Letterkenny slip up as Cockhill Celtic join them at top of Ulster Senior League table

Staff reporter


Staff reporter

Letterkenny slip up as Cockhill Celtic join them at top of Ulster Senior League table

Finn Harps Reserves

Letterkenny Rovers suffered their first setback of the season when they lost out to Derry City Reserves.
Derry City Reserves 2
Letterkenny Rovers 1
Derry City struck in the 94th minute as a late, late Jack Parke goal saw them defeat Letterkenny Rovers 2-1 at the Brandywell on Sunday afternoon on what turned out to be a dramatic afternoon.
City have been impressing many with their performances to date and were the superior side for the first half with the impressive Jack Malone and Evan Tweed in sublime form as City dominated the possession stakes for the opening period.
City will be indebted to goalkeeper Nathan Gartside who saved wonderfully from Declan Sharkey with the first chance of note from either side on 12 minutes when Jonny Bonner played him through on goal.
City though pressed forward in droves and Chris Malseed denied Ronan McKinley with a block from a goal-bound effort while Sean McBride will feel he ought to have done better when breaking the offside trap on a couple of occasions but shot wide.
Finn McClure was proving a handful on the left hand side and a combination of him, Ethan Harkin set up McKinley and his dangerous looking cross was well saved by Rory Kelly as city pressed hard for the opener.
Rovers were limited in chances but they nearly netted the first goal when a mazy run from Jonny Bonner on 37 minutes saw him weave his way through the City defence but he pulled his effort just wide of Gartsides post.
City though did get the crucial advantage their hard work deserved when Malone capitalised on some defensive hesistancy to fire home from just inside the box fired Kelly and could have doubled their advantage on the stroke of halftime but McBride saw a header go just over.
Rovers though were a lot better in the second period and were on the front foot for long periods and Sharkey again shot just wide when well-placed.
It was City who almost doubled their lead but sub Kian McGarvey saw his shot saved by Kelly on 57 minutes while Ryan McConnell had to be alert to block a Dylan Devine effort on 59.
The visitors were anxious to get into the game and did dominate for the vast majority of the remainder of the game and had loud penalty claims dismissed by referee John Coll after Rhys McDermott seemed to have upended Luke Nelis on 66 minutes.
They did draw level on 73 when Bonner did well on the right hand side before converting an audacious lobbed effort over Gartside.
Rovers looked likely to go on and win and will bemoan missed headed chances from Darren McElwaine on 82 and Christy Connaghan on 92 minutes before City snatched the win on 94 minutes when sub Jack Parke was allowed to roam from almost halfway into the box before playing a one-two with fellow sub Caoimhin Porter before his effort found its way past Kelly.
Derry City Reserves: Nathan Gartside, Rhys McDermott, Ethan Harkin, Conor Gormley, Connor O'Doherty, Jack Malone, Dylan Devine, Evan Tweed, Sean McBride, Ronan McKinley, Finn McClure. Subs: Kian McGarvey for McClure (57), Jack Parke for McKinley (74), Ronan Boyce for O'Doherty (78), Caoimhin Porter for Harkin (82).
Letterkenny Rovers: Rory Kelly, Ciaran Kelly, Lee Toland, Ryan McConnell, Conor Tourish, Ryan Lonergan, Kevin McGrath, Christy Connaghan, Declan Sharley, Chris Malseed, Jonny Bonner. Subs: Luke Nelis for Lonergan (47), Darren McElwiane for Sharley (56), BJ Banda for McGrath (79).
Referee: John Coll

Cockhill Celtic 1
Finn Harps Reserves 0
Cockhill Celtic took full advantage of the slip by Letterkenny Rovers with a narrow win over Finn Harps Reserves.
Their goal came as early as the third minute when Brendan McLaughlin made ground down the left and his pull back was clinically dispatched at the near post by Bart Wesolowski.
Cockhill were rampant early on and had further opportunities to double their lead. On six minutes, pressure on the Harps back line resulted in Wesolowski gaining possession. He released Mark Moran who blazed wide.
On 13 minutes, it was Wesolowski himself who should have added a second, heading a McLaughlin free kick wide.
Harps weathered this early storm and came into the match creating half chances of their own.
Corey McBride had a free kick deflected wide on 21 minutes before they spurned the chance of the half on 26 minutes.
Lee McLaughlin's advanced from right back. His cross evaded everyone but found the onrushing Jamie Browne whose header found the side netting.
The remainder of the half was a scrappy affair punctuated by stoppages and free kicks.
Cockhill started the second half in a similar fashion to the first but didn't get the goal this time. They had a great chance on 49 minutes when Marty Doherty broke through midfield but took an extra touch and the chance was gone.
Harps were dangerous from set pieces and should have equalised on the hour when a Stephen Doherty free kick from the left looked like finding Gabriel Aduaka.
He seemed to take his eye off the ball and missed the header, in the process causing the inrushing Keelin McGill to miss the ball.
The second half was very stop-start with a number of injuries and substitutions. The brightest piece of attacking play came when Wesolowski found Moran with a great touch. Moran advanced through midfield, dummied a defender but blazed wide from a great position.

Cockhill Celtic: Lee McCarron; Conor McNamee, Oisin McColgan, Jason Breslin, Lee McColgan; Marty Doherty, James Bradley, Gerard McLaughlin, Mark Moran; Bart Wesolowski, Brendan McLaughlin.

Finn Harps Reserves: Joe Boyle, Lee McLaughlin, Pat Loughrey, Keelin McGill, Keenan Diver, Corey McBride, Stephen Doherty, Gabriel Aduaka, Ronan Gallagher, Jamie Broene, Jack Doherty.

Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League
Bonagee United 7 Swilly Rovers 0
Derry City Reserves 2 Letterkenny Rovers 1
Cockhill Celtic 1 Finn Harps Reserves 0 (game switched to Cockhill)


Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League
Saturday, January 12, 8pm
Bonagee United v Fanad United

Sunday, January 13, 2pm
Swilly Rovers v Derry City Reserves
Letterkenny Rovers v Finn Harps Reserves

4 Lanterns USL P W D L F A GD Pts
Cockhill Celtic 9 8 0 1 26 4 22 24
Letterkenny Rovers 9 8 0 1 23 5 18 24
Bonagee United 8 5 1 2 24 10 14 16
Derry City Reserves 9 3 1 5 9 14 -5 10
Fanad United 9 3 0 6 16 28 -12 9
Finn Harps Reserves 8 1 1 6 13 28 -15 4
Swilly Rovers 8 0 1 7 3 25 -22 1