Gweedore Celtic maintained their stance at the top of the Brian McCormick Sports Premier Division table with a 3-1 win over Drumoghill FC at the Moss in their penultimate fixture.
Gweedore Celtic 3
It means that a win for Hughie Rua Gallagher’s side at Milford United on Sunday week will secure back-to-back titles. Second placed Glenea United made sure of the finale thanks to a thumping 8-0 win against Lagan Harps and Tom Coll will take his team to Castlefin Celtic the weekend after next to win and hope.
Gweedore’s three second half goals – with Colin Ferry breaking the deadlock before a Fionnan Diver brace – not only confirmed their place at the summit of the table but it also condemned their hosts Drumoghill to relegation.
Patience was the key element of the win on a dreary day. Chances came and went for the league leaders in the first half and for a brief stint it looked like it was going to be one of those days. But at the same time, it was hard to ignore the fact that if Gweedore got in front they would win the match comfortably. And that’s exactly what happened.
Underfoot conditions were awkward and although both teams showed a good level of urgency, it was only the hosts that also carried some fortune in a scrappy first 45 minutes.
From a Gary Whoriskey corner, Diver headed wide when he was unchallenged and then former Finn Harps full-back Whoriskey, who plays a more advanced role at his hometown club, inexplicably missed the target from no more than seven yards out as the goal yawned in frint of him.
There was no question about it, the visitors were dominating but when Eugene McBride made a mess of a free header and Diver somehow managed to hit the post with Drumoghill goalkeeper Shane McAteer seemingly beaten and the goal at his mercy, the away support gasped as they tried to fathom how the score was still level.
However, Gweedore stuck manfully at their task and were rewarded with Eamonn Cannon fizzed a shot that deflected in off his teammate Ferry, who know little about it and might’ve inadvertently handled the ball, for the opening goal. But after chapters of misfortune, Gweedore had got a break to make the breakthrough. There were only 20 minutes left.
That made it a different game and from then on there was a freedom about the away team. Diver might’ve passed up on a couple of decent first half opportunities but he made amends in the second. Eight minutes after the opener, following a throughball from McFadden, Diver won the race with McAteer and poked home the second goal.
Four minutes from time, Diver sealed the deal when he headed home a corner from Whoriskey and all thoughts turned to Moyle View Park. Drumoghill managed to dirty the Gweedore sheets in the last minute when Ronan Floyd awarded a penalty when Ferry backed into Liam O’Donnell and Darren Kelly rolled the ball past Michael McKelvey. Too little, too late from Drumoghill, while Gweedore Celtic will be delighted to be going to Milford - a tough place to go - with their destiny in their own hands.
Drumoghill: Shane McAteer; Daryl Duncan Richard Tinney, Jonathan Wilson, Shane McIntyre; Mark Callaghan, Carlos Rodgers, Kevin Higgins (Stephen O’Donnell 77), Colin Watson; Liam O’Donnell, Darren Kelly.
Gweedore Celtic: Michael McKelvey; Jamie Boyle, Paul Rua McBride, David McGee (Damien O’Sullivan 56), Kevin Friel (David Ward 78); Gary Whoriskey, Eamonn Cannon, Eugene McBride, Colin Ferry; Ciaran McFadden, Fionnan Diver.
Referee: Ronan Floyd