Inishowen League went top of their group in the Oscar Traynor Trophy following an emphatic 3-0 victory over the Sligo-Leitrim League at Maginn Park.
Inishowen League 3-0 Sligo-Leitrim League
Report by Charlie Collins at Maginn Park
Three second-half goals from Kevin O’Loughlin, Terence Doherty and Shaun Doherty on Sunday afternoon were enough to give Diarmaid O’Brien’s side the top spot on goal difference.
Inishowen had the better of the early exchanges in the cup clash as Matthew Henry and Kieran McDaid put together some fantastic integrate play before slipping through Gavin Doherty.
Doherty poised for the shot, slotted it towards goal but Sergio Gomez produced a fantastic save to keep the scoreline level.
Two minutes later, the returning Terence Doherty was slipped through after a long ball caught the visiting defence out of shape.
Doherty, who was immediately pressurised, sent his effort well over the bar for a goal kick.
Gomez, who was immense in the first half, was called into action again after 13 minutes.
Henry sent a spinning effort towards goal from Gavin Doherty’s low-cross, but the Sligo-Leitrim goalkeeper made no mistake with a superb save.
Just before half-time and Inishowen had another opportunity from 20-yards to take the lead.
Matthew Byrne’s free-kick effort eluded the Sligo-Leitrim wall before spiralling off the outside of the post before rebounding to safety – Gomez wouldn’t have stood a chance.
It was a lively first half for O’Brien’s side, but he would have been wondering how they didn’t have at least a two-goal advantage at the break.
The second-half was huge for Inishowen if they were to give themselves a chance of progression in the competition.
And they began the second period exactly how they ended the first, but after 54 minutes the ruthless pressure combusted and the Donegal side got their deserved lead.
Kieran McDaid’s over-hit corner kick found Shaun Doherty at the far post before the midfielder sent it back towards the six-yard area towards the incoming Kevin O’Loughlin, who rose highest to head home.
It was a thoroughly deserved advantage for Inishowen, who had worked hard all afternoon and knew they couldn’t repeat mistakes shown against the Donegal League.
O’Brien side kept their lead for most of the second half as they went in frantic search of the all-important second goal and it was all most gifted to them with 15 minutes remaining.
After 73 minutes, Sligo-Leitrim’s Hayden Cawley was caught in possession by McDaid who sent Terence Doherty clear again, but Gomez did just enough to deny the striker for a second time.
Sligo-Leitrim’s best opportunity came five minutes before the end as Dylan Moran and Lee Marshall caught Inishowen on the counter-attack, but it was all in vain as Marshall sent his shot wide of the mark.
Into injury-time and O’Brien’s side were not settling for their one-goal advantage.
Instead, wave after wave of attack forced Gomez into several top saves, but the demand eventually proved too much and Terence Doherty eventually got the better of the Sligo-Leitrim goalkeeper.
A long ball sent crashing towards the tired Sligo-Leitrim defensive unit was drastic as Doherty collected it cleanly to race clear.
As Gomez charged forward, Doherty kept his cool, rounding the keeper from 30-yards out and slotted it accurately into the net.
With the game coming to a close, Inishowen were gifted one final opportunity and when Shaun Doherty’s effort hit off the Sligo-Leitrim defender and deflected into the net, it summed up the day for the visiting side.
The victory all but secures the Inishowen League’s place in the next round of the competition, with the Donegal League and Sligo-Leitrim League still to play.
Inishowen League: Dylan Doherty, Ryan Kelly, Matthew Byrne, Kevin O’Loughlin, John Gerard McLaughlin, Adam Byrne, Matthew Henry, Shaun Doherty, Terence Doherty, Kieran McDaid, Gavin Doherty
Subs: Connor Barrow (80′), Darren McMonagle (80′), Paul Doherty (90′)
Sligo/Leitrim League: Sergio Gomez, Matthew Conlon, Paddy Wolfe, Ryan McManus, Conor Griffin, Ross McLaughlin, Tyler Staffard, Stephen Armstrong, Gora Savage, Hayden Cawley, Conor King
Subs: Dylan Moran (65′), Lee Marshall (80′)
Referee: Danny McLaughlinTags: