SOCCER - ULSTER SENIOR LEAGUE

Fanad miss chance to go clear at top of Ulster Senior League in draw with Bonagee

Staff reporter

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Staff reporter

Fanad miss chance to go clear at top of Ulster Senior League in draw with Bonagee

Bonagee Utd.

Fanad United missed the chance to go clear at the top of the Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League, while Letterkenny Rovers and Derry City narrowed the gap to the leaders.
Although held 1-1 by Bonagee, with Tony McNamee’s late goal earning Fanad a share of the spoils, Arthur Lynch’s team joined Cockhill at the summit with the point.
Letterkenny and Derry had big wins over Finn Harps and Swilly to close the deficit.

Fanad United 1
Bonagee United 1
Fanad United and Bonagee United played out a one-all draw at Traigh-a-Loch on Sunday in a game that was dominated by the blustery conditions.
The first chance of the game fell to Daire McDaid for Fanad on five minutes when Darragh Black sent him clear but he dragged his shot just wide of the post.
Five minutes later Bonagee could have taken the head when Kevin Barr beat the offside trap and broke through but his shot was well saved by the alert Dane Dunworth.
With 15 minutes played, Daire McDaid broke down the left and his cross into the box was met by Tony McNamee who's shot produced a fantastic block from Glenn Gallagher.
Fanad did have the ball in the net on 35 minutes but Daire McDaid was somewhat harshly ruled offside.
With time running out in the first half Darragh Black was denied a goal by and excellent save from Paddy Quigley in the Bonagee nets.
Bonagee started the second half on the front foot and were unlucky not to take the lead two minutes in when Michael Funston seen his shot go wide of the post.
Ten minutes later a clearance from the back deceived Dane Dunworth but as the ball looked to be going in, the alert Shaun McElwaine got back to make a goal line clearance.
With 70 minutes gone, Kevin Barr saw a well hit shot go inches wide of the far post.
With ten minutes remaining, Shaun McElwaine’s header from a free kick flew wide.
Bonagee took the lead with five minutes left on the clock. A storming run down the left by Matty Harkin saw him square the ball to Kevin Barr who made no mistake from eight yards out.
However as the clock ticked over the 90 minute mark, Fanad got an equaliser in somewhat fortuitous fashion.
When they were awarded a free 10 yards inside their own half, Tony McNamee stepped up and his deep ball into the box deceived Paddy Quigley and went straight into the net.
Fanad pushed for the remainder of injury time but couldn't force the goal that would have put them clear at the top of the league.

Fanad United: Dane Dunworth, Keelin McElwaine, Oisin Langan, Seamus Friel (Matthew Crossan 85), Shaun McElwaine, Jordan Toland, Davitt Walsh, Daire McDaid (Kyle Black 60), Darragh Black (Caolan Kelly 75), Tony McNamee, Oisin McMenamin.
Bonagee United: Paddy Quigley, Glenn Gallagher, Rory McCrossan, Mark Harkin, Caillin McLaughlin, Jamie Lynagh, Michael Funston, Mark Brolly, Kevin Barr, Matty Harkin, Michael Doherty.
Referee: Packie Coll.


Letterkenny Rovers 4
Finn Harps Reserves 1
Letterkenny Rovers narrowed the gap at the top of the Ulster Senior League and moved to within a point of the leaders as a patient and disciplined performance saw them defeat a well organised Finn Harps Reserves 4-1 in extremely awkward windy overhead conditions at the Aura Centre on Sunday afternoon.
This was the Cathedral Towns men first competitive game in eight weeks but it was ideal preparation ahead of a trip to Dublin next weekend in the last 16 of the  FAI Intermediate Cup.
There was nothing to report in the opening exchanges with chances at a premium as both sides tried to come to terms with the swirling wind with Stephen Doherty for Harps and Pajo Rafferty both forcing routine saves from respective netminders Jamie Bell and Rory Kelly.
Harps were beginning to gain some momentum and Niall McGinley shot just wide while Daragh Ellison blazed a free kick just over while Rovers had a gilt edged chance to go ahead on 32 minutes but some profligate finishing saw the chance spurned by a combination of Rafferty and Kevin McGrath.
Rovers began to build up a head of steam at this stage with the lively and returning Paul McVeigh causing headaches for the Harps central defensive duo of Ciaran Kelly and Paul Ferry while Lee Toland came close but it was Rovers who secured the lead on 37 minutes.
The goal arrived when McGrath took up possession before he cut the Harps rearguard wide open and his defence splitting pass sent Chris Flanagan away and his cross was slammed home to the roof of the net by Rafferty.
Harps came close to levelling before the break and Dylan McCroary saw his goalbound shot blocked by his own player Adam Duffy and the danger was averted.
The opening exchanges in the second half followed a similar vein to the first period and chances were minimal until Harps restored parity with one of the moves of the game which saw Stephen Doherty fire home after some neat interplay with Niall McGinley.
That really shook the hosts up and they went in front on 65 minutes when a teasing free kick from Lee Toland saw Conor Tourish rise highest and he had the simple task of heading past Bell. 
McVeigh and McGrath both saw chances saved and cleared to safety before the combination of Toland and Tourish linked up again with Tourish heading high to the net on 78 minutes to end the game as a contest.
Harps tried hard to respond but never really threatened Rory Kelly in the home goal which was well protected by Tourish and debutant Ryan McConnell on his return to the club from the senior ranks while Rovers boss Eamon McConigley also gave a debut as a second half substitute to Luke Nelis who returned from Finn Harps this week during the transfer window 
Rovers then added the coup de grace in stoppage time when Darren McElwaine hammered home a superb effort after a teasing cross from the highly impressive Toland.
Harps fielded mainly 19s and boss Joe Boyle can be reasonably  confident that his side will do well in the upcoming Airtrcity underage league based on this performance as his side were decent for long patches.
Rovers will travel to Dublin next week in good stead having worked hard and deserved a solid victory.

Letterkenny Rovers: Rory Kelly, Ryan Lonerga, Lee Toland, Conor Tourish, Ryan McConnell, Chris Flanagan, Kevin McGrath, Chris Malseed, Paul McVeigh, Christy Connaghan, Pajo Rafferty. Subs: Odhran McMacken for Rafferty (66), Luke Nelis for Flanagan (76), Darren McElwaine for McVeigh (79), Garbhan Grant for McGrath (84).
Finn Harps Reserves: Jamie Bell, Liam Doherty, Daragh Ellison, Paul Ferry, Ciaran Kelly, Ryan Finn, Dylan McCroary, Stepehn Doherty, Adam Duffy, Niall McGinley, Jamie Browne. Subs: Michael Gallagher for McCroary (45), Jordan Ryan for Finn (53), Evan McCroarty for Duffy (69), Zach Gorman for Browne (85), Karol McGinley for Doherty (85).
Referee: Marty McGarrigle.


Derry City Reserves 5
Swilly Rovers 0
At a very blustery Templemore Sports Complex, Derry entertained Swilly Rovers in the USL.
After a bright opening from both teams, Derry went ahead on 30 minutes from a great pass from Sean McBride who sent Adrian Delap clear on goal and he finished well.
After that Swilly had two great opportunities to equalise, but one hit the post and the other was a great save by the Derry keeper.
Derry really took the game to Swilly in the second half but Swilly looked a threat on the break.
Fionn McClure scored Derry’s second from a corner kick.
Sean McBride got on the end of a cross from Delap to make it three.
McBride scored the fourth himself with a great solo effort and McClure got his second of the day and Derry’s fifth late on.

RESULTS

Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League

Sunday
Derry City Reserves 5 Swilly Rovers 0
Fanad United 1 Bonagee United 1
Letterkenny Rovers 4 Finn Harps Reserves 1


FIXTURES

Sunday, February 4, 2pm

FAI New Balance Intermediate Cup Fourth Round
Home Farm v Cockhill Celtic
Cherry Orchard v Letterkenny Rovers

Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League
Bonagee United v Finn Harps Reserves
Fanad United v Swilly Rovers

TOP GOALSCORERS (League goals only)
Tony McNamee (Fanad United) 9
Mark Moran (Cockhill Celtic) 8
Oisin McMenamin (Fanad United) 7
Sean McBride (Derry City Reserves) 7
Garbhan Friel (Cockhill Celtic) 5
Laurence Toland (Cockhill Celtic) 5