Letterkenny Rovers pictured before Sunday's win over Bonagee United
A competent assured performance from Letterkenny Rovers saw them overcome Bonagee 4-0 in the FAI intermediate Cup derby clash.
Letterkenny Rovers. . . 4
Bonagee United . . . 0
The win for Eamon McConigley’s men ensures they return to the national stages of the competition.
Perfect conditions greeted both sides and it was Rovers who started the brighter on a sultry Sunday afternoon for football on a lush Aura surface.
The opening stages were tentative from both sides as the game failed to settle as befits derby encounter. It was Rovers who had the first chance of note on 19 minutes when the highly impressive Ryan Lonergan and David Shovlin combined to set up Pajo Rafferty but his tame shot was well gathered by Gareth Wade in the Bonagee goal.
Christy Connaghan also shot high over the bar and Lee Toland came close with a free kick in the opening skirmishes before Bonagee almost opened the scoring on 25 minutes only for Chris Moran to see his header from a long Michael Funston throw just go the wrong side of the post.
That gave Tony O'Carrolls men added belief and James Carolan shot just over minutes later as Bonagee threatened an opener. But the crucial opening goal fell to Rovers on 30 minutes.
A long ball from Rory Kelly sent Lonergan away and he was dragged down by Caolan McLaughlin and referee Garvan Taggart had no hesitation in pointing to the spot although Bonagee were claiming that the play should have been called back for an earlier foul on Lonergan.
Rovers then saw Lee Toland’s spot-kick well saved by Gareth Wade but the very alert Sean McCarron was on hand and reacted quickest to neatly fire home the rebound.
That opener was crucial and it was Rovers who got the all important second goal just before halftime when Lonergan set up Pajo Rafferty. His persistence paid dividends when beating his markers before putting in a sublime cross which was met well by Kevin McGrath at the back post and he blasted home with his left foot giving Wade no chance.
Any hopes of a Bonagee revival were finished on 52 minutes when the move of the game involving McGrath, Lonergan and McCarron saw McCarron find Rafferty and he netted from close range to make it 3-0 and continue his streak of having scored in every game this season.
Rovers then made it 4-0 on 59 minutes when McCarron fired home and Rovers were in no mood to concede anything easy to give Bonagee a sniff and they closed it out well with Lonergan and Shovlin combining well down the right hand side to create a number of openings.
Bonagee never stopped playing and almost got one back as a defender almost inadvertently put the ball into his own net while Mark Harkin, Chris Moran and Michael Funston also tried their luck from distance just firing wide. In truth however, Rory Kelly was rarely troubled in the home goal.
Te big games keep coming for Rovers who are back in action next Sunday when travelling to play Derry City Reserves in league action.
LETTERKENNY ROVERS: Rory Kelly, David Shovlin, Lee Toland, Ryan Gildea, Conor Tourish, Ryan Lonergan,Kevin McGrath, Christy Connaghan, Pajo Rafferty, Sean McCarron, Brian McVeigh. Subs: Steve Okakpo-Emeka for Rafferty (65), Odhran McMacken for Connaghan (70), Darren McElwiane for McCarron (76), Darren Ferry for Connaghan (76)
BONAGEE UTD. Gareth Wade, Glenn Gallagher, Dylan O'Brien, Caolan McLaughlin, Darren Hunter,Chris Moran, Mark Harkin, Micky Funston, Matty Harkin, James Carolan, Aaron Wasson. Subs: Jordan Rodgers for Gallagher (59), Matthew de Kook for Wasson (59), Daniel Stolarcyzk for (Harkin 76), Ryan Moran for Carolan (84).
REFEREE: Garvin Taggart.
Cockhill Celtic . . . 10
Swilly Rovers . . . 0
Cockhill were merciless as they crushed Swilly Rovers to move into the next round of the FAI Intermediate Cup.
Cockhill took the lead after just 23 seconds when a Mark Moran cross from the left evaded everyone before being volleyed home at the far post by Derek Doherty.
Just two minutes in, they doubled the lead when Moran skipped a tackle before dinking the goalkeeper.
Mark Coyle made it three-nil after Derek Doherty and Ronan Doherty combined while Garbhan Friel got on the mark with the fourth.
It was 8-0 by the break with Coyle, Jimmy Bradley, Friel and Moran on target.
Gavin Cullen’s men added another two, via Friel and Toland, in the second half.
Ulster Senior League
Fanad United . . . 0
Derry City Reserves . . . 3
Derry City Reserves came away from Traigh-a-Loch with a well deserved 3-0 victory in the Ulster Senior League on Sunday.
The game started slowly with little in the way of goalmouth action in the firsty 20 minutes.
Derry took the lead in the 23rd minute with virtually their first attack of the game.
Adrian Delap went on a fine run down the left and his cross into the box was met by Sean McBride who fired home.
The only other chance of note for either side fell to Matthew Crossan in the 43rd minute when his well hit shot from 25 yards was deflected just wide.
Ten minutes into the second half Derry were awarded a penalty when Crossan committed a foul in the box.
Cathal Farren stepped up and fired the ball home.
Fanad missed a chance to get a goal back three minutes later when Oisin McMenamin saw his fine header go just over the bar.
As Fanad pushed forward, Derry caught them out on the break twice in the space of three minutes.
In the 74th minute Adrian Delap broke through on goal but was denied by an excellent save from Shane Graham.
Two minutes later however, Derry made the points safe when sub Aaron McGurk broke the offside trap and finished into the bottom corner.
Graham produced another quality save to deny Mikey Sweeney.
Fanad kept pushing and Daniel Houghton in the Derry goal produced two excellent saves to deny Shaun McElwaine and Oisin McMenamin.
FANAD UTD: Shane Graham, Oisin Langan, Matthew Crossan (James Kerr 70), Paul Lynch, Shaun McElwaine, Darren McElwaine (Ronan Gallagher 70), Martin McElhinney, Eoghan Rafferty (Conor Blaney 55), Keelin McElwaine (Sean Little 80), Davitt Walsh (Paul Bradley40), Oisin McMenamin.
DERRY CITY RES: Daniel Houghton, Rys McDermott, Lee McColgan, Sam Todd, Luke Campbell, Jack Park (Aaron McGurk 55), Paul Doherty, Cathal Farren, Sean McBride (Adam Taggert 45), Evan Tweed (Mikey Sweeney 45), Adrian Delap.
REFEREE: Marty McGarrigle.
Sunday, October 29
Ulster Senior League
Derry City Res v Letterkenny Rovers
Swilly Rovers v Bonagee United