The first series of league games in the Sunday Divisions of the Donegal League served up plenty of goals and entertainment today.
In the Brian McCormick Sports Premier Division, newly promoted Bonagee United and Drumkeen United got off to a winning start with impressive victories in their respective fixtures.
But it was a disappointing day back in the top division for Cranford United who were well beaten by Kildrum Tigers.
Here's a round-up of all the action:
Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division
Bonagee United 1 v 0 Milford United
The visitors had the first chance of the game on nine minutes when Kyle Black shot over from a corner kick from fifteen yards. Two minutes later Aidan Mc Laughlin for Bonagee saw his strike from ten yards taken off the line by a defender. Daniel Stolarczyk then saw his strike from twenty yards well saved by John Matthews in the Milford goal.
The home side took the lead on thirty minutes when Ashmore broke down the right and his cross into the box was hammered home from ten yards by Daniel Stolarczyk.
On sixty-five minutes a Kyle Black corner into the box was headed over by Jonah Serrinha from six yards. Carr in the home goal had to make a good save from a Darren Mc Laughlin header from ten yards on 75.
Aidan McLaughlin saw his header from six yards well saved by Matthews on eighty-three minutes from a Paddy Mc Gowan cross.
Referee: Mick Lagan.
Cranford United 0 v 5 Kildrum Tigers
Kildrum had the majority of the ball in the first half but both sides had limited chances.
Kildrum were rewarded, after 25 minutes, a penalty that seemed very harsh but justice was done when Jason Hegarty saved.
James Lee was very unlucky not to put Cranford ahead soon afterwards when his flick was well saved. William Lynch then put Kildrum ahead just before half time. Oran Higgins scored a wonder goal to put Kildrum two up two minutes into the second half and after that they ran out comfortable winners, punishing Cranford mistakes at the back with further goals from Frank Mc Brearty, Kevin McHugh and William Lynch.
Cranford missed a couple of chances but Jason Hegarty pulled off some good saves in the visiting goal.
Donegal Town 1 v 2 Kilmacrennan Celtic
Donegal Town started strongly and went ahead within the first five minutes through Joe McIntyre. They continued to probe and apply pressure however eventually Kilmacrennan settled into the game and drew level before the break.
After the break, Donegal started brightly but the game was nip and tuck. Chances went abegging at both ends before Kilmacrennan broke and took their chance halfway through the second half. The home side had several chances to level before the end including an effort which hit the post.
Drumkeen United 5 v 1 Keadue Rovers
Drumkeen began life in the Premier League with the visit of Keadue Rovers to St. Patrick's Park on Sunday afternoon. This game began at a hectic pace with three goals in the first ten minutes. The visitors got off to the perfect start when Luke Neely put them ahead with a clever back heel from inside the box following a Keadue free kick.
Drumkeen responded immediately when a great pass from Lee Guthrie played in Conor Laverty who finished well to level proceedings.
Laverty struck again shortly after that to put Drumkeen ahead. Drumkeen dominated the rest of the half and could have added a third goal but Jamie Gallagher saw his diving header go well over the bar.
The visitors' cause was not helped when they were reduced to ten men just before the break following a foul. Despite the hectic start, it was still only 2-1 at half time. Jamie Gallagher added a third for Drumkeen early in the second half after a great passage of play involving four Drumkeen players. Aaron Doherty was only on the pitch a few minutes when he powerfully headed home a Benny Bonner corner to make it 4-1.
Michael Guthrie rounded off a great day for the hosts when he added a fifth goal.
Referee: Dessie McLaughlin.
Temple Domestic Appliances Division One
Convoy Arsenal 4 v 2 Ballybofey United
Convoy took the lead on six minutes when Darren McElwaine slotted home from a tight angle after JP Malley’s shot was palmed out by the keeper.
On 24 minutes Ballybofey were reduced to ten men. Shortly after the half hour Evan Mac Bride’s pass on the left-hand side was picked up by Johnny Robb and he in turn dispatched to JP Malley in the centre to double the home advantage.
Malley got his second shortly afterwards when Darren Mc Elwaine’s superb pass found him in space and he slotted home with ease. Convoy made it 4-0 on sixty-seven minutes when Johnny Doherty headed home from Noah Mailey’s corner kick.
On seventy-two minutes Ballybofey got a goal back when Mark Griffin’s fine cross from the left-hand side found Jude Patton in the middle to slot home and two minutes later the visitors caught the Convoy defence napping when Patton this time returned the compliment for Griffin to execute at the far post.
Referee: Tony McNamee.
Drumoghill F.C. 6 v 1 St. Catherines
Drumoghill got their Division One campaign off to the best possible start with this convincing win over St. Catherine’s. Jason Doherty helped himself to four with Conor Temple and Karlos Rodgers also on target after Istuan Vajda had equalised for the visitors. The result was no more than Drumoghill deserved. They were dominant from the outset.
They were one up on twelve minutes when Doherty opened the scoring and had chances to double their lead before St. Catherine’s struck an unlikely equaliser through Vajda on eighteen minutes. Drumoghill continued to dominate but did not regain the lead until the stroke of half time when Temple found space in the box to hammer home.
From then on, the home side didn’t look back and started the second period in much of the same vain. They made it 3-1 on fifty-eight minutes when Karlos Rodgers broke from midfield to guide the ball home from a narrow angle, beyond the despairing reach of Michael Mullin. Then it became the Jason Doherty show. The striker was rampant during the final period, helping himself to a fifteen-minute hat-trick to see Drumoghill run out convincing winners.
Glenea United 3 v 3 Rathmullan Celtic
Glenea and Rathmullan played out an entertaining draw in Glasserchoo on a perfect day for football. Glenea were one up after fifteen minutes when a Ryan Mc Fadden cross found Michael Barry free at the back post and he headed home.
Rathmullan were back on level terms three minutes later when Ryan Connolly picked out the top corner from a thirty-yard free. Rathmullan took the lead early in the second half when James Gallagher tapped in at the back post after good work from Eoin Sheridan.
Luke Mc Carry levelled the scores in the eightieth minute when he made space and rifled to the roof of the net. Rathmullan found themselves back in front on the eighty fifth minute when Ephrim Mc Fadden stuck low to the corner from twenty yards. With time running out John Mc Fadden put in a teasing cross and Michael Barry made no mistake from five yards to level the scores yet again.
Gweedore Celtic 0 v 1 Lifford Celtic
A young Gweedore Celtic suffered a home defeat at the hands of Lifford Celtic on the opening day of the league season. The home team tried hard to salvage the points having gone behind in the twenty fifth minute to a Kevin Mc Brearty free.
Up until that point Gweedore dominated possession and should have been in front when Padraig Gallagher had a great chance in the fifteenth minute but the Lifford keeper pulled off a great save. The second half saw the away team sitting and hitting on the break with the pacey Breslin causing lots of problems to the Gweedore rearguard.
Gweedore saw chances falling to Thomas Diver and Ryan Greene but Lifford held on to take all three points. Good displays for Gweedore from Fiachra Coyle, Kieran McHugh and John Paul Gallagher best, with Kevin Mc Brearty showing his experience for Lifford Celtic.
Kerrykeel ’71 F.C. 6 v 1 Letterbarrow Celtic
(No Report Submitted)
Donegal Physiotherapy & Performance Centre
Deele Harps 1 v 5 Raphoe Town
Deele opened their league campaign at home to neighbours Raphoe Town and it was the visitors who went home with the three points and a scoreline that didn't really reflect the contest.
Raphoe raced into a two-goal lead through former Deele player Conor Friel on ten minutes and his cousin Sean Friel doubled their advantage on fifteen minutes with a shot from the edge of the box. The home side grew into the game but were wasteful in front of goal. The second half started with Deele on the front foot and got their reward when a penalty was awarded and expertly converted from Deele's talisman Jordan Duffy.
But that's as good as it got for the home team and Raphoe punished some schoolboy defending with ruthlessness. DJ Kelly scored on seventy-seven minutes and was followed on to the scoresheet with late goals from a Christy Bogle penalty and another from Kelly himself.
Referee: Barry Hunter
Glenree United 0 v 6 Whitestrand United
In this opening league game of the season it was the away side who put down a big marker for the new campaign with a comfortable win in Glenree Park.
In the early proceedings, they didn’t have it all their own way with the Glenree young guns playing some slick football that almost, on a few occasions, released Daire Shields and Keelan Mc Groddy. The opening goal came in the twenty fifth minute after a defensive mistake led to a tap in for Mark Mc Bride. It got worse for the home side moments later when Thomas Mc Carry made the most of a bouncing ball in the box to put his side two up.
Whitestrand scored their third goal through fine one touch passing that Kevin Loughrey finished well in the 36th minute. The away side got their fourth goal when the ball wasn’t cleared from the penalty area and Dale Mc Gettigan looped his effort over the goalie.
Whitestrand got their final two goals in the closing fifteen minutes through a penalty kick in the seventy fifth minute that Kevin Mc Callion dispatched and then, after a fine run by Rowan McHugh down the wing, he squared it for a simple tap in for Mc Callion to seal the three points.
Referee: Sean O'Donnell.
Gweedore United 0 v 3 Swilly Rovers
This game was played in glorious conditions for football and saw the more experienced Swilly side go home with the three points.
In the opening exchanges there was very little between these sides with half chances at both ends. Ciaran Mc Fadden and Ronan O’ Donnell had decent chances for United well saved by Dane Dunsworth in nets for Swilly.
The visitors had efforts from Tyler Durning, Martin Mc Daid and Ryan Mc Daid, however Luka Knezevic was excellent in goal for United.
Swilly broke the deadlock in the forty second minute when Tyler Durning pounced on an error from the Gweedore keeper to tap home.
On the stroke of half time a Martin Mc Daid shot from 20 yards found the bottom corner to make it 2-0. In the 2nd half Swilly got a penalty in the sixty first minute which Marty Mc Daid cooly slotted into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.
The home side had the majority of the possession for the remaining half hour, with chances for Mark and Ciaran Mc Fadden, however they couldn't get the breakthrough on the day.
Marty Mc Daid and Tyler Durning were excellent for Swilly while it was a day of debutants for United with Aidan Griffin, Shaun Mc Fadden and Michael Martin all playing well on their senior debuts.
Referee: Diego Rainey.
Lagan Harps 1 v 4 Curragh Athletic
Curragh showed resilience to come out on top despite being reduced to ten men after twenty-five minutes. They had taken the lead on three minutes when Mark Storey was left unmarked to head home from a corner.
Lagan responded with Jason Burke hitting the crossbar and Ross Hamlyn having an effort cleared off the line. Lagan equalised when Ross Hamlyn slid in to finish a David Gordon effort.
Lagan had most of the play as the half ended but the Curragh defence, marshalled by Micky O'Brien, held firm.
Curragh retook the lead on fifty minutes when Lagan lost the ball and they counter attacked. Mark Storey again finishing well. Lagan threw men forward without creating much and two late goals saw Curragh run out comfortable winners. Mickey Black got the third with Mark Storey completing his hat-trick.
For Lagan Jack Canning and Ronan Gibson were best. For Curragh Micky O'Brien and Mark Storey were best.
Referee: Con McLaughlin.
Arranmore United were the big winners on the second weekend of games in the Glencar Inn Saturday Division One.
They beat Fintown Harps 8-0. Gary Heaney and Brian Proctor both scored twice.
Donegal Town enjoyed a good 3-0 win against Keadue Rovers thanks to goals from Gary Ward, James Kerrigan and a Barry Mulligan penalty.
In the Letterkenny derby, Oldtown Celtic were 3-2 winners away to Glencar Celtic.
Glencar took the lead when Eddie Mc Laughlin powerfully headed home after a great cross from Graham Cullen. They went further in front when Jordan Mc Ginley struck after good work by Eddie Mc Laughlin.
Oldtown Celtic were yet to come alive however and Glencar gifted them two goals.
Sean Clearly came off the bench to score the winner with a fine finish from the edge of the box.
Kildrum Tigers and Strand Rovers played out a 0-0 draw and in Milford Jason McConigley scored the only goal as Milford United beat Glenea United.
In the Old Orchard Saturday Division Two, Ballybofey United enjoyed a 2-1 win over Cappry Rovers.
Castlefinn Celtic were 5-1 winners at Copany. Dunlewey Celtic beat Cranford 3-1 with Kyran Glennon back among the goals.
Kilmacrennan Celtic were 2-1 winners against Drumoghill FC, Steve McDaid with the winning goal late on.
Saturday 21st September 2019
Glencar Inn Saturday Division One K.O. 2p.m.
Glenea United Reserves v Arranmore United (K.O. 1p.m.)
Donegal Town Reserves v Kildrum Tigers Reserves
Keadue Rovers Reserves v Fintown Harps AFC
Oldtown Celtic v Milford United Reserves
Strand Rovers v Glencar Celtic
Old Orchard Saturday Division Two
Castlefin Celtic Reserves v Kilmacrennan Celtic Reserves
Drumbar F.C. v Cappry Rovers Reserves
Drumkeen United Reserves v Dunlewey Celtic
Drumoghill F.C. Reserves v Ballybofey United Reserves
Sunday 22nd September 2019
Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division K.O. 2p.m.
Bonagee United v Keadue Rovers
Cappry Rovers v Castlefin Celtic
Kildrum Tigers v Donegal Town
Kilmacrennan Celtic v Drumkeen United
Temple Domestic Appliances Division One
Ballybofey United v Letterbarrow Celtic
Lifford Celtic v Kerrykeel ‘71 F.C.
Rathmullan Celtic v Gweedore Celtic
St. Catherines v Glenea United
Donegal Physiotherapy & Performance Centre
Curragh Athletic v Raphoe Town
Lagan Harps v Dunkineely Celtic
Swilly Rovers v Deele Harps
Whitestrand United v Gweedore United