back position and having played a one two with Barr the left back chipped the ball into the far top corner from the corner of the 18 yard box.
They went further ahead on 65 minutes when after a free header from a corner was cleared of the line Barr slammed home. The home team were stunned by Derry’s whirlwind start to the second period a just could not lift their game with the visitors running out convincing winners.
DPD Couriers USL Division 1
Drumkeen United 0
Swilly Rovers 1
One goal late in the day from Mark Gamble was all that it took for Swilly Rovers to leave Drumkeen United with the three points.
The home team thought they had the breakthrough on 75 mins when sub Peter McNamee won the ball on the edge of the box and fired in off the far post. However to the home teams amazement the referee adjusted that McNamee had fouled a Swilly defender had he chalked off the goal.
With the game seemingly heading for a draw, Swilly stroke the sucker punch. The ball was played over the top and with the keeper coming out Gamble got to the ball first to chip home from a tight angle with the last touch of the game.
Kildrum Tigers 2
Bonagee United 2
Johnny McGinty struck a farewell brace of goals on Saturday afternoon as Kildrum Tigers and Bonagee United shared the spoils at Station Road.
The St Johnston man departs for a stint in Australia today, Monday, but he gave a fine performance on Saturday to sign off on a positive note.
Chris Moran put the visitors ahead early on when he fired past Raymond McNamee. McGinty leveled with a superb finish before giving his side the lead from the penalty spot, riffling expertly to the net.
But Bonagee earned a point when Dean Larkin scored the equaliser.
Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League
Swilly Rovers 2-0 Fanad United
Drumkeen United 1-4 Derry City
Killea FC 11-0 Convoy Arsenal
Kildrum Tigers 1-1 Letterkenny Rovers
Buncrana Hearts 0-3 Cockhill Celtic
DPD Couriers USL Division 1
KIldrum Tigers 2-2 Bonagee United
Drumkeen United 1-0 Swilly Rovers
Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League
Thursday June 2nd, 7.15pm
Convoy Arsenal v Buncrana Hearts - Con McLaughlin
Thursday June 2nd, 7.30pm
Letterkenny Rovers v Swilly Rovers - Stephen Toner
Fanad United v Drumkeen United - Donal McCafferty
Friday June 3rd 7.30pm
Kildrum Tigers v Derry City - Tommy McAree
Sunday June 4th, 2pm
Cockhill Celtic v Bonagee United - Paul Duddy
DPD Couriers USL First Division
Friday June 3rd, 7.30pm
Letterkenny Rovers v Bonagee United - Packie Coll
Saturday June 4th, 2pm
Swilly Rovers v Kildrum Tigers - Marty McGarrigle