Cockhill Celtic advanced to the FAI intermediate cup second round with a hard fought 1-0 win in extremely tough conditions at Leckview Park on Sunday afternoon when defeating last years beaten finalists Letterkenny Rovers.
Letterkenny Rovers 0
Cockhill Celtic 1
In what was an absorbing encounter it was a 6th minute deflected strike from Derek Doherty which settled the contest although Rovers will wonder how they did not at least bring the game to extratime and had the misfortune of running into an inspired Gavin Cullen in the Cockhill goal who made a number of fine saves to keep the home side at bay.
Rovers will be disappointed at the manner of the goal when Doherty ran unchallenged inside the box before his deflected left foot effort last home netminder Rory Kelly flatfooted although Rovers did respond in good style and and Cullen had to be at his best to deny Darren McElwaine(twice) and Paul McVeigh before the break.
Indeed it was a contrast of styles with Rovers trying to move the ball quick in tough underfoot conditions while Cockhill were more direct in their style of play.
Cockhill though started the second half brighter and could have doubled their lead through a Gerard McLaughlin effort while Cullen was at his best to deny McVeigh and Kevin McGrath in a fine double stop while Mark Moran forced home netminder Rory Kelly into a good stop on 68 while Conor Tourish had to be at his best to get a last ditch tackle in on Derek Doherty on 72 minutes.
Rovers pushed everything forward in search of an equaliser and had numerous chances through McElwaine, Paul Boyle, Conor Tourish, Christy Connaghan and Paul McVeigh but just couldnt score what would be a deserved leveller and it was Cockhill who survived 6 minutes of injury time to advance into the second round draw were they will face either Bonagee, Fanad or Swilly Rovers for a place in the national stages while the memory of the Aviva will not be revisited for Rovers for at least another season.