USL: Swilly stun Cockhill as Letterkenny narrow the gap at the top


 January 8, 2017
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Cockhill Celtic suffered a surprise home defeat to Swilly Rovers while Letterkenny are up into second after a win over Fanad as the Ulster Senior League resumed action today.

Cockhill Celtic 2 Swilly Rovers 3

SWILLY Rovers put a cat among the Ulster Senior League’s pigeons as they defeated champions and League leaders Cockhill Celtic today for their first win of the season.

Cockhill started the brighter and had a early chance when Jason Devlin shot was cleared of the line.

Swilly gradually came into the game and were always a threat on the break with Laurence Toland’s pace.

Tony McNamee – lining out in the Swilly colours for the first time since his recent move from Finn Harps – played Toland through on 18 minutes and Cullen pulled off a fine save.

On 21 minutes Jimmy Bradley had a shot cleared of the line after rounding the goalkeeper.

Cockhill should have taken the lead on 30 minutes after Mark Moran teed up Derek Doherty, but from seven yards Doherty managed to miss the empty target.

On 35 minutes Mark Moran was very unlucky to hit a post from 20 yards.

Cockhill got the opening goal when full back Paul McDermott cut in and fired home from 18 yards on 43 minutes.

Swilly started the second half on the front foot with Toland & McNamee begining to create chances.

Swilly got a deserved goal when Toland brilliantly turned the Cockhill defence and rifled home from 15 yards.

On 55 minutes – with Swilly on top at this stage – the visitors got a second when McNamee broke the Cockhill offside trap and coolly slotted past Cullen.

Cockhill were rattled and two became three on the hour when Toland got his second, beating Cullen to a ball over the top from McNamee.

Cockhill regrouped and lay siege to the Swilly goal.

Numerous chances came and went for Cockhill with some good defending and poor finishing and Swilly held out.

On 80 minutes Cockhill full-back Jason Breslin got a second for the home side as he slotted home from close range.

The final 10 minutes saw Cockhill throw everything at the Swilly defence but the young Swilly side held firm for a deserved and famous victory.



Letterkenny Rovers 3 Fanad United 1

Clashes between Letterkenny Rovers and Fanad Utd have been notoriously hard fought encounters and it was 10 man Rovers who came out 3-1 winners in an uncompromising encounter at the Aura Centre on Sunday afternoon.

The upshot of it all is that Rovers leapfrog Fanad into second spot in the table and are now just six points behind leaders Cockhill Celtic – who suffered a rare defeat at home to Swilly Rovers – with the top two to meet next weekend.

Rovers started this game the better and came close after only two minutes when Darren McElwaines free kick brought a good save from Oran Blaney in the visitors goal before Christy Connaghan did well to weave through the defence just moments later but saw his effort well blocked.

It was Rovers though who got the all important opener when following a neat flowing move involving David Shovlin and Chris Flanagan down the right the ball found its way into the box. After McElwaine missed the initial effort the ball fell to Kevin McGrath and the midfielder made no mistake when blasting home from close range despite the best attentions of a number of defenders.

Fanad came right into the game and had two gilt edged chances to level. Shaun McElwaine just failed to connect with a wonderful Daire McDaid inswinging free kick when it needed just the mearest of touches on 22 minutes while McDaid was harshly adjudged to have been ruled offside when ready to pull the trigger.

Fanad’s frustration grew just minutes later when Kieran Gorman headed narrowly wide from a Marty McAteer corner on 30 minutes which was their best chance for a leveller,

Those misses looked big as it was Portsalon man Paul McVeigh who doubled Rovers advantage against his former club on 36 minutes when again it was McElwaine, Flanagan and Shovlin involved  with some neat work down the right with Shovlin  firing over a teasing cross which McVeigh met and he made no mistake from six yards firing low past Blaney.

Rovers came close to going further ahead but McGrath saw his bullet header go just wide before the game exploded further into life on 41 minutes when Daire McDaid drew a foul from debutante goalkeeper Chris Sweeney and referee Michael Connolly played advantage and it fell to veteran Marty McAteer, who made no mistake rolling the ball into the empty net to make it 2-1 although it’s likely a penalty may have been awarded if he failed to capitalise.

That wasn’t the end of a helter-skelter opening period and Rovers saw David Shovlin dismissed towards its conclusion when clashing with Davitt Walsh which gave the Traigh-a-Locha side an added boost going in for the half time break.

Fanad came out all guns blazing in the second half with Rovers goal leading a charmed existence for the opening quarter of an hour and Sweeney pulled off a couple of super stops from McDaid before Seimi Nani Friel rattled the woodwork with a well taken free kick but the all important fourth goal fell to Rovers when Paul Boyle rose highest and  headed home a Flanagan free low to the bottom corner just on the hour mark.

That goal seemed to knock Fanad back and gave Rovers added belief although McDaid and Walsh both had good efforts while Keelin McElwaine also threatened to unlock the Rovers defence with a couple of mazy runs but it was Rovers who defended very stoutly and resolute with a man less.

It was the Cathedral Town men, well marshalled by Boyle and Conor Tourish, who saw the game out well for a valuable three points and sets them up nicely for a busy week which will culminate next Sunday when welcoming leaders Cockhill to the Aura.

Letterkenny Rovers; Christopher Sweeney, Ryan Lonergan, Ryan Gildea, Paul Boyle, Conor Tourish, Christy Connaghan, Paul McVeigh, Kevin McGrath, Darren McElwaine, David Shovlin, Chris Flanagan. Subs: Steve Okakpo-Emeka for Flanagan (73), Brian McVeigh for McElwaine (80), Dean O’Donnell for Gildea (88).

Fanad United: Oran Blaney, Oisin Langan, Declan McGarvey, Kieran Gorman, Shaun McElwaine, Matty Crossan, Marty McAteer, Seimi Friel, Davitt Walsh, Daire McDaid, Keelin McElwaine. Subs: Eoghan Rafferty for Gorman (67), John McGarvey for Walsh (78).

Referee: Michael Connolly



Derry City Reserves 0 Finn Harps Reserves 0

THE second strings of the local senior sides played out a scoreless draw at Templemore on Sunday.

It was a game of few chances with Donegal native Adrian Delap, lining out at right-back on the Derry team, the pick of the players on show as his rise in the Candystripes continues.

Neither side could force a breakthrough over the 90 minutes.

* no report received for this game






4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League

Cockhill Celtic 2 Swilly Rovers 3

Derry City Reserves 0 Finn Harps Reserves 0

Letterkenny Rovers 3 Fanad United 1




Sunday, January 15, 2017, 2pm

Finn Harps Reserves v Bonagee United

Letterkenny Rovers v Cockhill Celtic



Cockhill Celtic 8 6 1 1 27 9 18 19
Letterkenny Rovers 8 3 4 1 17 14 3 13
Fanad United 8 3 2 3 14 11 3 11
Derry City Reserves 8 3 1 4 19 14 5 10
Bonagee United 7 3 1 3 7 14 -7 10
Swilly Rovers 8 1 3 4 10 22 -12 6
Finn Harps Reserves 7 1 2 4 9 19 -10 5



TOP GOALSCORERS (League goals only)

Cathal Farren (Derry City Reserves)          8

Darren McElwaine (Letterkenny Rovers)  6

Mark Moran (Cockhill Celtic)                       6

Aaron McCready (Finn Harps Reserves)    4

Laurence Toland (Swilly Rovers)                4

Aidan McLaughlin (Bonagee United)         3

Jimmy Bradley (Cockhill Celtic)                   3

Gerard McLaughlin (Cockhill Celtic)           3

William O’Connor (Cockhill Celtic)              3

Max Karner (Derry City Reserves)             3

Stephen Duffy (Derry City Reserves)         3