DONEGAL LEAGUE

Round-up of the action from Brian McCormick Cup Area Finals

Cup wins for Drumkeen, Kildrum, Kilmacrennan Celtic and Cappry Rovers

Diarmaid Doherty

Reporter:

Diarmaid Doherty

Donegal League

The Kildrum Tigers team who won the Lifford Area Shield by defeating Raphoe Town in the Final.

With just a week to go until the first series of league matches in the Donegal League Sunday divisions, there were four games yesterday in the Brian McCormick Sports Cup.
All four ties were Area Finals with some exciting cup action on show.

Donegal Area Final
Donegal Town . . . 2
Cappry Rovers . . . 2 (AET)
(Cappry won 4-3 on pens)
After a high tempo start, Donegal got the breakthrough on 35 minutes. Stephen Graham headed a deep corner kick back across the Cappry goal and Declan Browne was the quickest to react to bundle the ball into the net.
Cappry were unlucky not to equalise on the stroke of half time when Aaron Kelly’s half volley flashed just over the Donegal crossbar.
Cappry got themselves back on level terms just minutes into the second half. Calvin Bradley’s well placed free kick bounced awkwardly in front of Donegal keeper Gavin Mulreany and found the corner of the net.
This rallied the Donegal side and it wasn't long until they re-established their lead. Daniel McHugh scored from a penalty after a foul on Ben Sweeney.
Calvin Bradley’s header following a Cappry corner levelled the match for a second time on 75 minutes. The game opened up in the last 15 minutes and both teams pushed hard for a winner. Donegal keeper Mulreany was called into action three more times in the dying minutes of the game pulling of several fine saves to keep Donegal in the tie.
With the scoreline deservedly tied 2-2 at the end of the game extra time proceeded. Penalties were all that could separate the sides and Cappry keeper Eoin Gallen’s save was the difference in the two teams as Cappry won the shoot-out 4-3.

Cappry Rovers captain Darren O’ Leary pictured receiving the Donegal Area Shield from Donegal League Treasurer Declan Sherlock.

Letterkenny Area final
Drumkeen United . . . 4
Milford United . . . 2
The opening  minutes of the match were mostly played in the Milford half and the home team did get a breakthrough after 15 minutes when an Aaron Doherty cross was turned in to his own net by a Milford defender.
The lead did not last long though as Milford equalised five minutes later when Terence Shields headed home following a cross from the right.
Milford then could have taken the lead then when Joey Cullen was fouled in the box and a penalty was awarded. Terence Shields stepped up to take the penalty which was saved by Drumkeen keeper Paul McAuley which meant we were all square at the break.
The second half began well for the home team when they scored an early goal after earning a corner. The corner was taken by Benny Bonner and found Lee Guthrie in the middle who made no mistake.
Drumkeen added a third after some great inter play between Lee Guthrie and Aaron Doherty and the ball ended up in the net as Guthrie slid home Doherty’s cross from the left.
Milford pulled a goal back when Paddy Peoples headed home a corner to reduce the deficit to just a goal. Kevin Bonner eased the home nerves when he added a fourth after 70 minutes.
This was a good competitive game played in difficult conditions due to all the rain, with both teams giving their all.

Drumkeen United captain Philip White pictured receiving the Letterkenny Area Shield from Donegal Junior League Assistant treasurer John Lafferty.

Lifford Area Final
Raphoe Town . . . 0
Kildrum Tigers . . . 4
There was a large crowd in attendance to watch the area final. It was a very tight first half with Kildrum taking the lead in the 44th minute with a direct free kick taken by William Lynch.
Raphoe started the second half well. But a mistake in the middle of the defence let Lynch in for his second. Lynch completed his hat-trick on 80 minutes after he intercepted a short back pass and tapped into an empty net.
Gareth Colhoun scored a great free kick in the 90th minute to make sure Kildrum were lifting the Shield.
Referee: Liam McLaughlin. 

Gweedore Area Final
Kilmacrennan Celtic 3
Glenea United . . .2 (AET).
This was a very evenly contested game with both sides looking to bring home the silverware. Twenty-five minutes in, Kilmacrennan broke the deadlock through Mark Friel.
Glenea came out the brightest for the 2nd half and got one back when a free kick was delivered into the box and headed into the top corner. This spurred the Glenea men on and they went 2-1 in front soon after.
It looked like Glenea were going to win but up stepped sub Eamon Martin who found himself in the right place at the right time to put the game on level terms with 90 minutes played.
Kilmacrennan’s pre-season training paid off as they played well in added time with Ciaran Maloney hitting the back of the net for the winner.
Best for Kilmacrennan were Ciaran Maloney and captain Ryan Shields.