There were good wins for Glenea United, Milford United and Drumkeen Utd. in the Knockalla Cup.
In a reduced league programme Lagan, Dunkineely and Drumoghill recorded good wins.
Rathmullan Celtic 1
Glenea United 2
Rathmullan Celtic bowed out of the Knockalla Caravans Cup after a closely fought encounter against their bitter rivals from the Premier League, Glenea United, with two second half goals for the Glasserchoo outfit cancelling out Ryan Connolly’s first half wonder goal for the Seasiders.
The Glasserchoo outfit started brighter in the opening moments of the game but it was the Hoops who got off to the perfect start after 20 minutes when Chippie Barrett played an incisive defence splitting pass from the centre of to the park to Ryan Connolly who controlled the pass superbly before executing an exquisite chip over the keeper. There were chances for both sides as the first half unfolded but the one goal advantage stood for the Hoops before the famous half time soup from Adrian Gallen.
In a typical cup clash, chances were few and far between for both sides as a stalemate in the midfield unfolded, but the visitors came right back into contention when they were awarded a free kick on 67 minutes from 25 yards out. Paddy Sweeney unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner which gave keeper Mark Walshe no chance much to the delight of the vociferous travelling support from Falcarragh.
Tom Coll’s visitors almost immediately took the lead when Sweeney hit a thunderous strike from the edge of the area that drew a world class finger tip save from Walshe.
Glenea took the lead on 75 minutes when an opportunistic lob from defence fell to Sweeney up front and the striker spotted Walshe off his line and flighted the ball into the net much to the disappointment of the keeper and home faithful.
The Seasiders pressed for that elusive equaliser with Dara Patton denied by a superlative save from Sean Gallagher in goals after the striker unleashed a venomous strike from the edge of the area on 81 minutes which seemed destined for the bottom corner but for Gallagher’s fine reflex save around the post.
Sweeney and Gallagher impressed from Coll’s Glenea side while an under strength Hoops side accounted well for themselves as they look forward to a two week break which gives time for the squad to return to full strength ahead for the mouth watering derby clash at home to noisy neighbours Milford United in the top flight of the Donegal League. Referee: Marty Mc Garrigle
Cootehill Harps 3
Milford United 4
Milford United travelled to Cootehill and returned with their Knockalla Cup ambitions intact. The Moyle View men went two ahead in the first ten minutes of the match, Gary Merritt and PJ Hagan finding the net. Cootehill fought back and by the half hour mark were on level terms.
On forty minutes Ciaran Mc Ginley scored to give Milford the lead going in at the interval. PJ Hagan got his second and Milford’s fourth ten minutes into the second half. The hosts never said died and fought to the finish. They pulled another goal back on eighty minutes but a mighty effort from the Donegal Junior League side saw them return from Cavan victorious.
Drumkeen United 4
Lifford Celtic 0
Current Donegal Junior League Premier Division Champions Lifford Celtic travelled to play Ulster Senior League outfit Drumkeen United on Sunday afternoon in the Knockalla Cup.
The border town team were without a number of regulars for various reasons and found the St. Patrick’s Park men hard to handle. Lee White was by far the busier of the netminders on the field and had to make a number of early saves to keep his side in the match. Drumkeen broke the deadlock midway through the first half when Ronan Coyle volleyed home. They added another three without reply to put their name in the hat for the next round draw. Lifford Celtic will now have to focus on their remaining league matches as they defend their Premier Division crown.
Watson Hire Division One
Lagan Harps 3
Gweedore United 1
Lagan improved their chances of escaping relegation with their best performance of the season in a game reversed to Gweedore.
Gweedore United started well and took the lead when Conor Harley did well to parry Ciaran Mc Fadden’s shot but Francis Gallagher fired home the rebound. Gweedore continued to threaten but Lagan equalised on twenty four minutes when Eunan Diver put Austin Marron through and he lobbed the advancing keeper.
Gweedore continued to press with Shane O’Donnell pulling the strings in midfield but Lagan always looked dangerous on the counter attack. Lagan took the lead on thirty minutes when Travis Crawford won a tackle and found James Gillen who put Ross Hamlyn through to score.
Lagan had a chance to extend their lead before the break when they had a two on one situation but Ross Hamlyn shot over. Gweedore started strong in the second half however Lagan extended their lead on forty seven minutes when Austin Marron scored from outside the area. Gweedore dominated the remainder of the game but the Lagan goal survived. Conor Harley pulled off a number of fine saves as the pressure mounted and Lagan held on for three vital points. In an all round team performance Ronan Lennon, Ruairi Crawford, Austin Marron and Gio Peoples excelled. For Gweedore Shane O’Donnell, Ciaran Mc Fadden and Francis Gallagher were best. Referee: Paddy Duffy.
Dunkineely Celtic 2
Kerrykeel ’71 F.C. 0
Dunkineely gained three valuable points in their push for promotion in a very entertaining game against Kerrykeel. Despite being reduced to ten men after only ten minutes Kerrykeel put in a fine display of passing football but failed to break down a well organised home defence.
Dunkineely had the better chances in the early part of the game and took the lead on thirty minutes. Andrew Mackey picked up the ball in midfield and ran through the middle of the visiting defence and fired in a great shot from 25 yards which crashed off the post.
Peter Alvey was on hand to tap home the rebound from eight yards. The same pair combined two minutes later but on this occasion Alvey’s shot was blocked away for a corner. Kerrykeel’s first effort on goal saw a great shot from 25 yards turned around the post for a corner. Despite a large amount of possession Dunkineely could not add to their tally before the break.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first with Kerrykeel playing a passing game but failing to break down the home defence. Paddy Mc Granaghan had a great effort from distance go narrowly wide on 65 minutes.
Dunkineely doubled their lead on 73 minutes when following great work by Adrian Nesbitt and Jonathan Cassidy, Andrew Mackey crossed for Adrian Ward to finish from six yards. Dunkineely were reduced to ten men on 80 minutes and this gave Kerrykeel the impetus to push forward to try and get back into the game but despite their best efforts they could not make the breakthrough. Referee: Liam Farren
Drumoghill F.C. 4
Eany Celtic 0
This match was switched to Ballyare as Drumoghill continued their quest for League glory. Having already defeated the Coolshannon men earlier this season they were favourites going into this match. Four goals without reply saw the men from “The Moss” capture three vital points in what is going to be a grandstand finish to the Watson Hire Division Two season.
It sets up next week’s match against Cappry Rovers for a cup final atmosphere despite the fact that there is still a long way to go.
CT Ball Division Two
Dunlewy Celtic 0
Deele Harps 3
In wonderful conditions at Glentornan Park the visitors took all three points with Darren Brown scoring a hat-trick. Solid team performances from both sides.
Whitestrand United 2
Copany Rovers 5
In the battle at the top Whitestrand United played Copany Rovers at Whitestrand Park. Tensions were high as both teams knew the importance of the match. However the deadlock was broken early when Pauric Rooney broke clear and calmly slotted past the advancing keeper. It was a start that rocked the hosts and things went from bad to worse when again a Copany player raced clear and David Graham found the back of the net.
Whitestrand responded well to these early setbacks and got one back when James Gallagher was hauled down in the box and the referee gave a penalty. Paul Lynch stepped up and calmly slotted the penalty away. Whitestrand were pushing for an equaliser when disaster struck. A defensive mix-up let Pauric Rooney in to score and easy third. This was a huge blow as Whitestrand were pushing hard for an equaliser.
The second half started, Whitestrand knowing they had to make a fast start in order to get anything from the match. However Copany weathered the early storm and clinched a crucial fourth when another defensive mix up let Pauric Rooney in and he was never going to miss his chance for the match ball.
Copany then secured an emphatic win as Paul Clarke broke through and calmly scored a fifth. Michael Sweeney scored the consolation goal that he deserved late on in the game. Best for Copany was Pauric Rooney and best for Whitestrand were James Gallagher and Sean Paul Gallagher.
Letterbarrow Celtic 6
Glenree United 1
This match saw Letterbarrow claim all three points with a strong second half performance. The home side broke the deadline on thirty minutes when Kevin Mc Brearty won a tackle in midfield and ran through to slot the ball past the advancing keeper.
Both sides had an opportunity to score before the break but the first half ended with the home side one up. Two minutes after the restart, Letterbarrow went two ahead when Shane Connelly scored a header from a James Mc Groary corner.
Glenree fought back well and had a couple of good chances which were well saved by Kieran Gildea. Glenree were rewarded on sixty minutes when Oisin Langan scored from close range.
However the home side responded well and five minutes later restored the two goal advantage when Paul Murrin slotted home from twelve yards.
James Mc Groary made it 4-1 to Letterbarrow when he finished off a nice passing move down the left. Kevin Campbell scored a fifth after finding space in the box to slot home a Paul Murrin cross.
Shane Connelly scored his second and the home side’s sixth when he powered home a corner from six yards on eighty five minutes.