Letterkenny Rovers bounced back to winning ways with a comfortable 7-0 win over a weakened Finn Harps Reserves side at a very cold Aura Centre this evening.
Letterkenny Rovers 7 Finn Harps Reserves 0
The win moves Rovers back to within 7 points of leaders Cockhill Celtic and with a a game in hand.
Rovers had been having difficulty in front of goal in recent times but released their frustrations on the young Harps side and they will hope that will provide the bounce needed going into Sundays League Cup semi final against Derry City Reserves.
It didn’ take long for the home side to take the lead and it arrived on 8 minutes when Declan Sharkey–playing against his former club–rifled home past Harps goalkeeper Joe Boyle after a neat flowing move down the right hand side involving Chris Malseed and Steve Okakpo-Emeka.
Rovers continued to probe and press playing some attractive football and eventually grabbed a second on 36 minutes when a Luke Nelis corner caused all manner of confusion and Sharkey was first to react at the back post to convert from close range.
That made it a mountain to climb for Harps who created very little in the way of chances and Rovers all but killed the game off on the stroke of halftime when Darren McElwaine–who came on as a 36th minute sub for the injured Kevin McGrath-headed home at the back post from a Christy Connaghan corner.
Rovers began the second half as they finished the first and made it 4-0 on 51 minutes when following another Connaghan corner the ball was put back into the danger area by Ryan McConnell and Odhran McMacken blasted home before Sharkey completed his hattrick on 61 minutes when neatly firing low past the hapless Boyle.
Harps tried to gain a foothold but never threatened the home goal with Zach Gorman coming nearest when firing well over when well placed while Pat Loughrey looked lively but they never really created many chances against a strong Rovers backline.
Rovers introduced a number of substitutes after McElwaine on 64 minutes from a McMacken assist made it 5-0 and a belter from Conor Tourish on 79 minutes completed a much needed win for Eamon McConigleys men who face a busy period ahead in league and cup.
Letterkenny Rovers: Rory Kelly, Ryan Lonergan, Chirs Malseed, Ryan McConnell, Conor Tourish, Kevin McGrath, Steve Okakpo-Emeka, Declan Sharkey, Christy Connaghan, Luke Nelis, Odhran McMacken. Subs: Darren McElwaine for McGrath (36), Darren Ferry for Connaghan (65), Garbhan Grant for Nelis (68), John Roulstone for Kelly (68),.
Finn Harps Reserves: Joe Boyle, Zach Brolly, Dean O’Donnell, Paul Ferry, Liam Doherty, Ryan Finn, Pat Loughrey, Corrie-Lee Bogan, Zach Gorman, Daniel Stolarczyk, Karol McGinley. Subs: Stephen Doherty and Keenan Diver for Stolarczyk and McGinley (45), Michael Doherty and Keelin McGill for Finn and L.Doherty (65), Jack O’Donnell for O’Donnell (76).
Referee: Marty Quinn.
Sunday, April 29, 2pm
Donegal News Ulster Senior League Cup semi-final
Letterkenny Rovers v Derry City Reserves
Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League
Fanad United v Cockhill Celtic
Wednesday, April 2, 7pm
Letterkenny Rovers v Bonagee United
|Finn Harps Reserves||16||7||0||9||34||42||-8||21||*|
|Derry City Reserves||13||6||2||5||27||20||7||20|
|* Letterkenny Rovers awarded 3-0 win after Finn Harps didn’t field|
|** Cockhill Celtic awarded 3-0 win after Swilly Rovers didn’t field|