ULSTER SENIOR LEAGUE

Cockhill's lead at top of the table cut

Letterkenny Rovers win the local derby

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Cockhill's lead at top of the table cut

Fanad United

Letterkenny Rovers moved to within six points of Cockhill Celtic at the top of the 4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League.

While Cockhill were beaten 2-0 by Derry City Reserves, who saw on-loan striker Mikhail Kennedy strike twice, Rovers scored a derby win over Bonagee that breathes life into their hopes again.
Fanad United also won, defeating Finn Harps Reserves 2-0.


Cockhill Celtic 0 Derry City Reserves 2

A second half brace from Mikhail Kennedy, Derry City's loan signing from Charlton Athletic FC, was the difference between the two sides at the Charlie O'Donnell Sports Grounds.

The first goal arrived on 50 minutes when Kennedy picked up a long diagonal pass from Alon Netzer, Derry's Israeli defender, on the edge of the Cockhill area and made his way into the box.

As the Cockhill defenders seemed to slow his progress to goal the young forward made space to side foot the ball into the bottom left hand corner giving Gavin Cullen no chance.

Kennedy and Derry's second goal arrived on 68 minutes when the forward robbed a defender of the ball and rounded Cullen to tap home to the empty net from 8 yards

Cockhill had started on the front foot in the game but it was Derry who looked the more dangerous in attack.

On 16 minutes Adrian Delap attacked down the right flank and after making his way to the end line cut a great ball back but Peter Doherty was on hand to clear the danger for the home side.

The resulting corner was cleared by Cockhill's Gerard McLaughlin. McLaughlin then had a chance four minutes later at the other end but his header, from a Gerry Gill free kick, was high and wide from 12 yards.

On the half hour mark Cockhills Gerry Gill had a free from the edge of the box that was well gathered, low to his right, by Eric Grimes in the visitors goal.

Only two minutes later and this time it was Cullen diving to his left to keep out a long range effort from Derry's Stephen Duffy.

Derry were forced into an early change on the stroke off half time when Conor McDermott was replaced by Paul Doherty.

The first goal arrived on 50 minutes when Kennedy scored his first of the game after making space in the area to side foot home from 6 yards with Cullen having no chance.

Cockhill tried to respond but Derrys defence was well on top with young Sam Todd having a very good game alongside Netzer.

Cockhill’s Derek Doherty went on a great run on 65 minutes but after pulling back a great ball from the byline to the penalty area there was no grren & white jersey to capatalise.

The second Derry goal came on 68 miniutes when with Cockhill in possession a few stray passes allowed Kennedy to nick the ball and advance into the area before rounding Cullen and tapping home to the empty net.

Cockhill again tried to respond and went two up top bringing on Paul McKinney for Ryan Varma.

Ronan Doherty 'Olly' started to get some joy in the closing 20 minutes but Derry always had someone in defence to get a final block and in truth Grimes in the Derry goal was never troubled


Cockhill Celtic: G Cullen, J Breslin, C Duffy, P Doherty, O McColgan, G McLaughlin, D Doherty, R Varma, G Friel, G Gill, R Doherty. Subs: W O'Connor, D McDermott, C Keddy, P McKinney, J McGonagle, DM Doherty, M McLaughlin

Derry City Reserves: E Grimes, C McDermott, L McColgan, S Todd, A Netzer, C Gormley, R Wilson, A Delap, S Duffy, M Kennedy, C Farren. Subs: M McElhinney, E Tweed, M Doherty, Matty Doherty, S McNamee, P Doherty, M Duffy.

Letterkenny Rovers 3 Bonagee United 0

Derby day affairs between Letterkenny Rovers and Bonagee are normally high octane encounters but it was Rovers who comfortably defeated their neighbours 3-0 in perfect conditions on Sunday afternoon at a resplendent Aura Centre.

Alot of rain fell late in the week but trojan work by the Rovers ground staff along with a combination of good drying conditions on Saturday night saw the game go ahead on a decent playing surface in mild weather conditions.

There was not much in the game in the opening 15 minutes with Daniel Stolarczyk and Aidan McCauley both having speculative shots from distance while Darren McElwaine somehow contrived to miss from close range on 16 minutes when his effort cannoned off the woodwork after he did excellently well to fathom the chance initially following some super play down the right hand side,

McElwaine - who scored four in the Knockalla Cup win over Fanad - was not to be denied. Just minutes later he was clinical when dispatching to the net from 6 yards following a fine sweeping move which saw Conor Tourish play in Lonergan and his cross was dispatched with aplomb by McElwaine for his 8th League goal of the season.

That goal saw Rovers settle and they had a number of chances to extend the lead with Steve Okkapo-Emeka twice bring good stops out of impressive Bonagee netminder Gareth Wade while the home side also had a good shout for a penalty but referee Marty McGarrigle was non too plussed with the appeals against Bonagee defender Ryan McGarvey for handball in the area.

Letterkenny were keen to get a second goal before halftime and it duly arrived on 42 minutes when again Lonergan was the instigator when he fed Christy Connaghan and the Gartan man swivelled and turned before hitting a rasper high into the net for what was a super finish

The second half saw Rovers on the front foot and chances came and went for Okakpo-Emeka, Kevin McGrath and McElwaine who hit the bar while Bonagee almost got one back but Conor Tourish had to be alert to deprive young Bonagee sub Aaron Wasson just as he was about to pull the trigger on 85 minutes.

That could have made things interesting for the closing stages but Rovers went up the field just two minutes later and Brian McVeigh teed up sub David O'Donnell and he swept home from close range for his first competitive goal for the club.

The win leaves Eamon McConigley’ss men 6 points behind leaders Cockhill with 5 games left to play for both sides.


Letterkenny Rovers: Christopher Sweeney, Ryan Gildea, Lee Toland, Paul Boyle, Conor Tourish, Ryan Lonergan, Kevin McGrath, Brian McVeigh, Darren McElwaine. Steve Okakpo-Emeka, Christy Connaghan. Subs: Chris Flanagan for Lonergan (64), Dean O'Donnell for Okakpo-Emeka (75), David O'Donnell for McElwaine (80).


Bonagee United: Gareth Wade, Gareeth Breslin, Taylor Russell, Ryan McGarvey, Darren Hunter, Chris Moran, Daniel Stolarczyk, Aiden McCauley, Aidan McLaughlin, Seamus Browne, Shane Meenan. Subs: Aaron Wasson and John O'Donnell for McGarvey and Meenan (45), Ryan Moran for Brown (69).


Referee: Marty McGarrigle.

 


Fanad United 2 Finn Harps Reserves 0

Fanad United defeated Finn Harps Reserves on Sunday in a game played in ideal conditions at Traigh-a-Loch.

The first half hour of the game produced very little in the way of goal mouth action.

The first chance of note came after 12 minutes when following some good play down the right from Liam Walsh he squared the ball to Jeaic McKelvey who seen his shot saved by Graham.

Four minutes later Seimi Friel missed a good chance to open the scoring for Fanad when he headed over from a corner.

Two minutes before the break Liam Walsh went on a weaving run down the right and when he cut inside his shot produced a fine save from Shane Graham.

Just on the stroke of half time Fanad missed a great chance to take the lead. Davitt Walsh done well down the right to set up Patrick Carr but he failed to connect properly and the ball was cleared.

Fanad almost took the lead five minutes into the second half when a Eunan Kelly shot from 20 yards came back off the base of the post and Darren McElwaine was unlucky to see his follow up got just wide.

Tenminutes later Harps had keeper McCarron to thank when he saved bravely at the feet of Oisin Langan after he was set up by Eoghan Rafferty.

Fanad made their pressure count however in the 68th minute when they opened the scoring.

Keelin McElwaine showed some great skill to get past two defenders and his perfect ball across the box was met by Patrick Carr who made no mistake.

With 13 minutes remaining Harps somehow failed to get an equaliser after BJ Banda shrugged off the attentions of Seimi Friel his shot came agonisingly off the post and away to safety.

Fanad made the points safe with five minutes remaining when Eoghan Rafferty showed great determination and skill down the right, his ball into the box was met by Eunan Kelly who finished neatly into the bottom corner.

Best for Fanad were Eoghan Rafferty, Keelin McElwaine and Davitt Walsh.

Best for Harps were Liam Walsh, Gareth Doherty and Ryan Finn


Fanad United: Shane Graham, Oisin Langan, Conor Blaney, Seimi Friel, Peter Curran, Eoghan Rafferty, Eunan Kelly, Darren McElwaine, Keelin McElwaine, Patrick Carr, Davitt Walsh. Subs used: Paddy Heraghty, Oran Blaney


Finn Harps Reserves: Jamie Bell, Paul Ferry, Daragh Ellison, Ciaran Kelly, Dara McCreesh, Ryan Finn, Liam Walsh, Jeaic McKelvey, Gareth Doherty, Sean Paul Wrey, BJ Banda. Subs used: Tommy Lee McCarron, Oran McConnell, Shaun Rodgers


Referee: Michael Connolly

RESULTS


4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League

Cockhill Celtic 0 Derry City Reserves 2

Fanad United 2 Finn Harps Reserves 0

Letterkenny Rovers 3 Bonagee United 0

FIXTURES
Sunday, March 12
Knockalla Caravans Senior Cup, Quarter-Finals
Clonmany Shamrocks v Glengad United

Drumoghill FC v Letterkenny Rovers

Glenea United v Cockhill Celtic

Derry City Reserves v Greencastle FC

TOP GOALSCORERS (LEAGUE ONLY)

Cathal Farren (Derry City Reserves) 9

Darren McElwaine (Letterkenny Rovers) 8

Mark Moran (Cockhill Celtic) 6

Jimmy Bradley (Cockhill Celtic) 5

Laurence Toland (Swilly Rovers) 5

Aaron McCready (Finn Harps Reserves) 4

Gerard McLaughlin (Cockhill Celtic) 4