Cockhill Celtic remain in contral of the Ulster Senior League although their advantage at the top of the table was cut down to five points when Fanad United posted a 2-0 home win over Derry City.
For their part, Cockhill, who remain unbeaten this term, were held to a 2-2 draw by local rivals Buncrana Hearts at the weekend, while Kildrum Tigers remain in third place. There were also wins for Bonagee United, against Swilly Rovers, while Letterkenny Rovers went down by two goals to one against Drumkeen United.
Fanad Utd 2
Fanad United kept the pressure on USL leaders Cockhill with a good 2-0 victory over Bonagee at Traigh a Loch on Tuesday night. Fanad got off to a flying start after seven minutes, Paddy Mc Grenaghan set up Alan Gettins to score from ten yards.
Bonagee came well into the game after this but were unable to break down a very solid Fanad defence where Seamie Coshia Friel and Shaun Mc Elwaine were outstanding, and so it remained 1-0 at half time.
Fanad again started well in the second half and Arthur Lynch missed a good chance 15 minutes into the half to increase Fanad’s lead when he headed wide from six yards. Fanad did get the all-important second goal 20 minutes from time when Gettins got his second goal with a well-placed header from an Ephran Mc Fadden free.
A minute later the same player was denied his hat trick when his well placed shot came back off the crossbar with the Bonagee keeper well beaten.
Best for Fanad - Gettins, Seamie (Coshia) Friel and Mc Elwaine. Best for Bonagee, Anthony Appiah.
Cockhill Celtic 2
Buncrana Hearts 2
Buncrana, the visitors, showed a greater hunger in the opening exchanges of this local derby and in Matthew ‘Bubbles’ Cuttlife they had a goal threat to trouble the home defence.
On five minutes it took a great block tackle from Cockhill’s Malachy McDermott to stop a one-on-one situation for Cuttlife. On eight minutes Cockhill’s Derek Doherty then had a snap shot from outside the box that was into the side netting and little trouble to Shane O’Gara in the visitors net.
The league’s bottom side took a deserved lead on 10 minutes when a corner into the box was not dealt with and Cathal O’Kane was on had to poke the ball over the line. Buncrana youngster Darragh O’Connor, in centre midfield, had a couple of efforts from distance that both went narrowly wide of Shane Gallivan’s net.
On 25 minutes a delightfully weighted pass by Cuttlife sent Declan Fullerton into the box but his chip over the keeper went over the bar much to the relief of the home support. Soon after Cockhill’s Mark Moran had an effort, as he cut in from the left, that just went past O’Gara’s left had upright. Buncrana went 2-0 up on 40 minutes as Cuttlife pounced on a poor back-pass to win a tackle with keeper Gallivan before shooting to the empty net from all off two yards out.
Cockhill had the final say in the first period when O’Gara got a great head to a Garbhan Friel header after a good cross from Mark Moran.
Cockhill made a few changes at the start of the second period when Aiden O’Donnell replaced Derek Doherty and young goalkeeper Harry Doherty, fresh from his impressive displays at the Galway Cup for the FAI U15 Emerging Talent squad, replaced Shane Gallivan in nets.
The second half was barely two minutes old when Cockhill’s Paul McKinney crossed from the right into the box but young Kevin O’Loughlin cleared at the back post when the home side should have done better with more bodies in the box.
The league leaders were handed a lifeline on 52 minutes when Cathal O’Kane was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area and McKinney made no mistake from the spot with his shot high into the corner. The home side had their tails up and came more into the game as the Hearts defence started to sit back, with Cockhill pushing forward at every opportunity they did leave themselves open at times at the back, and Harry Doherty had to get down well to smother a shot from Matthew Henry from just outside the box.
Cockhill’s pressure paid off as they leveled matters on 75 minutes; a ball over the top from William O’Connor was cleared to the edge of the area only for Liam O’Donnell to connect sweetly from 20 yards, with accuracy and power, to rifle a shot past O’Gara into the keeper’s top right had corner.
The closing 15 minutes seen the home side push for the winner, O’Gara pulled off another great one handed save as he tipped a goal-bound header over the bar. A highly entertaining game played in a good manner and watched by a good crowd. Cockhill remain top and Buncrana with the point move off the bottom
Killea AFC 2
Kildrum Tigers 0
Killea FC continued their recent dominance against their great local rivals Kildrum Tigers with a cleverly crafted victory at the Templemore Sports Complex.
Killea, playing some of their best football of the season dealt capably with a lot of Kildrum pressure in the second half. Indeed so effective and organized was the home defence that the Tigers did not create one clear cut opportunity in the second period.
Killea - who knocked the Tigers out of the Knockall Cup - made most of the first half running and in the process created several early scoring opportunities..Shane Brown - playing against his former club - miscued in front of goal with only the keeper to beat after Tommy Meehan had set him up and then winger Paul Simon Tracey spurned a glaring opportunity. Killea’s dominance was finally rewarded on 35 minutes when Tommy Meehan set up Conor Deane for the opening goal. Kildrum also had their moments with Cormack Carlin striking the Killea bar and Russell Porter forcing a brilliant acrobatic save from Killea’s outstanding keeper Gareth Wade.
In the second half Killea’s incisive football continued to create chances: James Melly’s cross came back off the Kildrum bar while Simon Tracey and Conor Deane let easy opportunities go a begging. However, with fifteen minutes remaining Killea’s counter attacking paid dividend with a wonderfully worked second goal. Quick ball forward found Paul Simon Tracey and the winger coming in from the left set up Conor Deane for his second strike of the day.
Fanad United 2
Derry City 0
This game was decided in Fanad’s favour in the five minutes before half time and five minutes after half time. Fanad created most of the first half chances but could not beat Houghton in the Derry goal, but in the 42nd minute he could do nothing to stop Connelly scoring his first Fanad United goal when he was beaten to a through ball from Mc Grennaghan, and again he could not stop Hagans shot from the edge of the box after being played in by Mc Fadden on 49 minutes.
This goal seemed to effect the young Derry side and had to thank their goalkeeper for keeping the score down, Vella upfront for Derry was always a threat but didnt get the support he needed.
Best for Derry Duffy and Houghton. Best for Fanad Mc Fadden and Mc Veigh.
Referee M. Lagan.
Bonagee United 2
Swilly Rovers 1
A local derby played in good spirit, Bonagee came out on top in this game by two goals to one. The home side started the game well, and could have easily taken the lead when John Roulston pushed an Anthony Appiah effort around the post after just 5 mins. They took the lead on 20 minutes. This time the lively Appiah put a cross into the danger area and Aidan McLaughlin managed to squeeze the ball under Roulstone from 6 yards out.
That lead lasted just two minutes with Chris Toner applying the finish from 10 yards following a through ball from Mark Hunter. Bonagee regained their advantage 4 minutes from the interval. Appiah raced into the box and was upended by Kevin Kelly. McLaughlin scored the resulting spot kick to claim his second of the game. Bonagee had the better of the second half, and deservedly held out for the three points.
Best for Bonagee were Appiah and McLuaghlin with Ciaran Harte starring for Swilly.
Drumkeen United 2
Letterkenny Rovers 1
This was one of best games at St. Patrick’s Park, Drumkeen. Drumkeen opened brightly after three minutes had a strong claim for a penalty when Gary Patton was brought down but referee gave a free on the edge of the box. Drumkeen went into the lead after a great ball from Sean Ferry to pick out Richard Moore who shot home to put Drumkeen one up.
Rrovers opened the second half strongly and with the hone team claiming for offside John Doherty scored to draw Letterkenny level. Drumkeen piled on the pressure and had another penalty claim rurned down when Raymond Sweeney went down in the box but had his claim waved away.
On the hour Mark Marley picked up the ball 35 yds from goal running past two defenders he slotted the ball home to give Drumkeen a 2-1 lead which they held on to the end.
Best for Letterkenny, John Doherty and John MInnock. A great team effort from Drumkeen with Sean Ferry, Mark Marley, Richard Moore, Chris Kyle, Ryan Gildea and Anthony Doherty outstanding.
First Division League Cup
Drumkeen United 2
Swilly Rovers 2
This game was played in very wet & windy conditions. Drumkeen scored after 30 minutes when a through ball from Kieran Doherty found Paul McLaughlin who beat the Swilly keeper from 10yds.
Drumkeen increased the lead when Paul McLaughlin scored his second after good work by McNamee to put him in the clear, scoring with a shot from 25 yards.
Swilly started the second half much the better team and pulled a goal back when Shane Fisher shot through a crowd of players. Drumkeen missed the pace of McNamee who had to go off injured early in the second half.
With ten minutes remaining Swilly scored after Johnny Boyle rose unchallanged to power a header into the top corner.
Best for Drumkeen, S McFaden, Rory Gildea and Sean Gallagher and Johnny Boyle were best for Swilly.
Donegal News League Cup Final
Sunday 21st Aug. 5.00pm kick-off Leakview Park, Letterkenny
Cockhill Celtic v Fanad United
Referee: S. Toner. Assistants C. McLaughlin and P. Malaugh
USL - Wed. 17th Aug. 7.30pm
Derry City v Bonagee United Referee: T. McAree
Friday 19th Aug 7.00pm
Kildrum T v Drumkeen U: D. McCafferty
Sun. 21 Aug 2.00pm
Derry City v Letterkenny Rovers: J. Coll
Buncrana Hearts v Killea AFC: P. Duddy
USL 1st Division
Thurs. 18th Aug 7.30pm
Letterkenny Rovers v Drumkeen United Referee: M. Lagan
Sat. 20th Aug 2.00pm
Swilly Rovers v Bonagee United Referee: C. McLaughlin