KILDRUM TIGERS were the big winners in the Donegal News League Cup when they enjoyed a 3-2 away win against Cockhill Celtic with Ronan Coyle grabbing a 90th minute winner.
Cockhill Celtic 2
C Keddy 33; J Havlin 61
Kildrum Tigers 3
R Coyle 39, 90; D McCready 80 Kildrum Tigers had Ronan Coyle to thank for a last minute winner against Cockhill Celtic.
The home team opened the scoring on 33 minutes when a Gerry Gill cross was headed in at the back post by Connor Keddy. An inswinging free from Cormac Carlin picked out Coyle who equalised on 39 minutes for Kildrum. Johnny Havlin towered above the defenders to score the second for Cockhill. before Kildrum’s Darren McCready scored from 20 yards to equalise. Kildrum got a late winner on 90 minutes when a Carlin cross was met by Coyle who slotted home to give the visitors the points and top spot in Group A.
Bonagee United 1
G Magee pen 60
Drumkeen United 1
R Moore 38
Drumkeen United left Dry Arch Park in Bonagee with a share of the spoils following a 1-1 draw.
With Chris Kyle and Mark Marley instrumental in everything good to come from the visiting side, they took the lead when a long ball into the channel by Sean Ferry was played across the face of goal to Richard Moore, who had the easy task of scoring from six yards.
The hosts deservedly drew level just after the hour mark. Dean Larkin chased a Greg Magee ball into the box, but was upended by Gavin Reilly and Packie Coll has no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Magee calmly stroked the spot-kick past Paul McCauley for his third goal in two games.
Buncrana Hearts 1
D O’Connor 48
Fanad United 5
E Kelly 20, 40 pens, D McDaid 62, R Toland 70, K Black 80
Phil Brady’s Buncrana Hearts side slumped to defeat in the opening game of the Ulster Senior League Cup campaign, against league champions Fanad United at a cold Castle Park on Saturday afternoon.
The critical moments were the concession of two penalties that gifted Fanad their two-goal lead. The first was from a mistimed tackle, from which Eunan Kelly made no mistake and the second from a handball, which Kelly also converted past Shaun O’Donnell.
Hearts started the brighter in the second half and fashioned a few goal chances before Darach O’Connor reduced the arrears when he latched on to a ball across the box to stab home. Individual errors by the Hearts contributed to the somewhat flattering final score of 5-11, with goals from Dara McDaid, Ryan Toland and the impressive Kyle Black all scoring in the final 10 minutes to compound the Hearts’ misery.
USL Donegal News League Cup fixtures
Letterkenny Rovers v Fanad United
Buncrana Hearts v Swilly Rovers
Cockhill Celtic v Drumkeen United
Kildrum Tigers v Derry City
Letterkenny Rovers will host holders Fanad United this Thursday evening in Group B of the Donegal News League Cup.
It will be Rovers’ first outing in this season’s competition after last week’s game against Swilly failed to go ahead. RManager Eamon McConigley will be hoping his side can repeat their Intermediate Cup victory of a few months ago over the Fanad men with the winners of this tie likely to find themselves in a strong position to qualify from the group as winners.
Rovers have had a good pre-season and like Fanad, had a good away win in Buncrana in recent weeks in the Knockalla Cup. They will be hoping goal scoring talisman Darren McElwaine can find the net and lead them to victory on this occasion. Fanad currently lead Group B after last Saturday’s demolition of the Hearts in Buncrana by five goals to one. Ollie Horgan fielded a decidedly young line-up but also one laced with experienced heads of Shaun McElwaine and Seamie Friel to guide the younger players. Fanad’s recent EA Sports League Cup game against Monaghan - when they lost 2-1 after the concession of two stoppage time goals - will have stood them in good stead and they will start slight favourites in this one. A draw is the likely outcome here.
On Saturday, Buncrana will hope to turn their fortunes around after two home defeats in successive weeks. They welcome Swilly Rovers to Castle Park for a crunch game that will decide if they have any chance of progressing in this year’s competition. Phil Brady will have been encouraged by an improved display last Saturday against Fanad and he will hope that the experienced Gary Duffy and Gerard McLaughlin can lead his side to victory and a showdown with Letterkenny in their final group game in the continuing absence of the suspended Matthew Cutliffe.
Jason Gibson’s Swilly Rovers team didn’t play last weekend and the lay-off may well hinder their chances in this tough away game of two evenly matched teams. Swilly were knocked out of the Knockalla Cup after extra time against Bonagee and will be eager to get a result here to get some momentum as the league kick-off begins to loom. A draw here doesn’t do either side any favours so expect a good open game of football with Swilly’s young side against a more settled, experienced Hearts team. Verdict is a home win.
All the Group A action takes place on Sunday this week. Last year’s beaten finalists Cockhill will have home advantage over cup specialists, Drumkeen United. The Inishowen kingpins suffered a home defeat last week against the in-form Kildrum Tigers, going down to a last minute winner on a 3-2 scoreline. Nothing less than a win will do here if they are to maintain hopes of reaching this year’s semi-finals. Having suffered defeat in their last two outings, Donal O’Brien’s team will be anxious to get back to winning ways this week. They will look to McKinney and Friel to get amongst the goals and get their season back on track.
Drumkeen will travel to Cockhill on the back of an uninspiring 1-1 draw away to neighbours Bonagee last week. They will need Chris Kyle to continue his sparkling form so far this season to cause an upset here. He will be ably assisted by Phillip Whyte and Benny Bonner and while Drumkeen are always dangerous in the Cups, it’s a tall order to travel to Cockhill and come away with a victory. The home side are fancied here to get full points and push themselves back into contention for the semi-finals.
Kildrum Tigers will host Eddie Seydack’s youthful Derry City side at Station Road this Sunday in the other Group A game. After good wins over Clonmel Celtic in the FAI Cup first round and a hard fought away win in Cockhill last week, Raymond McDaid’s side will be brimming with confidence as they host the Maiden city men. Ronan Coyle found the net twice last week against Cockhill and Raymond McDaid will hope his scoring machine avoids injury this season as they look to put one foot into the semi-finals with a home victory. Darren McCready was the Tigers other scorer last week and he will pull the strings in midfield once again beside home favourite Glen Bovaird. Even after losing Shaun McGowan back to Finn Harps, the St Johnston men should have too much experience for a Derry side that will play nice football and are capable of beating anyone on their day – as they proved last season with wins over Cockhill and Letterkenny. Tigers will be happy with their form as they await the FAI Cup second round draw and it’s hard to see anything other than a home win here as this will be the Derry men’s first outing of the season.