Ballybofey United secured their Division One place when they defeated Dunlewey in the promotion/relegation play-off on Sunday while Kilmacrennan Reserves and Glencar Celtic booked their places in the Downtown Cup finals
Division One / Division Two
Promotion / Relegation Play-Off
Ballybofey United 4
Dunlewy Celtic 1
Dunlewy Celtic surrendered their Division One status to a hungrier Ballybofey United outfit when the teams met at Ballyare on Sunday afternoon. Having avoided automatic relegation Dunlewy were consigned to the dangers of the play-off against a Ballybofey United side who had performed well throughout the season in Division Two and only lost out on automatic promotion and indeed the league title on the last day of the season when they surrendered a three goals to one lead to eventual Champions Keadue Rovers.
Ballybofey are no strangers to this fixture having been on the losing end of last season’s decider. The twin towns outfit weren’t going to slip up for a second year in succession and took the game to Dunlewy from the kick off. They were two goals to the good within twenty minutes and never looked in any danger of relinquishing that advantage.
Two further second half goals from Conor Doherty, who scored a hat-trick in all, sent Ballybofey United back to the Milford Inn Hotel Division One at the first attempt. Darragh Redmond scored Ballybofey’s opener when he headed a Paul Finn cross past Joe Rodden in the Dunlewy goals. Dunlewy got a consolation goal in injury time through Kevin Doohan.
Referee: Vincent Mc Laughlin. Assistants: Liam Farren and Mike Slator.
Downtown Cup Semi-Finals
Kilmacrennan Celtic Res 2
Fintown Harps 1
Fintown Harps squandered enough chances in the opening half of this match to have put the game beyond Kilmacrennan. How they managed to go in at the interval without an advantage almost defies explanation. John Molloy had their first attempt at goal when he was set up by Darragh Gallagher but his shot was too weak to trouble Mark Gallagher in the Kilmacrennan net.
Stephen Boyle then lined up a shot but Johnny Doherty made a good tackle in the Kilmacrennan penalty area. Darragh Gallagher then lost out to Shaun O’ Donnell as Kilmacrennan defended gallantly. JP Brown then tried a shot from the edge of the box after Aaron Thompson set him up.
Darragh Gallagher was lively on the wing and looked likely to be the provider should Fintown get the breakthrough. Thompson then watched in disbelief as his shot rebounded back off the Kilmacrennan post and three minutes later he headed wide of the target having met Boyle’s cross with a diving header. Mark Gallagher twice collected balls on the edge of his box as Thompson and Gallagher threatened before Kilmacrennan, who themselves created very little welcomed the half time whistle. The game had a twist early in the second half when Fintown’s Barry Mc Monagle was booked for the second time and had to leave the pitch.
With his side reduced to ten men Thompson continued to battle hard but slowly Kilmacrennan started to control the play. They won a couple of corners which came to nothing and as in the first half they attempted to score from long range. Shaun O’ Donnell was fouled on one of his forward runs and the general play was scrappy. On seventy two minutes Marty Sweeney crossed from the byline into the box where Kevin Mc Menamin set up Darren Mc Ginley who caught the ball sweetly to send an unstoppable shot into Leon Thompson’s top left hand corner.
Fintown were rattled but kept plugging away. They were rewarded for their efforts in the dying minutes of the game when Darragh Gallagher wrong footed Johnny Doherty and the right back conceded a penalty which Gallagher converted to send the game into extra time. With neither side able to take control of the game mid-way through the additional time it looked as though it would take penalties to decide the tie.
As it turned out there was only one penalty needed and it was Kilmacrennan who scored it. Paddy Mc Fadden impeded Shaun O’ Donnell in the Fintown box and Kevin Mc Menamin made no mistake from the spot. Kilmacrennan will need to improve going forward if they are to take the cup from Glencar Celtic who prevailed in the other semi final.
Glencar Celtic 3
Erne Wanderers 1
The game was all but over as a contest by the interval as Glencar turned their first half supremacy into goals. Just as well for the cup holders as it turned out because they lacked the same forward threat in the second half when Paddy Rafferty had to deputise between the sticks when Dominic Friel got injured.
Rafferty had a brilliant opening period scoring one goal and causing the Erne defence to concede an own goal. Declan Scanlon had given Glencar an early lead when he scored from wide on the left as he sent a searching ball deep into the Erne Wanderers penalty area. Rafferty added the second when allowed way too much time and space by the Erne defence and his run from the half-way line six minutes before the break left the Erne defence in mayhem with David Dorrian unfortunate to have to final touch as Rafferty’s dangerous cross skidded across the six yard box. Glencar were comfortable in defence with Anthony Doherty calling the shots.
The second half was even enough as Erne chased the game and Glencar were cautious to preserve their lead. That lead was reduced within seven minutes of the re-start when Dermot Slevin scored from the spot following the collision of Friel and Erne’s Michael Ward. Erne never looked like making any further inroads to the Glencar advantage and although they fought admirably they were confined to long range shots by a solid Glencar defence.
Glencar Inn Saturday Division Two
Deele Harps 5
Glenree United Res. 1
Deele welcomed Glenree to The Athletic Grounds in ideal conditions for football. Deele dominated from the start and opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Daniel McNulty curled home from 15 yards. Deele extended their lead in the 25th minute when Shane “Messi” Gallagher fired home from just inside the box. The 2nd half was more of the same with Deele on top but Glenree improved and created some decent chances. Conor Catterson continued his good run of form as he chipped home a sublime third goal in the 60th minute. Deele got a 4th after an own goal in the 70th minute. Glenree did grab a consolation in the 75th minute but Deele grabbed a 5th goal in the 85th minute when Shane Gallagher finished well after some good approach work from fellow striker Willie Curran. Team performances from both teams.
Referee: Ronan Floyd
Ramelton Mariners 5
Tullyvinney Rovers 0
Ramelton Mariners went back to the top of the Glencar Inn Division 2 with a comprehensive victory over an understrength Tullyvinney side at Rab’s Park on Saturday. The Mariners who themselves were missing 4 key players started strongly when player/manager Paul Stevenson opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when he slotted home a Paul Gallagher through ball. Mariners extended their lead in the 37th minute when Patrick Durning fired home a great flick from Paul Stevenson.
Tullyvinney came out strongly in the 2nd half but were undone in the 65th minute when Patrick Durning scored his 2nd after good work from Gavin Mackay. Stevenson scored his 2nd in the 70th minute when he buried Damien “ Diggy” Buchanan’s through ball into the bottom corner and Stevenson completed his hat-trick in the 77th minute when he out paced the defence to slot home Barry Coyle’s pass.
Best for Mariners were Patrick Durning & Barry Coyle. Martin Alexander had a fine game for Tullyvinney.
Ref: James Malseed had a fine game.
Downtown United 1
Mulroy Celtic 2
Downtown started off the better with most of the possession in the first ten minutes and it soon showed when a well struck shot from the edge of the box by Damien Watters was parried by the Mulroy keeper and Steven Doherty capitalized by slotting it in to the bottom corner around the 15 minute mark.
Mulroy came back strongly creating some good chances but the Downtown defence stood strong. Then around the half hour mark a Mulroy corner was tapped in by JP Mailey to level it up. In the second half Mulroy started the better creating more chances. Then a mistake from the Downtown defence allowed JP Mailey in to slot home his second which proved to be the difference between the two sides at the end. Downtown fought back well but could’nt get past the Mulroy defence.
Best for Downtown: Sean Sweeney. Best for Mulroy: Kieran Gallagher
Referee: Victor Rainey
Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division
Eany Celtic 2
Lifford Celtic 3
Eany Celtic lost the battle of the Celtics in this regulation battle despite going ahead after 15 minutes when Barry Rose found the net from a free kick. Lifford responded with a goal by Ross Porter when he was found in the box by Kevin Mc Brearty from a free kick.
Lifford then went ahead on 25 minutes when Froggy Sheils headed home from a corner. Five minutes later Liam Mc Goarty’s shot found the net with a long range effort to put the game level. Lifford had good opportunities to go ahead again though Ross Porter and Jude Patton.
Right from the tart Eany went close when Shane McHugh shot wide and again McHugh went close to be denied by a fine save from the Lifford Keeper.
Ross Porter found the net from a header to put the visitors ahead on 50 minutes. The Lifford defence held firm and secured the three points.
Lagan Harps 1
Dunkineely Celtic 2 Dunkineely retained their premier division status when they fought back from a goal down to clinch victory in Orchard Park. With both defences on top the first half was devoid of goal scoring chances. Dunkineely started well in the second half with Fergal Heena and Adrian Nesbitt both shooting narrowly wide. Lagan responded with Gerard Hilley crossing for Bryan Kelly who forced John Mc Mullen to palm over the bar.
Lagan took the lead on 55 minutes when Glen Gallagher crossed and Aidan O’Donnell scored at the back post. Dunkineely fought back with Paul Mc Geoghan forcing a good save from Damien Mc Fadden. Alistair Rodgers then curled a free narrowly wide. Aidan O’Donnell went off injured for Lagan and this proved to be a huge loss. Dunkineely were now dominant and they equalised when Martin Cunningham crossed and Andrew Mackey finished at the back post. Conor Sweeney then did well for Lagan when he hacked another effort off the line.
Dunkineely then scored the crucial goal on sixty two minutes. When the ball went out for a throw in the Lagan defence switched off. Martin Cunningham took a quick throw in to the box and the unmarked Adrian Nesbitt headed home. Conor Sweeney headed another effort off the line as Dunkineely threatened again. Lagan tried to get back in to the game by introducing former manager Jason Gibson from the bench but with Aidan Duddy supreme in the air and the evergreen Paul Mc Geoghan outstanding in a solid Dunkineely defence they never really threatened.
For Lagan Conor Sweeney in defence and Aidan O’Donnell and Glen Gallagher in midfield were best. For Dunkineely Fergal Heena and Martin Cunningham as well as Duddy and Mc Geoghan were outstanding.
Referee: Paddy Martin.
Castlefin Celtic 0
Milford United 2
This game’s kick-off was deferred to 5p.m. due to a bereavement in the locality and prior to the match referee Ed Moore called both sets of players and all present to attention and a minutes silence was preserved impeccably. When the action got going Milford were the more composed outfit and went ahead on twenty minutes through PJ Hagan who’s shot Anthony Sweeney managed to get a hand to but he was unable to divert the course of the well struck ball.
Castlefin had chances to pull level either side of the interval however they couldn’t find the required finishing touch. Peter Doherty sowed up the points for Milford in the eightieth minute when he took advantage of a defensive mix-up to steer the ball to the Castlefin net.
Referee: Ed Moore