After last week’s frost, which all but wiped out the programme, there was a busy afternoon of action today across the Donegal Junior League.
Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division
Rathmullan Celtic 3 Lagan Harps 2
After the heartbreak of losing out on penalties to Cork side Inishvilla in the FAI Cup on their last outing before the break,
Dara Patton’s Hoops focused on a much-needed win in the Premier Division and they did just that with a fine 3-2 win over Lagan Harps on a blustery rain-soaked afternoon at the Seaside.
As both sides got to grips with the conditions the Hoops took the advantage after 11 minutes with a sublime goal from Carruthers.
The winger cut in from the left wing and whipped in a breath-taking curling strike which went into the top corner from 25 yards out in what can only be described as a piece of Seaside Flagpole magic.
Lagan however came back into the game when Hoops starlet JP Doran fouled Chris Toner inside the area and Ross Hamlen from Scotland dispatched the resulting spot kick to level proceedings. The visitors took the lead on 35 minutes when Rory Crawford took full advantage of a defensive mix up in the Hoops defence and scored from inside the area giving keeper Sean Black no chance.
The Hoops attacked and upped the tempo from this set back and were somewhat unfortunate not to have received a penalty for a hand ball in the Lagan defence.
The Hoops deservedly levelled proceedings on 48 minutes when Ryan Connolly crossed in from the right wing and debutant Albee crowned a fine performance with a diving header into the bottom corner.
At this stage it was constant attacking from the Hoops in what was their best display of the season and Declan McGarvey saw his thunderbolt free kick from 30 yards come crashing back off the cross bar on 57 minutes.
The Seasiders finally broke a resolute Lagan defence on 65 minutes when Carruthers cut inside the defence with his wizardry and unleashed a strike, that took a slight deflection, which looped over keeper Michael Toner much to the euphoria of the Hoops. Patton emptied the bench with Gavin O’Donnell, Eamonn Sheridan and James Gallagher, who made his return from a shin bone injury, adding to the pressure on the visitors as the Hoops pressed for a fourth.
On 83 minutes Sheridan was gifted a chance at the edge of the area but his strike sailed over the crossbar and once again landed in the trees of Brennan’s. Carruthers and Albee did well for Rathmullan. Chris Toner, as always, was impressive for Lagan.
Referee: Joe McHugh
Drumoghill F.C. 0 Donegal Town 4
(No Report Submitted)
Temple Domestic Appliances Division One
Gweedore Celtic 1 Convoy Arsenal 0
At a windswept Screaban the home team secured a well-deserved 3 points against a well organised Convoy side.
The Celts had a few half chances in the opening 45 minutes but it remained scoreless at half time.
The returning Gary Whoriskey started to pull the strings in the second half and both sides had scoring chances with Ryan Carlin hitting the post for the visitors.
Colin Ferry had a few chances but with 10 minutes to go Micheal Roarty beat his marker to deliver a great ball to the back post where the in rushing Michael Cutliffe finished to the net.
Daniel McLaughlin kept the home side in the game after taking over from Michael McKelvey who was injured at the end of the first half. Michael Cutliff and Liam Wiggins were best for Gweedore with a great team effort from Convoy.
Referee: Mickey Mulhern
St. Catherines 4 Erne Wanderers 0
In poor conditions both teams started brightly but on 13 minutes the Erne ‘keeper over committed himself and took down Ryan Cunningham inside the box.
Ryan Cooley slotted the resulting penalty himself. The home team had the better of the chances but the scored stayed at 1-0after 45 minutes.
Erne were now playing into a gale and pressed for an equaliser but again 9 minutes into the second half Ryan Cunningham was taken down inside the box as he tormented the Erne centre half. He again placed the penalty low and hard to the keepers left.
The Saints now started to control the game and on 74 minutes, after the ball pinging round the box, an OG was conceded.
On 89 minutes Ryan Cunningham completed his hat-trick and a man of the match display. He again struck a beautiful left foot shot low past the Erne Keeper.
Also excellent for the home side was Christopher Cunningham in the middle of the field.
Lifford Celtic 2 Ballybofey United 1
Lifford welcomed Ballybofey to a wet and windy Greenbrae for what turned out to be a very competitive game throughout.
The game was evenly contested in the early stages with a lot of the play in the middle of the park.
On 20minutes Ballybofey, aided with a strong breeze, played a long ball into the Lifford box which wasn’t dealt with by the Lifford keeper and fell to the feet of Oisin Merritt who made no mistake from six yards out.
On 40 minutes some good work by Jason McBrearty and Cory McGettigan on the left-hand side saw Johnny Robb put through one on one, he rounded the keeper only to see his effort go narrowly wide of the left hand post.
Lifford, now aided with the strong breeze, started the second half very strong and got an equaliser on 48minutes when Mark Neeson played an excellent pass over the top to Robb who took the ball in his stride to expertly finish to the net.
On 55 minutes a corner taken from the right hand side by Ross Porter almost found the net but for a good stop from the Ballybofey keeper only to see his save fall to the feet of the inrushing James McNulty who made no mistake in dispatching the ball to the net to give Lifford the lead.
Ballybofey pushes hard in the last 10 minutes but the Lifford rearguard held strong to gain a deserved 3 points. Mark Neeson, James McNulty and Johnny Robb were best for Lifford while Barney Lafferty was most dangerous for Ballybofey.
Keadue Rovers 7 Dunkineely Celtic 0
Keadue Rovers remain top of the table following this good win over Dunkineely at Central Park. It was a horrible day for football with a strong wind and driving rain.
The elements favoured Keadue in the opening half and in the fifth minute they took the lead when Cory Gallagher’s fine lobbed effort from over thirty yards went over the keeper and into the empty net. Even though Keadue stayed on top for the next while Dunkineely were still well in the game and came close to an equaliser on thirteen minutes with a shot from the edge of the area saved by Danny Rodgers.
Keadue again created some great chances and within two minutes at the half hour stage had a shot cleared off the line and then Hugh Moy’s effort was just wide of the right-hand post.
Dunkineely were hitting on the break at pace and gave the home defence a few nervy moments but coming towards half time Keadue stepped it up once more and both David Ward and Cory Gallagher had shots saved by the impressive Dunkineely keeper.
Into the second half and with wind advantage Dunkineely made the brighter start, pushing forward and getting a few crosses into the box without creating any clear chances.
Keadue were hitting more on the break and even though the play was fairly-scrappy they looked the stronger and more threatening.
After some good play down the left-wing Jack Boyle collected a pass and slotted home a good left foot strike to make it 2-0.
Keadue began to put the foot on the gas at this stage and the Dunkineely keeper made many saves but couldn’t prevent further goals as Cory Gallagher secured his hat-trick with a right footed effort and a few minutes later ran on to a through ball and tapped home with the left to make it 4.
After that the visitors were, unfortunately for them, unable to halt Keadue and another Cory Gallagher effort made it 5 and finally substitutes Christy Greene and Ultan Boyle completed the scoring to make it 7-0 at full time.
A good team effort for Dunkineely while for Keadue their best were Cory Gallagher, Hugh Moy and Shaun Burns.
Referee: Barry Hunter.
Donegal Physiotherapy & Performance Centre Division Two
Kerrykeel ’71 3 Whitestrand United 0
It was derby day in Rab’s Park on what was a horrible day for football. Kerrykeel ‘71 put the brakes on Whitestrand’s promotion push with an outstanding home display.
The ‘71 started on top with Patsy Friel causing all sorts of problems for Ryan McCleary and Co.
They should have taken the lead on six minutes but Friel saw his shot go just wide of the post.
The Strand were finding it hard to get out of their own half and Kerrykeel broke the deadlock on eighteen minutes when Shaun Patton broke free on the left wing and found Sean Little who on the half volley drilled the ball past Paddy Kelly.
Kerrykeel kept the foot on the gas and should have doubled their lead on 31 minutes when Shane Sweeney fired from twenty five yards only for Kelly to make a fine save at his near post.
Whitestrand were reduced to ten men on 33 minutes when Paddy Kelly rushed out and cleaned Patsy Friel on the edge of the box giving Liam McConigley no option but to produce the red.
Left back Ken Dempsey was forced to take the keeper’s jersey and was called upon straight away making a point blank save from Patsy Friel.
Whitestrand’s only chance in the first half came on the stroke of half time when Michael Sweeney hit the crossbar from twenty five yards from a free-kick. Whitestrand started the second half well but never really troubled the home defence.
The ‘71 made it 2-0 on 68 minutes when Patsy Friel coolly beat Ken Dempsey from six yards. Kerrykeel were picking off Whitestrand on every opportunity and the third goal came from a penalty when Shaun Martin brought down the outstanding Friel.
Conor Meekan set up to send Dempsey the wrong way and the home crowd into dreamland.
Whitestrand got one back in injury time through player/manager Johnny Sweeney direct from a corner. Team performance from Kerrykeel ’71.
Best for Whitestrand: Ken Dempsey.
Referee: Liam Mc Conigley
Eany Celtic 1 Letterbarrow Celtic 4
The weather added to a fiery affair in Inver as local clubs Letterbarrow and Eany Locked horns in a bid to kick-start their campaigns after a long winter break.
Letterbarrow were rewarded for their constant pressure when John Corley scored a great team goal. The second half began as the first ended.
James McGroary added to the score board with a trademark free kick on 46 minutes.
John Corley got a third after a great move from John Roper and Jamie Coyle down the wing. Eany got one back when Barry Griffin scored a well finished goal.
Letterbarrow kept pressing and were rewarded when Gerrard Mc Brearty scored a bullet like header. Best for Eany was Barry Griffin. Good team performance from Letterbarrow.
Referee: Andrew Mullan.
Curragh Athletic 1 Drumkeen United 0
This was the first game for both teams since the Christmas break and it showed as both teams were a bit rusty. It took the Curragh forty minutes to grab a goal, it was a well worked goal with Gavin Sweeney getting the final touch. There were no further goals in the game and it ended with Curragh claiming the three points.
Gweedore United 3 Deele Harps 1
This game played in wet and windy conditions at Carrickboyle saw the home side get their first win of the season.
The visitors with the strong wind pushed United and saw several decent chances fall to Conor Catterson, Anthony McGarrigle and Gary Crawford however Matthew Harkin in the United nets was excellent in the opening half.
Deele took the lead in the 16th minute when Conor Catterson scored from the spot after a hand ball. Deele continued to push but United looked dangerous on the break however it remained 1-0 until half time.
In the second half the home side with the wind at their backs went at Deele with Christopher Roulston in the Deele nets being quite busy.
In the 64th minute Ciaran Mc Fadden put the home side back on level terms also from the penalty spot. United continued to push and took the lead in the 75th minute when veteran Paul Duggan scored direct from a corner with a lovely in swinging cross.
Jamie Mc Gee made it 3-1 in the 84th minute with an excellent free kick from 35 yards out. Team performances from both sides in tricky footballing conditions, with the home side happy to get a vital first three points under their belt.
Glenree United 3 Cranford United 1
In the opening exchanges the keepers were kept relatively quiet as both sets of defences were on top of their games.
Glenree were passing the ball around well in the final third but just couldn’t find the clinical through ball to unleash Peter Witherow.
In the midfield Gary McClafferty was superior in the aerial battles while Barney Boyce and Aaron Mc Clafferty we’re shutting down the Cranford ground play with some excellent tackling. Cranford did have the ball in the net on the stroke of half time but it was ruled out for a foul on Oran Blaney.
The second half was only underway when Cranford did open the scoring when Dan O’Donnell fired a rasping shot towards goal and Blaney got his hands to it but it spun into the net in the 49th minute.
This ignited the home side into action and Gary Mc Clafferty slipped through a crowded penalty box to nod in the equaliser in the 54th minute.
Stephen Doak stepped up to a free kick which he struck from 35 yards out to hit the net in the 58th minute. Cranford almost equalised from a McGinty header but Blaney was up the task and pulled off a point blank save to keep his side ahead.
The save was a huge moment in the game because Glenree went straight up the pitch and a fine bit of passing play was finished of expertly by debutant Eoghan Rafferty who blasted it past Conor McBride in the 74th minute.
Referee: Michael McFadden