THE TOPSY-TURVY nature of the Ulster Senior League continued over the weekend as the Inishowen sides, Buncrana Hearts and Cockhill Celtic, were the winners.
Buncrana Hearts 2
D Fullerton (50), K O’Loughlin (80)
Kildrum Tigers 1
R Coyle (20)
Kildrum Tigers feint hopes of winning this years 4 Lanterns USL title virtually ended on Saturday evening at Castle Park as the home side claimed a good victory to continue their recent good form.
Barring a late collapse by Derry City Reserves and with Cockhill also now clear in second place, it would take a Devon Loch like collapse from both sides to see the Tigers claim the crown.
Buncrana Hearts completed an excellent week of results for themselves, having beaten Letterkenny Rovers last week, and drawing away to Fanad United in the mid-week fixture, Gary Duffy’s Hearts side were in good form and went into this contest full of confidence.
However, it was Kildrum who started the brighter, with Darren McCready pulling the strings in the Tigers midfield, and Cormac Carlin threatening up front. Indeed on 20 minutes, McCready was involved in the opener. After good play by the playmaker, his smart pass found Ronan Coyle who slotted past Shane O’Gara to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
Buncrana immediately hit back, with the left side of Daniel McLaughlin and Robbie Fullerton causing all sorts of problems for the St Johnston side. Good play from Fullerton resulted in Kildrum’s Glen Bovaird being dismissed, after taking the left-back down when through on goal. With Kildrum down to 10 men, they managed to hold out to half time, although after that it was all one-way traffic.
Buncrana were on top from the beginning of the second half, with Kieran McDaid and Decky Fullerton both having efforts on goal. The Hearts eventually equalised after a through ball by Duffy found McLaughlin, who in turn found McDaid, who after beating two defenders, squared the ball to Robbie Fullerton who made no mistake.
Kevin O’Loughlin almost had the Hearts in the lead, when from a Duffy corner, he headed off the cross bar, but from the rebound, McLaughlin headed home from close range. The Hearts then continued to dominate the rest of the proceedings before the impressive Cormac Carlin won a free outside the Hearts area. McCready stepped up and his effort came back off the post. Buncrana held out to win 2-1.
Cockhill Clear in second
Bonagee United 0
Cockhill Celtic 4
A O’Donnell (9, 67), G McLaughlin (60), P McKinney (78)
Cockhill kept the pressure on league leaders Derry City with this comprehensive victory over Bonagee on Saturday evening.
The home side went into this game buoyed by victory over high flying Kildrum last Wednesday night, but were behind after only nine minutes. The excellent Gerry Gill had a long range effort parried by young David Tyrrell in the Bonagee goal, but Aidan O’Donnell was quickest to react to stab the ball home from six yards.
The second half was only twenty seconds old when Celtic grabbed their second. A speculative ball from Johnny Havlin from deep in his own half reached O’Donnell in the area and he rounded the keeper and squared to Gerard McLaughlin who sidefooted home from six yards. Goal number three arrived in the 67th minute, this time O’Donnell latched onto a lengthy ball from Ciaran McLaughlin to score his second of the game. Cockhill introduced Conor Keddy to the game and his impact was almost immediate ashe ran all of 60 yards and crossed to Paul McKinney who headed home from 10 yards.
DPD Division 1
Drumkeen United Reserves 3
L Guthrie (37, 50), L McMonagle (70)
Bonagee United Reserves 1
P O’Loan (80)
Drumkeen ran out convincing winners in the end in this entertaining affair in sweltering conditions at St Patrick’s Park.
The home team took the lead against the run of play on when after Peter McNamee’s shot was blocked on the line the ball broke to Lee Guthrie who poked home from close range. Guthrie almost got his second just moments later when he rose to meet Aaron Doherty’s corner but his header just cleared the cross bar.
Drumkeen started the second half on top and were two up when Guthrie was again in the right place at the right time. Doherty did well to beat his man on the right of the penalty area and his shot was blocked with Guthrie there again to poke the ball home. It was three when Guthrie played a wonderful through ball to Doherty who rounded the keeper but with defenders back on the line he composed himself to roll the ball to Lee McMonagle who rolled the ball home to cap a wonderful move. McNamee then almost scored with a close range shot that the keeper did well to clear. Bonagee got a consolation goal on when Paddy O’Loan tapped home.
4 Lanterns USL
Bonagee United 0-4 Cockhill Celtic
Buncrana Hearts 2-1 Kildrum Tigers
DPD First Division
Drumkeen United 3-1 Bonagee United
Letterkenny Rovers v Fanad United
T Moyne Ref and M Lagan and J McHugh Assistants
Drumkeen United v Swilly Rovers - P Duddy
Sunday, at 2pm
Derry City Reserves v Fanad United - T McAree
Kildrum Tigers v Letterkenny Rovers - S Toner
Cockhill Celtic v Buncrana Hearts - P Duddy
Swilly Rovers v Bonagee United - D McCafferty
4 Lanterns USL Table 26.08.12
P W L D F A Diff Pts
Derry City 16 12 1 3 53 24 29 39
Cockhill Celtic 19 10 4 4 45 23 22 34
Kildrum Tigers 18 8 5 5 42 31 11 29
Fanad Utd 17 7 5 4 25 26 -1 25
Swilly Rovers 17 6 6 5 36 38 -2 23
Letterkenny Rovers 17 7 8 2 26 33 -7 23
Drumkeen Utd 19 6 11 2 40 50 -10 20
Buncrana Hearts 18 4 10 4 26 40 -14 16
Bonagee Utd 19 4 14 1 33 61 -28 13
DPD First Division Final Table 26.08.12
Kildrum Tigers 8 7 1 0 25 10 15 21
Drumkeen Utd 8 4 3 1 21 28 -7 13
Swilly Rovers 8 3 3 2 20 18 2 11
Bonagee Utd 8 2 5 1 11 15 -4 7
Letterkenny Rovers 8 2 6 0 10 16 -6 6