Kildrum Tigers were the big winners in the Premier Division of the Donegal League today. Although the St Johnston men had no game, Cappry Rovers and Milford United suffered defeats, while Castlefin Celtic were held by Rathmullan Celtic.
Glenea United defeated Lagan Harps to move into second. Glenea are eight points behind Kildrum with a game in hand. Here’s a full round-up from today’s Sunday League action:
Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division
Donegal Town 2 Cappry Rovers 1
Donegal Town welcomed Cappry Rovers to the Hospital Field in what was only a sixth league outing of the season for the visitors after their excellent Cup run.
Donegal resisted some pressure late on to secure an important win for Paul McHugh’s side. The hosts started well and looked threatening throughout the first period with Joe McIntyre causing a lot problems down the left hand side.
Donegal made the breakthrough on the half hour when Daniel McHugh headed home an Eoin Slevin corner. Cappry peppered the Donegal box with crosses after the goal and got their reward when Paddy O’Connor headed home at the back post from an inswinging cross.
After the break the overall quality of the contest dropped slightly with both sides struggling to replicate some of the excellent play on view during the first half.
Donegal got what proved to be the winner early in the half when a defensive slip allowed David Graham to finish to an empty net after good work from Stephen Curneen.
Cappry pushed hard for an equaliser with Benny McLaughlin’s quality from set pieces causing plenty of problems but they failed to capitalise on a couple of occasions.
The Donegal defence stood firm against the pressure with Conor Rooney and Declan Brown keeping things under control.
Good team performance from the visitors with Ben Sweeney and David Graham the Town’s top performers. Referee: Joe Mc Hugh.
Castlefin Celtic 3 Rathmullan Celtic 3
Castlefin and Rathmullan played out an entertaining six goal thriller in Park View. In the opening stages both sides failed to create many clear cut chances.
In the 35th minute Castlefin took the lead when an Emmett White free kick found the head of Matthew O’Rourke who headed home.
Rathmullan responded almost immediately and equalised when Kevin Doran headed home a Dara Patton cross. In the opening stages of the second half the visitors took the lead when Patton scored from the penalty spot. The hosts upped the tempo and equalised when White rattled home a free kick with 60 minutes on the clock. Castlefin took the lead when another White free kick was met by Peter Bryson who poked home in the 70th minute.
In the 75th minute Rathmullan fought back again and Patton got his second when he headed home a Doran cross. Both sides pushed for the winner but were unable to spot the finishing touch.
Best for Castlefin: Johnny Doherty and Matthew O’ Rourke. Best for Rathmullan: Sean Black.
Referee: Liam McLaughlin
Glenea United 4 Lagan Harps 1
Glenea got their league programme back underway with a hard earned victory over a dogged Lagan side. In a quiet first half, the home side were on top but were finding it difficult to create any clear cut chances with Sean McBride and Lee O’Brien having their best efforts.
Glenea finally took the lead on 40 minutes when Ryan McFadden’s free kick was headed home from close range by Lee O’Brien.
In the second half Glenea continued to look to extend their lead and were finally rewarded on 55 minutes when Lagan failed to deal with a cross and Lee O’Brien was on hand to stab home from close range. Glenea increased their lead on 60 minutes when Sean McBride got onto Darren Ferry’s through ball and he curled the ball home from 25 yards out. Glenea continued to look for more goals but once again were guilty of not taking their chances until the 75th minute when Dean Mc Carry headed home a Nathan O’Brien corner. Lagan kept pushing until the end and were rewarded on 90 minutes with a consolation goal.
Best for Glenea were Dean Mc Carry, Ryan McFadden & Lee O’Brien, while it was team effort from Lagan. Referee: Dessie Mc Laughlin.
Kilmacrennan Celtic 2 Milford United 1
The Flagpole in Rathmullan was the venue for the local derby involving Kilmacrennan Celtic and rivals Milford United. It was the Lurgysiders from Kilmacrennan who ended up with the bragging rights with a hard-fought victory.
Aiden Sweeney and Garry Gorman got the Kilmacrennan goals and Cathal McGettigan scored the Milford goal. All three goals arrived in an eleven-minute spell right at the start of the second half.
For a neutral supporter, it was a good game to watch. Milford had the better chances in the first half and Kilmacrennan bossed the second half and did deserve to claim all three points.
Referee: Paddy Martin.
Temple Domestic Appliances Division One
Raphoe Town 2 Gweedore Celtic 1
Raphoe Town maintained their recent good form when they grabbed a late winner at home to Gweedore Celtic at Deele College.
Ryan McGavigan bundled home the ball in the 90th minute after some super work from Dylan Brolly.
It was a fantastic turnaround from the young Raphoe team who played some excellent football, particularly in the first half, but found themselves behind when Eamon McGee smashed in a terrific strike for Gweedore in the 65th minute.
The visitors, who hit the Raphoe woodwork twice in the second half, missed a couple of great chances and saw Raphoe keeper Thomas Mc Bride pull off some fantastic saves, will wonder how they went away empty handed as it looked as if they had the upper hand once they took the lead.
But Raphoe have shown great character in recent weeks and they looked like they had salvaged a draw with just five minutes to go when Oliver Quinn won a fantastic header to set up Ryan McGavigan to cross from the right and Christy Bogle nipped in at the back post to level the game.
The visitors didn’t want to settle for a draw and pressed hard for a winner putting Raphoe under pressure in the dying minutes but they were caught on the break right at the end when Dylan Brolly broke clear on the counter and his shot across the face goal was steered in for a dramatic winner for the home side.
Eamon McGee led the line well for Gweedore Celtic and apart from his goal set on a couple of great chances while Thomas McBride in goal was excellent for a Raphoe team who battled really well as a unit.
Lifford Celtic 1 St. Catherine’s 3
A better day in the Brae this week. It was Lifford who started strong with Brian Breslin crossing a ball into Jason McBrearty in the 8th minute but he hit the post. Another early chance should have seen them one up but Jude Patton shot wide.
In the 35th minute a ball that Lifford didn’t clear led to a penalty for St. Catherines and Daniel Breslin scored. Almost instantly Lifford lost possession and the Killybegs men got into the box where Daniel Breslin got his brace.
Lifford tried to recover and Ross Porter’s shot was touched over by the keeper.
On the restart Lifford attacked but could not find a way through. Then from a corner Lifford got a penalty with Mark Neeson putting it down the middle, game on. With the minutes ticking down a cross from the right is passed into Ryan Cunningham who touches the ball and places it perfectly into the Lifford net from the edge of the box.
Erne Wanderers 3 Convoy Arsenal 2
(No report Submitted)
Bonagee United 7 Dunkineely Celtic 2
The visitors came close to opening the scoring on seven minutes only for Adrian Nesbitt to see his shot from the edge of the box go wide of the post. James Byrne was also unlucky to see his headed from a corner just go over the bar.
The home team took the lead on 22 minutes after a shot from Mark Hunter from 20 yards was saved by Patrick Carr but the ball rebounded to Graham Cullen and he shot home from just inside the box.
The home team were awarded a penalty three minutes later after Mark Hunter was brought down in the box and he converted the penalty.
Nesbitt and James Byrne were giving the home defence a lot of trouble and Carr in the home goal had to make a few good saves. Hunter got his second on forty minutes after good play from Eamon Cannon who laid the ball off to him just on the edge of the box and his strike found the bottom corner of the net.
Alan Lyons saw his header for the visitors go over the bar on forty three minutes from a Martin Cunningham corner. The visitors were awarded a penalty on 58 minutes for a foul in the box on Adrian Nesbitt and Martin Cunningham made no mistake from the spot.
Bonagee got their fourth on the hour when a cross into the box by Eamon Cannon was deflected into the net by a defender. Joe Friel got on the score sheet on 73 minutes when he cut inside the defender and his shot from the edge of the box flew into the top corner of the net.
Carr in the home goal was called into action to make saves from Pauric Cunningham and Damien Quigley. Hunter got his third on 80 minutes when he was put clear from midfield and he rounder the keeper and shot home.
Adrian Nesbitt scored for the visitors on 85 after a quick free deep in their own half beat the Bonagee defence and he shot home from 15 yards.
Bonagee got their final goal on eighty eight after a cross from the right was deflected over the keeper by his own defender. Referee: Seamus Ferry.
Donegal Physiotherapy & Performance Centre Division Two
Glenree United 1 Deele Harps 0
In fantastic conditions in Glenree Park the home side got back to winning ways after putting in a strong performance against a solid Deele side. Eoghan Rafferty had the first real big chance of the game in the 16th minute but his effort was well saved by the visiting goalie.
He was called into action again a few minutes later when he had to save smartly from Oisin Boyce in the 29th minute. Deele were playing well around the middle of the park but couldn’t find the pass to unlock a solid Glenree backline.
Oran Blaney was relatively quiet in goals apart from a free kick that he saved from Jordy McMullan in the 33rd minute. The goal for the home side came in the 39th minute when Rafferty broke away down the left flank and fired it across the goal for Ross Cullen to find the net.
In the second half Glenree kept applying the pressure and Danny Langan’s effort from distance narrowly missed the bottom corner. Boyce rose highest for a Rafferty cross on the 62nd minute but the goalie was not to be beat again. Deele’s had a few chances in a row when they broke away and Blaney was called upon to make a big save for his team in the 67th minute.
The best chance of the game came in the 75th minute when, from a set piece, Norman McLaughlin found himself 2 yards from goal and all he had to do was hit the target but he headed it wide.
Hugh McFadden came on for Glenree and almost made an instant impact when another Rafferty cross provided him with a chance but he headed wide. The game fizzled out in the final minutes as Glenree’s experience shone more than on the previous two games and they held out for a vital three points.
A team effort from Deele Harps while Gary Mc Clafferty, Eoghan Rafferty and Ross Cullen were best for Glenree United. Referee: Enda Martin
Drumkeen United 3 Gweedore United 0
The sun made an appearance at St Patrick’s Park for the visit of Gweedore United on Sunday afternoon in a game which turned out to be a comfortable enough victory for the home team.
The majority of the first half of the game was played in the Gweedore half.
Drumkeen kept possession well and played some nice football as they attempted to break down the Gweedore blanket defence.
The first real chance fell to Lee Guthrie after 20 minutes but a combination of the crossbar and Gweedore keeper Brian Gallagher kept the ball out of the net. Lee Guthrie did get the opening goal a little later with a brilliant header as he got on the end of a great corner from Liam McGill on the left side. He also had another effort saved by keeper Gallagher shortly after that.
Lee Guthrie doubled his tally with another great header which was almost a carbon copy of his first goal except this time it was a Benny Bonner corner from the right side. Guthrie could have had his hat-trick before half time but he saw his header saved by Gallagher so it was 2-0 to the home team at half time.
Drumkeen started the second half as they ended the first and soon added a third goal with a superb 30 yard strike from Eunan Doherty which flew past keeper into the net.
Lee Guthrie was still searching for his third goal but it was not to be as he had a couple of more efforts which went wide and over the bar respectively. Michel Guthrie also saw an effort go just wide after Richie Moore set him up and Moore also had an effort from long range which went over the bar.
Gweedore did have a few chances towards the end including a very good one when a low ball came across from the left wing but there was no one in the middle to get a touch on it.
This was a very good team effort for Drumkeen who played some good football at times. Gweedore were well organised at the back and battled gamely throughout and made the hosts work hard for the victory.
It was also good to see young Kevin Bonner getting a bit of game time for Drumkeen as he returned following a long term injury, he will be a great addition for the coming weeks especially after losing Niall Bonner to an Injury a couple of weeks ago.
This was a good contest played in a good spirit at St. Patrick’s Park
Letterbarrow Celtic 4 Curragh Athletic 2
Letterbarrow started at a fast pace and were 2-0 up after 10 minutes, a great Free from Conor Mc Daid and a well finished goal from John Corley.
Curragh got one back before half time after a free-kick was headed into the net by a Letterbarrow player. The second half started as the first did and Letterbarrow were on top until Curragh got a penalty but they were denied an equaliser after a great stop from Cathal Gallagher.
Letterbarrow capitalised on this and John Corley put the home side two in front again. Curragh got one back but Letterbarrow responded again with a great team goal finished off by Conor McDaid.
Best for Letterbarrow were Conor McDaid, John Corley and Cathal Gallagher.
Whitestrand United 3 Eany Celtic 0
In the first league game of 2018 at Mc Garvey Park Whitestrand took on Eany Celtic. The game started off quickly with an excellent through ball from Johnny Sweeny well finished by Liam O’Riordan with a precise lob over the keeper.
Whitestrand continued on the front foot creating several opportunities but the finish or the final pass was always lacking. As the first half drew to a close Eany had a few chances but the Whitestrand stood firm.
The second half started in a similar way to the first and Whitestrand scored a second.
This time Michael Sweeny finishing impressively from another Sweeney through ball. The second goal took the wind out of Eany’s sails and Whitestrand scored the final goal when O’Riordan smashed home the rebound after the keeper saved his initial shot.
It was an impressive performance from Whitestrand and they can look to the second half of the season with optimism after this performance.
Best for Whitestrand were Oisin Shields and Anthony Fisher with O’Riordan keeping up a prolific campaign with two goals.
Copany Rovers 1 Cranford United 8
(No Report submitted)