Weather conditions were the major factor in the first games in the Saturday League with two games having to be abandoned.
Keadue Rovers v Arranmore and Milford United v Strand Rovers were victims of the very poor weather on opening Saturday.
Old Orchard Saturday
Glenea United Res 0
Erne Wanderers 2
It wintry conditions it was the league champions who took home all three points. Playing with the elements to their back in the first half Erne had most of the possession but were unable to create any clear cut chances until the 37th minute when Stephen Curneen headed home at the near post.
Into the second half and on 70 minutes Mark Dorrian cooly slotted home the second. Glenea pushed hard to get back into the game but were denied by a couple of good saves from the Erne keeper.
Mulroy Celtic 3
Ramelton Mariners 2
Played in monsoon conditions Mulroy claimed three valuable early season points. They took the lead inside five minutes when Enda Coll stepped inside two men and dispatched a great shot inside the near post. Against a very strong wind the away side played some good football and it paid off when they equalised after a badly defended corner.
Mulroy continued to press and should have regained the lead when Packie rounded the keeper only for a last ditch tackle to save the keeper’s blushes. The conditions improved for the second half and it was the home side who took the lead again through Seamus Coyle who raced clear and finished clinically.
They doubled their lead soon after when Coyle let fly from the edge of the area and a sizeable deflection took the ball over the keeper. Ramelton pulled a goal back with fifteen minutes left on the clock when they chipped the keeper.
Glencar Inn Saturday
Donegal Town Res 6
Cranford United Res 5
Donegal Town came out on top in this extraordinary game which saw six goals scored inside the first sixteen minutes of play.
Cranford three times took the lead but were pegged back on each occasion by a stubborn Donegal outfit. Buchanan put Cranford in front with a tidy finish at the near post. Donegal equalised straight from kick off when Paul Gerard Duncan was put through and he finished superbly.
A Ben Mc Bride penalty was then cancelled out when Gary Harron struck a fine first time shot from outside the area. Paddy Doohan flicked home a near post corner shortly after but yet again Donegal came back when David Bustard headed home to make it 3-3 to cap of an incredible first sixteen minutes.
Cranford went in ahead at the break through Paddy Doohan’s strike. After the break Donegal were much more composed and played some good football at times. Paul Gerard Duncan slipped the ball to David Harron out wide and his cross was met by David Bustard to level things up once again. Bustard then headed Donegal in front after he pounced on a mix up in the Cranford defence. With the game now in the balance Cranford broke the offside trap and Brendan Giles squared things up with ten minutes to go.
Donegal made the crucial breakthrough when their star performer David Harron headed home a Ciarán O’Reilly cross.
for Donegal were the front pairing of David Harron and David Bustard along with Padhraic Mc Glynn in the centre of midfield.
Tullyvinney Rovers 0
Gweedore United Res 5
This first day of the new League season saw this match reversed to Carrickboyle and the Gweedore side took full advantage.
Tullyvinney with the aid of the strong wind, in the opening half, pressed the United defence and created half chances through Adam Gardener and Dennis Mc Bride.
They found it difficult to break down the Gweedore back four. The home side looked dangerous on the break and in the 35th minute Sean Paul Mc Fadden broke the deadlock when he finished well past Michael Shields following a good through pass from Stephen O’ Donnell.
In the second half the home side had the aid of the strong breeze and went two up in the 46th minute when Sean Paul Mc Fadden got his second with a good free kick from 20 yards. In the 52nd minute Ciaran Cannon made it three when he finished well having spotted Shields off his line.
In the 72nd minute Mc Mahon got his hat-trick and United’s 4th when his pace took him past two defenders to finish well. United made it five in the 85th minute with Stephen O’ Donnell finishing well.
In difficult weather conditions both teams delivered good performances with Sean Paul Mc Mahon deserving of his hat-trick on the day.
Curragh Athletic Res 3
Glenree United Res 2
Curragh Athletic Res got their new Saturday League campaign underway with a victory over Glenree United Res. Glenree opened the scoring on seventeen minutes through Declan Nelis. Curragh equalised following a good move resulting in Shane Elliot being brought down for a penalty.
Young Justin Mc Bride stepped up and coolly scored past the Glenree stopper. Glenree went ahead again in the 52nd minute through Damian Nelis. Curragh again equalised in the 65th minute after good approach work from Burnsy who whipped in a cross and Shane Elliot beat the defender to head past the keeper.
Curragh won the game in the 85th minute when a through ball from Marty Mc Laughlin found Gary Heeney who expertly drilled the ball over the advancing keeper. Curragh held on for a deserved victory.
Referee: Barry Hunter