Cockhill Celtic took advantage of Letterkenny Rovers having no game to take a three point lead at the top of the Ulster Senior League.
Cockhill Celtic 2
Bonagee United 1
The champions showed all their experience to get the result after Deano Larkin had cancelled out Gerard McLaughlin’s early opener.
Larkin’s goal drew Bonagee level 12 minutes into the second half.
But it was Cockhill who, in a game of inches, nudged themselves in front – and onto the summit – when McDermott found himself in a little pocket of space in the 67th minute to head home Gerry Gill’s corner.
Bonagee had designs on breaking into the top two, but they came up short.
Cockhill led after just three minutes, McLaughlin wriggling clear to steer home from Gill’s teasing delivery at the near post. The corner arrived when Tyrell brilliantly turned over Benny Fildara’s raking effort with his fingertips, with the crowd just settling into their places and expecting the net to bulge.
Bonagee were denied a penalty after McFadden had his heels clipped as he powered through. The match officials conferred briefly and a free-kick, right on the edge of the penalty box, was given, with the visitors livid.
Down the other end, Cockhill seemed to have justifiable claims of their own but their appeals, too, were waved away when McDermott went to ground.
Ryan Rainey headed wide from a Jamie Lynagh ball in before Bonagee did plant themselves onto an even-keel. Micheál Doherty and McFadden worked the opening on the left and Doherty whipped across with Larkin wonderfully nodded beyond McColgan for the leveller.
After what proved to be the winner, Bonagee were reduced to ten men in the closing moments when Mark Harkin was shown a second yellow, though Bonagee full-back Lee McColgan, earlier booked by ref Marty McGarrigle, could count himself fortunate to escape further sanction for a second-half foul that ordinarily might’ve been expected to draw a booking.
Cockhill Celtic: Lee McCarron; Jason Breslin, Oisin McColgan, Peter Doherty, Lee McColgan; Gerry Gill, Gerard McLaughlin, Malachy McDermott; Benny Fildara, Bart Wesolowski, Mark Moran. Subs: Paul McDermott Denim McLaughlin for Moran (89), Paul McKinney for Fildara (92).
Bonagee United: David Tyrell; Jamie Lynagh, Mark Harkin, Gareth Breslin, Tommy McMonagle; Darren McMonagle, Michael Funston, Deano Larkin, Ryan Rainey, Micheál Doherty; Darren McFadden. Subs: Garbhan Grant for McFadden (66), Chris Flanagan for Funston (79), Sean Hume for Rainey (79).
Referee: Marty McGarrigle.
Fanad United 1
Derry City Reserves 2
Derry City Reserves kept their good recent form going with 2-1 victory over Fanad United at Traigh-a-Loch.
After a scoreless first half, Derry pressure was rewarded with 20 minutes to go when Kian McGarvey scored from close range after a mix up in the Fanad defence.
Fanad pushed for an equaliser without creating a clear cut chance. Derry then extended their lead with three minutes to go.Substitute Caoimhin Porter cut in from the left and he hit a lovely curling effort into the corner from 25 yards.
Fanad piled on the pressure in the closing minutes. Ciaran Sharkey was denied by a superb block from Daniel Houghton and in the following scramble, the Derry defence held firm.
Fanad did pull a goal back in the final minute when Caolan Kelly thumped the ball home from the edge of the area.
Fanad United: Sean McCafferty, Declan McGarvey, Peter Curran, Oisin Langan, Patrick McGinley, Paddy Carr, Caolan Kelly, Michael Cannon, Edward O'Reilly, Keelin McElwaine, Ryan McFadden. Subs used: Ciaran Sharkey, Dean McCarry
Derry City Reserves: Daniel Houghton, Jack Parke, Finn McClure, Ronan Boyce, Conor Doherty, Jack Malone, Kian McGarvey, Tiarnan McGuinness, Ronan McKinley, Sean McBride, Dyan Devine. Subs used: Caoimhin Porter, Euan McLaughlin
Referee: Packie Coll.
Swilly Rovers 1
Finn Harps Reserves 3
Two goals in the final five minutes sealed victory for Finn Harps Reserves in a good hard-fought contest in Swilly Park.
Swilly went ahead on 42 minutes when Shaun Crossan released Ryan Cleare and he converted in some style from 10 yards to put Swilly ahead at the break.
Ryan Cleare and Marty McDaid both were denied by Eoin Ging in the Harps goal during the second half.
In the final quarter Finn Harps fitness began to tell and they levelled on 85 minutes when Stephen Black’s cross from the right was Gabriel Aduaka.
On 88 minutes it was 2-1 to harps when Joel Bradley Walsh fired home a free kick to put Harps ahead.
In additional time Darren McElwaine fired home from close range to seal the win for Harps.
Swilly Rovers: Gareth Muldoon, Matthew McLaughlin, Jordan Hale, Tony McNamee, Tony Gallagher, Shay Durning, Ryan McDaid, Ryan Cleare, Marty McDaid, Aaron Rogan, Shaun Crossan. Subs: Frankie McBrearty, Conan Brennan, Jordan Nugent, Jack McCauley, Eoin Logue.
Finn Harps Reserves: Eoin McGing, Stephen Black, Pat Loughrey, Keenan Diver, Joel Bradley Walsh, Darren McElwaine, Zack Gorman, Ronan Gallagher, Tom Mullan, Adam McCafferty, Gabriel Adauka. Subs: Darragh Ellison, Corey McBride, Keelin McGill, Conor Black, Finnian O'Donnell, Joe Boyle, Jordan Gallagher.
Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League
Sunday, January 27
Derry City Reserves v Finn Harps Reserves
Letterkenny Rovers v Cockhill Celtic
Fanad United v Swilly Rovers