Action from Swilly Rovers v Letterkenny Rovers. Photo Stephen Doherty
Swilly Rovers came from behind to defeat Letterkenny Rovers 2-1 in blissful conditions at a hot sultry Leckview Park on Monday afternoon and in doing so book a spot in Friday's Gorey Curran Cup final with Dunfanagahy Youths.
Letterkenny Rovers 1
Swilly Rovers 2
A brace from Finnian O'Donnell won the game for the Lennonsiders who showed great courage to grab a much heralded win while the defeat for the Cathedral Town side puts an end to an extremely bitterly disappointing weekend after losing in difficult circumstances in the Colin Breslin Cup final after extra-time to Fanad on Saturday.
It was the home side who had the first chance of note on eight minutes when Gavin McGee forced Jamie-Lee Blaney into a super save while Swilly had big appeals for a penalty waved away when O'Donnell went on a mazy dribble before going down under a challenge from Brandon Manues but referee Barry Hunter who was busy throughout the game waved the appeals away,
Frankie Campbell,. who was lively throughout, then almost capitalised on some defensive hesitancy as Swilly tried hard for an opener while Matthew McLaughlin tried his luck from a long range fee kick which was well gathered by Aron Hepburn in the home goal.
It was Letterkenny though who struck the front on 35 minutes when a cross from the right from Brandon Manues was headed goalwards by Clinton Ilupeju but Blaney made a super save but diverted into the path of Ryan O'Donnell.
O'Donnell saw his initial shot well saved by Blaney but he forced home the rebound.
Letterkenny went close immediately after the restart through Ilupeju while Dylan Brolly also had a couple of efforts go just over but it was Swilly who got the all important second goal on 68 minutes.
An exquisite pass from Matthew McLaughlin saw the pacy Finnian O'Donnell beat the offside trap and he cooly beat the advancing Hepburn low to the corner.
Jordan Nugent then tried his luck from distance as Swilly sensed a winner although Letterkenny did come close when DJ Kelly and Ryan O'Donnell both had efforts well saved by an inspired Blaney in the Swilly goal.
The intense heat saw water breaks coming in to play and with Rovers having to to the well on Saturday Swilly sensed they could win it in normal time and so they did on 86 minutes when O'Donnell latched onto a throughball from Conor O'Donnell to once again finish with confidence and that proved to be the winner.
That goal came after Ryan O'Donnell had a goal controversially ruled out for offside while Letterkenny almost manged to bring it to extra time but saw Thomas Keys 92nd minute header from a Gavin McGee free kick crash off the bar.
It's Swilly who advance to what is an unexpected Friday night final pairing after Dunfananghy Youths defeated Fanad in the other semi final with the decider to be played at Dry Arch Park.
LETTERKENNY ROVERS: Aaron Hepburn, Darren Ferry, Brandon Manues, Oran Downey, Thomas Keys, Dylan Brolly, Gavin McGee, Clnton ilupeju, Jordan Gallagher, Ryan O'Donnell;, DJ Kelly Sub; Justin McGee for Downey 65
SWILLY ROVERS: Jamie Lee Blaney, Eoin Logue, michael Murray, Matthew McLaughlin, Tony Gallagher, Conor O'Donnell, Jordan Nugent, Finnian O'Donnell, Raymond Boyce,Jack McCauley.Sub; Gerard McAteer for Murray 56 mins
REFEREE: Barry Hunter
Friday 11 May
John “Gorey” Curran Memorial Youth Cup Final
Dunfanaghy Youths v Swilly Rovers
Dry Arch Park, Bonagee Kick Off 7pm