Bonagee United 2
Fanad United 1
Micheál Doherty’s double and a penalty save from goalkeeper Kealan Mulcahy earned Bonagee United a win over Fanad that secures top spot in Group B.
Doherty netted either side of a Davitt Walsh equaliser while Mulcahy saved a penalty from Walsh, just after Doherty had restored the Bonagee lead in the 63rd minute.
Bonge - missing the likes of Michael Funston, Darren McFadden, Mark Harkin and Garbhan Grant - flew from the blocks and Doherty put them into a third-minute lead.
Jordan Armstrong swept a delicious ball to the right for the scampering Aaron Wasson to run onto. Wasson first-timed the cross and it was headed home by Doherty at the far post.
Fanad levelled when Walsh connected to Ryan McFadden’s cross and, after cheating the ball down, volley home.
Paul Bradley cannoned a header off the bar moments early and Fanad had a little momentum in their favour now.
Fanad were reduced to ten men late in the first half when Connor McNulty saw red for hitting out at Doherty. Fanad manager Arthur Lynch and Bonagee coach Paul Higgins were also sent from the dugouts.
After Larkin headed off the post, Bonagee restored the lead in the 63rd minute as Doherty beat the offside trap to tap home from Jamie Lynagh’s centre.
Fanad had an immediate chance to draw level. Mulcahy fouled Ed O’Reilly, but the home goalkeeper dusted himself down to save, and hold, Walsh’s tame penalty.
Bonagee United: Kealan Mulcahy; Cody Brogan, Sean Hume, Tommy McMonagle; Aaron Watson, Daniel Stolarczyk, Jordan Armstrong, Deano Larkin, Jamie Lynagh; Jack Murphy (Peter Carr 76); Micheál Doherty
Fanad United: Shane Graham; Oisin Langan, Shaun McElwaine, Peter Curran (Marty McAteer 79), James Gallagher (Declan McGarvey 56); Paul Bradley, Connor McNulty, Dean McCarry, Ryan McFadden; Ed O’Reilly, Davitt Walsh.
Referee: Packie Coll
Cockhill Celtic 3
Letterkenny Rovers 1
An under-strength Cockhill side exceeded expectations in an early season clash between the perennial big two in the USL.
Letterkenny started the brighter and had the first chance on two minutes.
Declan Sharkey made a good run into right channel. He pulled the ball back to Johnny Bonner. His cross was glanced wide by Kevin McGrath with Darren McElwaine well placed.
McGrath had another half chance on nine minutes after a pullback from McElwaine but his shot was well blocked by Gerard McLaughlin.
Cockhill's first chance came on 12 minutes when a Gerry Gill corner was headed over by Bart.
Cockhill took the lead on the half-hour. A Gill free kick was played into Brendan McLaughlin who swivelled and fired into the top corner giving Rory Kelly no chance from the edge of the box.
The home side were on top now and made it 2-0 six minutes later. Marty Doherty played a delightful through ball into the inside right channel to Brendan McLaughlin. His initial effort was parried by Kelly but he tucked away the rebound.
Kelly kept it at 2-0 minutes later denying Mark Moran with a good save.
Against the run of play, Rovers created a chance when Ryan McConnell intercepted in midfield before playing a great ball across the Cockhill box which just evaded the arriving Sharkey.
On the stroke of half time, McLaughlin almost had his hat-trick when his shot hit the post after he was teed up by Moran.
The second half started with Cockhill content to play deep and, while dominating possession, Rovers failed to create any clear chances.
The first clear chance of the half came on the hour when Conor McNamee made ground on the right. His cross volleyed over by McLaughlin on the stretch.
On 68 minutes, Rovers sub BJ Banda found a pocket of space in front of the Cockhill defence. His fierce left foot strike clipping the bar on the way over.
It was 3-0 Cockhill on 73 and started from a Rovers free kick on the edge of the Cockhill box. Lee Toland's free kick was charged down. Bart Wesolowski chased down the resultant clearance, outmuscling McConnell and crossed for Moran to slot home.
It looked like game over but Rovers kept going and were awarded a penalty eight minutes from the end, which Toland converted, sending Lee McCarron the wrong way.
This gave Rovers renewed belief and Banda was out of luck when his shot hit the side netting.
They had another chance to reduce the deficit when a Toland mishit shot found Conor Tourish but he was denied by a last gasp tackle from Gill.
Cockhill Celtic: Lee McCarron, Conor McNamee, Gerard McLaughlin, Paul McDermott, Lee McColgan, Denim McLaughlin, Gerry Gill, Brendan McLaughlin, Marty Doherty, Bart Wesolowski, Mark Moran
Letterkenny Rovers: Rory Kelly, Kevin McGrath, Lee Toland, Ryan McConnell, Conor Tourish, Matt Harkin, Jonny Bonner, Chris Malseed, Darren McElwaine, Christy Conaghan, Declan Sharkey
Referee: Vincent McLaughlin
Tuesday, September 4, 6.30pm (at Templemore)
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