EARLY days it might be but Derry City’s second side lead the way with two wins from two in the Ulster Senior League.
Swilly Rovers 1
Derry City 4
The Candystripes enjoyed a fine win in a superb exhibition of football at Swilly Park in Ramelton.
Ciaran Villa put Derry ahead as he slotted home a rebounded shot from close range. The second half started with Derry continuing to control proceedings and they were rewarded when a great effort from Michael Duffy was parried by Ciaran Molloy and deflected in off local Swilly lad Tony McNamee. Derry were to continue in this vein and Michael Duffy helped himself to a brace of terrific strikes on 80 and 84 minutes. Swilly battled gamely and got a consolation in the dying minutes after good work down the right by Marty McDaid and his cross was tapped home at the back post by Laurence Toland.
Swilly Rovers : Ciaran Molloy, Terence Shiels, Ronan Gibson (James Doyle 65), Dylan Hegarty, Columba O’Donnell, Keith Hegarty, Shane Brown, Marty McDaid, Laurence Toland (Ryan McDaid 85), Darren Dunworth, Michael McHugh (Leonard Boyce 60).
Derry City: Seamus Houghton, Cormac O’Brien, Sean Curran, Caoimhin Bonner, Luke McGeehan, Matt Henry, Conor Harkin, Ciaran Villa, Kevin Barr, Tony Mc Namee, Michael Duffy. Subs Aaron Harkin, Ciaran McCaul, Daryl Brown.
Drumkeen United 0
Kildrum Tigers 1
Kildrum Tigers missed two penalties against Drumkeen United on Thursday evening but still left St Patrick’s Park with the points.
Ronan Coyle, who was one of those guilty of missing from the penalty spot along with Johnny McGinty, tucked home the only goal of the game on 70 minutes in an interesting fixture. Oisin McMenamin set Darren Cassidy scampering towards the by-line and his pullback was tucked home by Coyle from six yards out.
Drumkeen United: Paul McAuley; Chris Kyle (James Ratiff 76), Shaun Gallagher, Ray Quinn, Benny Bonner; Gary Patton (Peter McNamee 34), Philip Whyte (Eunan Doherty 76), Mark Marley, Raymond Sweeney; Sean Ferry, Richard Moore.
Kildrum Tigers: Marty McGinty; Johnny McGinty, Glen Bouvaird, Paddy McLaughlin, Darren Cassidy; Kevin Doran (Darren Dolan 61), Darren McCready, Damian Crossan, Oisin McMenamin; Ronan Coyle (Gavin Doherty 88), Cormac Carlin.
Buncrana Hearts 1
Letterkenny Rovers 2
Letterkenny Rovers came away from Castle Park fortunate winners, having scraped a 2-1 victory over a spirited Buncrana Hearts.
It was Rovers who would strike first, when Padraic McLaughlin lost possession outside the penalty area, former Hearts player Mark Harkin made no mistake firing home from 20 yards.
On the stroke of half-time then, Josh Mailey’s shot deflected of a Buncrana player, deceiving McGonagle to make it 2-0 to Rovers.
It was Darach O’Connor who reduced the deficit on the hour mark. An excellent cross from Padraic McLaughlin found O’Connor in the box who volleyed past Gallagher from 10 yards.
Buncrana Hearts: C McGonagle, P McLaughlin, Duffy, Murphy, Doherty, J Coyle, McDaid, O’Loughlin, O’Connor, McLaughlin, McMyler. Subs: O’Flaherty, D Coyle, J McGonagle.
Letterkenny Rovers: Gallagher, Boyle, Doherty, Hamilton, McGonigle, Cullen, McMacken, Mailey, Harkin, Forker, Carlin. Subs: Okakpu, Doherty, Patton.
First Division League Cup
Letterkenny Rovers 3
Kildrum Tigers 3
Letterkenny Rovers and Kildrum Tigers played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in this opening First Division League Cup fixture at Leckview Par on Saturday.
It was last year’s beaten finalists who got off to a flying start with a goal inside the opening 60 seconds. Tigers goalkeeper Raymond Peoples looked unsure in dealing with a low cross in from Steve Okakpu and Peter McGlynn was lurking at the back post to poke home.
Rovers doubled their lead on 20 minutes with Okakpu again the provider this time releasing Paddy Kabange who held of his marker before finding the target. However, the game did turn inside a two-minute spell on the hour mark. Rovers veteran midfielder Anthony Gorman whipped in a superb free-kick and Okakpu connected only to see his effort hit the underside of the crossbar.
Having survived that scare, the visitors were back in the match when substitute Shane McIntyre was allowed to run through the heart of the home defence but unleashing a rasping drive beyond the reaches of Jordan McBride.
McMenamin and Kevin Doran both hit the woodwork as Kildrum piled on the pressure and in the 90th minute drew level when Dominic Keys free-kick was poorly dealt with in the Rovers box and Doran was on hand to draw his team level.
Rovers were clearly rattled and conceded a third goal in stoppage time when McMenamin found space inside the penalty area to seal what looked like the winning goal. But there was enough time for one last twist when Okakpu first saw his header saved by Peoples before stabbing home the rebound and give Rovers a deserved draw.
Letterkenny Rovers: Jordan McBride, John Blaney, Aaron Scanlon, Kieran Doherty, Michael Herrity, Kevin McGrath, Peter McGlynn, Paddy Kabange, Steve Okakpu, Anthony Gorman, Hugh McDaid. Subs used - Ronan Sweeney, John Keeney and Anthony Ward
Kildrum Tigers: Raymond Peoples, Dominic Keys, Gareth Colhoun, Johnny McGinty, Oisin McMenamin, Darren Doran, Ken Brown, Damien Crossan, Keelan Clarke, Kevin Doran, Barry O’Donnell. Subs used: Shane McIntyre
Results 4 Lanterns USL
Swilly Rovers 1-4 Derry City Res
Drumkeen United 0-1 Kildrum Tigers
Buncrana Hearts 1-2 Letterkenny Rovers
Knockalla Caravans Cup quarter-final
Milford United 1-2 Fanad United
USL Division One League Cup
Letterkenny Rovers 3-3 Kildrum Tigers
Bonagee Utnited 3-1 Swilly Rovers
4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League
Letterkenny Rovers v Derry City Reserve D McCafferty
Cockhill Celtic v Drumkeen Utd. T Moyne
Knockalla Caravans Cup semi-final
Bonagee United v Fanad United P Coll
First Division League Cup
Kildrum Tigers v Bonagee United T McAree
Swilly Rovers v Drumkeen United P Duddy
4 Lanterns USL Senior Division
P W D L F A GD Pts
Derry City 2 2 0 0 7 2 5 6
Cockhill Celtic 1 1 0 0 4 0 4 3
Fanad United 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
Letterkenny 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
Kildrum Tigers 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
Bonagee Utd 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Drumkeen Utd 2 0 0 2 1 3 -2 0
Buncrana Hearts 2 0 0 2 2 5 -3 0
Swilly Rovers 2 0 0 2 1 7 -6 0