Rathmullan Celtic stretched their lead at the top of the Brian McCormick Sports with a very good win over rivals Milford Utd.
They were helped also by Glenea United being held to a draw by Donegal Town at the Hospital Field, Donegal Town.
Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division
Kilmacrennan Celtic 3
Gweedore Celtic 1
This game was played in awful conditions with Kilmac threatening early on. Timmy Burke almost scored from 40 yards after a poor clearance from the Gweedore keeper. Michael McLaughlin should have opened the scoring after finding himself one on one with the Gweedore keeper.
McLaughlin tried to round the keeper but tripped on doing so. Gweedore scored on twenty minutes through Declan Doherty. Eddie Doherty replaced Aidan Friel with 30 minutes remaining and five minutes later the equaliser arrived when Doherty found Timmy Burke who blasted home. Gweedore found themselves down a man when David McGee was sent off.
Liam Mc Bride then made it 2 - 1 when John Sandilands found the winger unmarked in the box. Mc Bride secured all three points with a fine individual effort when he beat three men before cooly putting the ball past the Gweedore keeper.
Referee: Mick Lagan
Milford United 1
Rathmullan Celtic 3
Rathmullan Celtic came out on top in this local derby with an excellent 2nd half performance.
Rathmullan took the lead on two minutes when Eamon Sheridan got on the end of an Oisin McMenamin Cross. Milford equalised through Paddy Peoples on 25 minutes.
Rathmullan took the lead on 60 minutes when Paddy Sheridan played a good one two with Darragh Patton and drove the ball home from eighteen yards. The game was over as a contest on seventy minutes when Darragh Patton tapped home.
Best for Rathmullan was Paddy Sheridan.
Donegal Town 2
Glenea United 2
Donegal Town finished off the first half of their league campaign with their unbeaten home record intact after a solid display against Glenea United.
In tough conditions it was the home side who took the lead. A high ball put the Glenea ‘keeper under pressure and his fisted clearance fell to Conor Mc Monagle who calmly slotted the ball into the corner. Glenea responded well and found themselves level within minutes when Shane Ferry pounced to fire home after a slip-up in the Donegal defence.
Glenea went close shortly after when Ferry bounced a free kick off the post but the visitors got themselves in front before the break. Good work out wide from McBride allowed Michael Barry to score from close range. After the break the game was closely contested with both sides creating chances.
Mc Monagle doubled his tally to level things up when he riffled in a long range free kick to the bottom corner. Both sides pushed for a winner and had their chances late on.
The best chance fell to Donegal’s Declan Brown who hit the post from an excellent Clint Walsh cross.
Best for Donegal were Mc Cafferty and Mc Monagle. A solid team display from the visitors.
Curragh Athletic 1
Cranford United 4
Cranford completed their league season for 2013 with a hard fought victory against Curragh Athletic in a match that was switched to Cranford Park.
The first half was a real battle with Chris Duffy heading home a superb Seamie Friel corner on thirty minutes and Ryan Carlin equalising for Curragh about ten minutes later.
In the second half Cranford piled on the pressure and chances came and went for Hugh Bradley, Philip Buchanan and Kyle Black. When it seemed like the away team could nick a point Buchanan hit the top corner from the edge of the box to make it 2-1 and Kyle Black added two late goals to add some gloss to the scoreline.
Mickey O’Brien was the pick of the Killygordon team with Chris Duffy and new signing Seamie Friel the best for the home team.
Referee: Paddy Martin
St. Catherine’s 2
Lifford Celtic 2
The Saints opened the scoring on 30 minutes when Brendan Mc Guire scored from a Cormac Cannon shot that rebounded off the Lifford post.
From the tip Lifford built an attack and within a minute of The Saints scoring Lifford had levelled the score through Chucky Gethins when he latched onto a cross to score from six yards. Both teams created some half chances in the remainder of the half but could not make any count.
The Saints started the second half the brighter with chances falling to Mc Ginley and Cannon but White in the Lifford goal wasn’t to be beat. From a Saints attack White kicked out a long ball and Gethins scored his second, after a missed header, calmly slipping the ball into the net on 65 minutes.
The game got stretched as The Saints pressed for the equaliser and Lifford counter attacked and chances fell to both sides. The Saints grabbed the equaliser on ninty four minutes when Daniel Breslin’s turn and shot found it’s way under the Lifford keeper White to give both teams a share of the spoils.
Watson Hire Division One
Drumoghill F.C. 1
Castlefin Celtic 0
In form Drumoghill extended their winning sequence to 6 games out of 7 after this hard earned victory over fellow promotion challengers Castlefin Celtic.
Liam O’Donnell’s first half penalty was ultimately the difference between the sides, but in truth this was a game that could have went either way.
Drumoghill began to edge their way into the game as the half wore on and broke the deadlock on 33 minutes. The architect was Carlos Rodgers whose right wing cross appeared to have been handled by PJ McMenamin prompting Moore to point to the spot.
Liam O’Donnell made no mistake by hammering the ball high past O’Hagan’s despairing dive.
The second half belonged to the visitors as they chased an equaliser that would never arrive. Although dominant, Castlefin failed to create any clear cut chances but were unlucky with several goalmouth scrambles that Drumoghill may consider themselves fortunate to escape from.
It was with relief that Drumoghill held out for victory and they know how crucial these points are. How crucial, we will only know at the end of the season when we can expect both of these sides to be in the frame for promotion.
Dunkineely Celtic 3
Gweedore United 1
Dunkineely gathered another three points at Darney Park with this hard fought victory over Gweedore United.
Dunkineely started well against the strong wind and had two efforts on goal in the opening three minutes with Adrian Nesbitt and Andrew Mackey shooting wide when well placed.
Gweedore were using the wind to put the home team under pressure and it paid dividends on nine minutes. A long free into the box was missed by both defenders and attackers with the keeper being forced to tip it over the bar. From the resulting corner Mick Connolly headed home from six yards. Dunkineely were forced to defend long deliveries into their penalty area for most of the remainder of the half.
They coped well and restricted the visitors to a few chances. They created some half chances themselves without really testing the visiting keeper. With the wind at their backs in the second half Dunkineely piled the pressure on the visitors. Alan Lyons had a shot blocked by the keeper who recovered well to smother the rebound shot away for a corner.
Shane Mc Whinnie was just wide with a shot on the turn from the resulting corner. Dunkineely drew level on fifty nine minutes when Christian Mc Neilis sent Andrew Mackey away on the right wing and his cross was turned in from close range by Adrian Nesbitt.
They struck again within a minute when Martin Cunningham’s cross from the left was spilled by the keeper and Andrew Mackey was on hand to tap home. Dunkineely were well in control now and despite their best efforts Gweedore could not force an equaliser. Dunkineely wrapped up the points on seventy five minutes when Andrew Mackey robbed a defender on the sideline and curled a delightful shot from the corner of the box over the keeper. Both teams continued to work hard for the remainder of the game in worsening conditions without adding to the scoreline. Referee: Marty Mc Garrigle
Lagan Harps 1
Bonagee United 3
Bonagee came out on top in the local derby played in difficult conditions in Orchard Park. They took the lead on eight minutes when Noel O’Donnell powered home a freekick from thirty yards.
Lagan equalised on twelve minutes when Eunan Diver converted a penalty after he was fouled. Bonagee went close through Noel O’Donnell and Darren Coyle as they dominated the first half. They took the lead when Kevin Mc Hugh headed a free kick home at the back post on forty minutes.
Lagan improved in the second half and created plenty of chances to grab an equaliser. However John Carr pulled off fine saves from Paul Rodgers(twice) and Drew Connolly. Bonagee broke on sixty minutes and Darren Coyle beat Lagan keeper Conor Harley to a through ball from Reece Shortt to seal the points.
For Lagan Eunan Diver, Ruairi Crawford and Paul Rodgers did well. For Bonagee John Carr did well in goals with Kevin Mc Hugh and Darren Hunter solid in defence and Noel O’Donnell and Reece Shortt also doing well .
Cappry Rovers 3
Keadue Rovers 1
Cappry took the lead after three minutes when Brendan Mc Laughlin broke free on the left and crossed to Alan Patton who tapped home from six yards.
Both Alan Patton and Mark Griffin had good chances for the home team but both missed. Keadue made Cappry pay for their missed chances when they drew level through Adrian Hanlon, on the half hour mark, who finished well following a long clearance.
Cappry started the second half well and pressed hard to get back into the lead. They took the lead again in the fifty fourth minute when Brian Lafferty curled his shot into the bottom corner from twenty five yards. The home team tried to finish the game off but missed a number of good chances.
They finally got their third in the seventy seventh minute when Alan Patton beat two defenders and then rounded the keeper and slotted into the empty net.
Team Performance’s from both team in difficult conditions. Referee: Martin Mc Anenny
CT Ball Division Two
Raphoe Town 2
Whitestrand United 1
On a wet and windy day in Raphoe the town put on a solid display to take all three points against title contenders Whitestrand. Raphoe started well and were two up within the first ten minutes after paddy Gallagher scored twice the first a great header from a Stephen Laird corner and the second a fine finish after a superb pass from young Mark Bogle.
Raphoe could have added to the lead only for some wayward finishing and last ditch defending from the Strand. Whitestrand got back into it when Lynch scored from a set piece. Raphoe had to make a change when the outstanding Christy Bogle was injured but this seemed to drive Raphoe on and with the Craigs, Stephen and David, outstanding in midfield they saw out the game and collected another three points.
Team effort from the Strand and a great team performance by the Raphoe lads with Stephen Craig superb. Referee: Gerry Gallagher
Dunlewy Celtic 2
Glenree United 2
In wet and windy conditions it was the visitors who got off to a flying start. They went into a two goal lead after an own goal and a John Rodgers strike after he was set up by Danny Langan.
Dunlewey lost their two centre halves with Lorcan Gallagher and John Cannon going off injured but they came out fighting for the second half and pulled one back through Paul McFadden who stuck well from inside the box after good work down the right from James Hendry Alcorn. T
he home side continued to put pressure on the visitors and had chances with Daniel Cannon and Liam McMullen coming close. Kieran Mc Geady rifled through a crowded box into the bottom corner of the net to earn a draw for the home team.
Best for Dunlewey were Paul McFadden, Liam McMullen and Patrick Cannon.
Drumbar F.C. 1
Ballybofey United 2
Drumbar started this match well and closed down Ballybofey possession at every opportunity. The home side missed several opportunities to take the lead and that cost dearly in the end, with Ballybofey getting stronger in the last fifteen minutes of the half and scoring two goals in quick succession.
The home side from there on dominated and apart from one free kick in the second half for Ballybofey Drumbar’s keeper had little to do. Owen Harron pulled Drumbar back into it latching onto a poor clearance to hit the net. Try as they did the home side failed to find an equaliser. Team performance from Ballybofey. Darragh Doogan and Owen Harron stood out for the home side.
Letterbarrow Celtic 3
Deele Harps 2
Letterbarrow ended 2013 on a high by securing a hard fought victory against a resurgent Deele Harps. Letterbarrow started brightly but it was Thomas Mullin who put the visitors into the lead when he powered home a header from a corner on thirty minutes.
However the hosts were level two minutes later when Christopher Burke looped a header over the keeper from a ‘Feet’ Murrin free kick. Letterbarrow then took the lead on 40 minutes when Paul Murrin converted from the penalty spot after a hand ball.
The home side had the perfect start to the second half when Paul Murrin poked home from a John Roper cross. In wintery conditions both sides battled hard in the second half and the home side faced a nervy last five minutes when James McNulty pulled a goal back for Deele on 85 minutes. However the home side held out for the victory.