Cockhill back on top after Friel double in Drumkeen

Cockhill back on top after Friel double in Drumkeen
Cockhill Celtic had striker Garbhan Friel to thank after his brace at Drumkeen United sent them back on top of the Ulster Senior League.

Cockhill Celtic had striker Garbhan Friel to thank after his brace at Drumkeen United sent them back on top of the Ulster Senior League.

Drumkeen United 0

Cockhill Celtic 2

Drumkeen had gone into the match with a flawless record having won six from six against the Inishowen team’s 17 points from seven matches.

On 19 minutes, referee Tommy McAree dismissed Christopher Kyle for a high challenge on Liam O’Donnell. It was a big call and although some claimed Kyle’s challenge might’ve only been deserving of a yellow card, it was a little high.

Either way, the sending off changed the game and Drumkeen tried to play a containing game.

Malachy McDermott tested Paul McCauley in the home goal but a minute before half-time the deadlock was finally broken.

Centre-back William O’Connor made his way forward and crossed from the right flank to Friel.

The Cockhill frontman stole a yard of space in the penalty area to loop a header back across goal and just inside the post.

Conor Carlin was living a lonesome life as Drumkeen’s sole forward but he almost fashioned a leveller when he chased a seemingly lost cause and drew a shot just wide of Gavin Cullen’s upright.

That was as close as Drumkeen would come and if there was to be a second goal it was always more likely that Cockhill would net it.

On 65 minutes, Friel was at it again. Following a cross into the area from substitute Peter Doherty, Friel headed past McCauley from close range.

Going for broke, Drumkeen’s Mark Marley fizzed a shot wide and at the other end, McCauley recovered in the nick of time to keep a Derek Doherty shot out after spilling the initial effort.

Drumkeen United: Paul McCauley; Seamus ‘Nanny’ Friel, Ryan Gildea, Seamus ‘Coshia’ Friel, Benny Bonner; Gavin Reilly (Alan Gethins 59), Chris Kyle, David Shovlin (Philip Whyte 74), Mark Marley; Conor Carlin, Richard Moore (Eunan Kelly 65).

Cockhill Celtic: Gavin Cullen; Ciaran McLaughlin, Johnny Havlin, William O’Connor, Oisin McColgan (Peter Doherty 44); Liam O’Donnell, Derek Doherty (Pauric McKinney 85), Malachy McDermott, Mark Moran (Christy McLaughlin 88); Gerard McLaughlin, Garbhan Friel.

Referee: Tommy McAree.