AILEACH FC 3 V 0 BUNCRANA HEARTS. Ronan Coyle started scoring goals for his home club Aileach FC a long time ago and after a football journey which has seen him score many more at a number of other clubs and levels, he is back where it began and looking like he will continue what he started back then for a while yet. After Aileach FC had led 1-0 at the break, in this Derby clash at Lakeside, his two second-half goals secured the points to ensure his team remained just three points behind leaders Glengad Utd, who recorded a narrow 0-1 win against Carn FC, Stephen ‘ Fildara ‘ Mc Laughlin getting the winner for Shane Byrne’s side midway through the second-half. The home side took the lead in the 16th minute, when from a disputed free-kick by Thomas Mc Monagle, Hearts felt it should have gone their way, his floated effort into the box took a touch off the the head of Hearts defender Gary Duffy under pressure from Aileach’s Cathal Mc Elhinney and flew into the net. The visitors had a chance in the first minute when Kieran Mc Daid dispossessed Thomas Mc Monagle outside his penalty area but shot wide. In the 10th minute Aileach’s impressive Darren Mc Monagle burst down the right and his cross caused problems for the Hearts defence before being scrambled clear. Just after Aileach had taken that 16th minute lead Hearts produced a fine move down the right and when the ball arrived in the box Bart Wesolowski’s shot was well blocked out. Both sides were keen to go forward and in the 23rd minute Thomas and Darren Mc Monagle combined well at a free-kick and the latter’s dangerous crock into the box just eluded Gavin Doherty. Three minutes later at the other end Kevin O Loughlin’s free-kick found Oisín O Flaherty but his effort was just too high. Ten minutes later Hearts Kieran Mc Daid went on another mazy run at the middle of the Aileach defence and when he went too ground just inside the box Referee George Mc Laughlin waved away appeals for a penalty, it looks a close call !. Hearts needed a good start to the second-half but the opposite happens when just two minutes in Mark Mc Elhinney’s excellent through ball, which may have got the slightest of deflections, put Ronan Coyle in the clear and he coolly slotted the ball past the advancing Seamus Houghton to make it 2-0. Two minutes later Thomas Mc Monagle and Anthony Doherty combined well to send Gavin Doherty away but the ball got caught between his feet and the chance was gone. Hearts responded well again and two Kieran Mc Daid free-kicks found the head of Kevin O Loughlin, the second forcing a good diving save from Peter Devine. Hearts made a couple of changes to try an pull a goal back but as often happens as they pushed forward the were caught out in the 66th minute by a quick Aileach breakaway and Gavin Doherty’s super pass put Ronan Coyle away on the right and he steered the ball home from an acute angle and ensure both the victory and that Aileach’s quest for the Premier League title would continue. AILEACH FC ; Peter Devine, Mark Mc Elhinney. , Darren Gallagher , Cathal Mc Elhinney , Thomas Mc Monagle ( Killian O Rourke 88mins ) , Thomas Mc Macken ( Shane Mc Monagle 88mins ) , Darren Mc Monagle , Gavin Doherty ( Keith Mc Colgan 75mins ) , Dermot Doherty , Anthony Doherty ( Paddy Curren 69mins ), Ronan Coyle ( Caoimhin Mc Feely 75mins ). BUNCRANA HEARTS ; Seamus Houghton , Benny Halpin ( Ben Bradley 68mins ), Shane Dillon , Gary Duffy ( Stephen Grant 78mins ), Kevin O Loughlin, Calvin Gallagher , Kieran Mc Daid , Ryan Curran , Oisín O Flaherty ( Stephen Mc Hugh 60mins ), Michael Coyle , Bart Wesolowski ( Aaron Mc Colgan 57mins ). REFEREE ; Mr. George Mc Laughlin.
Coyle Double keeps Aileach in race for title. Charlie Collins reports from Lakeside.
Author of 'Boxing In Donegal: A History (2021)' - the definitive history of the sport in County Donegal - and 'Relentless: A Race Through Time', the 2019 memoir of former Irish Athletics Team Manager Patsy McGonagle. From St Johnston and now based in Letterkenny, Chris was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.