Russell Porter and Darren Cassidy netted the goals that earned Kildrum Tigers a narrow, but deserved win over Letterkenny Rovers on Tuesday.
Letterkenny Rovers 1
Kildrum Tigers 2
The Tigers struck twice inside the opening 25 minutes, but couldn’t put the game beyond Rovers’ reach. They might have been left to rue a series of missed opportunities with Rovers given a lifeline when Darren McElwaine netted a 64th minute penalty, but the hosts couldn’t find a second way through despite strong late pressure.
Kildrum got a golden start when Cassidy’s teasing free kick from the right flank was headed home by Porter in the third minute. Roles reversed when Porter turned provider for their second on 25 minutes.
His diagonal ball over the top played in Cassidy and he drilled a fine effort across Jason Quinn and into the far corner. New signing Kevin Barr, Barry O’Donnell and Paddy McLaughlin all had chances for Kildrum, but Maurice Toland’s side couldn’t kill the tie off. Rovers weren’t without chances, but were restricted to half-openings in the first period, the best chance falling to McElwaine whose first-time effort was saved by Michael Lynch’s legs.
Neil Lloyd hit the post early in the second half, but the ex-Finn Harps man had to leave the action early after landing heavily in the 67th minute. That meant that Kildrum played the final 23 minutes with ten men.
Three minutes earlier, Rovers had got a way back into it when McElwaine drilled home a penalty won by Oisin McMenamin. Rovers sensed a way back in, but despite having a series of set pieces in advanced positions they couldn’t breach Lynch a second time.
Letterkenny Rovers: Quinn; K Gorman, Minnock, Kelly, O’Donnell; McMacken, Malseed, Neeson, McGrath; McMenamin, McElwaine. Subs: Doherty for Gorman (53), Gallagher for McGrath (53), McPherson for O’Donnell (90).
Kildrum Tigers: Lynch; O’Donnell, McGinty, McLaughlin, Coll; Lloyd, Bovaird, Porter, Cassidy; Barr, Tourish. Subs: G Crossan for Coll (58), Doherty for Tourish (66).
Referee: C McLaughlin.
Fanad United 4
Swilly Rovers 3
After a long delay to the start of the match due to a referee’s mix-up the fans that hung around for this game were not to be disappointed with goals galore.
The first half was a close enough encountered but Fanad led 2-0 at half time mainly due to the fact that they took their chances while Swilly failed to. Brian McVeigh scored a wonderful free kick on 35 minutes to put Fanad one up and this was soon followed by a second as Conor Mathewson played a ball over the top for Aiden Sweeney to run onto and rounded the keeper and finish coolly into an empty net.
Half time 2-0. The second half burst into life as within 10 minutes of the restart the ever-lively David Edwards finished from close range following a scramble in the box. But Swilly went straight up the pitch from the restart to get one back through Laurence Toland who finished following a mix up in the home sides defence.
Swilly soon found themselves right back in the game as Blain Curtis got a quick second for them. However Fanad seemed to kill the game soon after as Kyle Burke scored with his first touch of the game, finished off a move involving Mathewson, Edwards and Hassett.
Swilly however fought back again and Liam O’Donnell was on hand to finish at the back post following a cross from the right. The game was looking like it was destined to end in a draw and Swilly almost got the equaliser in the last minute as Fanad gave away an indirect free kick inside the penalty box but the home defense managed to see it out to the end to win 4-3.
Fanad United: Daffan, McBride, McGonigle, McNulty, McBride, Ryan, Sweeney, Hassett, McVeigh, Matthewson, Edwards: Subs, Shiels for McBride, Burke for K Ryan and McElwaine for McBride.
Swilly Rovers: Bolton, Ferry, Fisher, Hegarty, O’Donnell, J Toland, R Toland, L Toland, R Curtis, B Curtis, Black. Subs: Dunsworth, O’ Donnell and McCahill
Ref C. McLaughlin