Local derbies are not for the faint hearted and this clash between Letterkenny Rovers and Bonagee Utd was a trademark encounter between the sides on a pleasant evening at the Aura Centre.
Letterkenny Rovers 1 Bonagee United 0
Rovers, who have had a busy period of late, started the better and scored the winner with the first chance either side had on 13 minutes.
Luke Nelis was fouled just outside the corner of the box and Garbhan Grant took responsibility. His teasing free-kick was difficult to defend and Conor Tourish slid in to slot home from close range at the back post.
The home side will wonder how they did not add to their lead in the opening period and came closest on 34 minutes when some neat play saw the ever improving and pacy Declan Sharkey cleverly sent Darren McElwaine through on goal. The veteran marksman was denied by the legs of Bonagee custodian Paddy Quigley.
McElwaine headed just over from a sublime McMacken cross on 37 while Quigley had to be alert again with his legs to deny a Chris Malseed goalbound effort just before the break after some intricate play between Grant and McMacken.
Bonagee created very little of note in the opening half and had a huge shout for a penalty waved away when Ciaran Curran went down in the box although referee Benny McDaid booked Curran for the incident on what was a busy night for the Buncrana whistler. The man in the middle dished out eight yellow cards.
Bonagee, though, came out in the second half firing and Rovers may have been left to rue those first half chances to increase their lead as the Dry Arch Park men threatened for concerted periods.
Micky Funston was a menace throughout and he floated in a teasing cross and it looked like Deano Larkin would score but Tourish was alert to block for a corner on 50 minutes.
Just minutes later Luke Nelis also had a last ditch block to stop another prospective Larkin attempt after the spadework was done by Micheal Doherty who was a big presence throughout for Bonagee.
Doherty came closest with a 60th minute free kick just wide after Ryan Lonergan was adjudged to have pushed Funston and that was their best chance of the game as the remaining 25 minutes was rather scrappy with neither side able to create much in the way of chances until very late on.
Stoppage time saw McMacken hit wide when well placed while sub Seve Okakpo-Emeka somehow shot wide when being sent through on goal by Sharkey.
Bonagee had a chance to level at the death but sub Aaron Wassons shot was easily gathered by Rovers keeper Rory Kelly who adds yet another clean sheet this season as Letterkenny made it 5 wins out of 5 against Bonagee in all competitions this campaign.
Letterkenny Rovers; Rory Kelly, Ryan Lonergan, Chris Malseed, Ryan McConnell, Conor Tourish, Odhran McMacken, Christy Connaghan, Declan Sharkey, Darren McElwaine, Garbhan Grant, Luke Nelis. Subs: Steve Okakpo-Emeka for McElwaine (68), Darren Ferry for Grant (82).
Bonagee United: Paddy Quigley, Jamie Lynagh, Ciaran Curran, Sean Hume, Mark Harkin, Glenn Gallagher, Oran Hilley, Michael Funston, Matty Harkin, Deano Larkin, Micheal Doherty. Subs: Cailin McLaughlin for Hilley (70), Cody Brogan for Gallagher (82), Aaron Wasson for Hume (85).
Referee: Benny McDaid.
Four Lanterns USL
Sunday, May 6, 2pm
Cockhill Celtic v Bonagee United
Swilly Rovers v Letterkenny Rovers
|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|