Sunday’s action across the Donegal League proved as thrilling as ever with Milford United picking up a convincing 2-0 victory in Rathmullan.
Rathmullan Celtic 0-2 Milford United
The Hoops entertained Budgie Sandiland’s high flying Swans at the Seaside in what was a high octane derby affair with Milford maintaining their push for the title, taking all three points with Adam Serrinha and Gary Merritt scoring the crucial goals for the visitors.
The Swans set their intentions clear from the opening moments with their direct play and almost took the lead on 20 minutes when from a Merritt free kick.
Sandiland’s Swans made their attacking play pay off when on the half hour mark Serrinha reacted first at the near post to convert Merritt’s in-swinging corner giving keeper Gallagher no chance in what was the only goal of the half.
The Swans, against the run of play, extended their advantage on 68 minutes when Gary Merritt made no mistake from the edge of the area.
Moments later the Hoops star man Savage cut inside the area before unleashing a class strike which somehow came off the inside of Caolan Mc Gettigan’s right Post much to the relief of the visitors.
The Hoops never say die attitude saw them dominate proceedings in the final quarter with Hoops skipper Eoin Sheridan unleashing a 30-yard strike on 82 minutes which Mc Gettigan saved well. With time almost up Hoops left back Adam Salhi whipped in a cross that striker Alawiye will feel he could have done better with as his header lacked the power to trouble Mc Gettigan between the posts.
Referee: Paddy Duffy
Glenea United 0-2 Kilmacrennan Celtic
Glenea came out second best in this hard fought game. It was the away side that settled the quickest and took the lead on 10 minutes when Darragh Mc Daid was released down the left and his effort from the edge of the box found the top corner. Kilmacrennan continued to press but as the half progressed Glenea came more into it and Michael Mulhern saw his close range header well saved by Michael Boyle. Kilmacrennan extended their lead on 35 minutes when Seimi Friel got free on the right and his cross found Darragh McDaid at the back post to slot the ball home. In the 2nd half Kilmacrennan came close to increasing their lead but were denied by a couple of good saves by Joe Coll. Glenea pushed hard for a goal but were finding it hard to create any clear cut chances. As the home side pushed on Kilmacrennan were dangerous on the break but failed to convert a number of chances. Best for Glenea were Sean Coll & Michael Mulhern, while Declan O’ Donnell and Gary Whoriskey were best for Kilmacrennan.
Referee: Mick Langan
Castlefin Celtic 3-1 St. Catherines
Castlefin maintained their good home form with a comfortable victory over St. Catherines at Parkview. The hosts controlled the majority of the game and JP Malley went close early on but his effort went narrowly wide.
Castlefin took the lead in the 35th minute when Corrie Lee Bogan crossed from the right to Malley who coolly finished.
The home side started the second half in the same manner and doubled their lead when a Barry Tourish cross was knocked across the face of the goal by Malley and Ronan Tourish nodded home. In the 65th minute the hosts increased their lead when a Raymond Foy shot bounced off the post and Rory Dalton stabbed home the rebound.
In the closing stages, the visitors got a consolation goal when Odhran Mc Guinness scored from the penalty spot. Best for Castlefin: Gary Mc Nulty and Barry Tourish. Best for St. Catherines: Michael Mullin.
Referee: Joe McHugh
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Lifford Celtic 5-2 Gweedore Celtic
The game started off evenly but Gweedore got off the mark first with Colin Ferry getting their first goal. Lifford then started pressing and got a free kick at the edge of the box which Paul Lynch converted. Lifford kept attacking and Brian Breslin was slipped in and he passed directly to Niall Coyle who hit the back of the net. 2-1 to Lifford at the break.
The second half started slowly with both teams struggling to create anything but Lifford went on an attack and won another free which Paul Lynch duly despatched to the net.
Gweedore then went down to ten men but found themselves in the Lifford box and won a penalty with Thomas Diver scoring. Lifford again went on the attack and again got another free, this time Shane Brennan scored.
Shane Brennan then got his second to kill off the game in injury time when he met a cross from Johnny Robb. Johnny Robb was also the winner of the 3 scoring free kicks. Good team effort from both teams with man of the match going to Paul Lynch. Good performance from Roarty from Gweedore
Lagan Harps 0-2 Drumoghill F.C.
Two goals in the last eight minutes from Riidha Abdullah decided this closely fought derby. The game was generally scrappy as both teams struggled to cope with a strong crosswind.
Lagan went close on ten minutes when Noel Donnelly crossed and Karol Mc Ginley struck the post. Richie Moore went close with a strike from the edge of the area which Jason Quinn did well to push over. Kevin Kelly went close with a free for Lagan as the half-finished scoreless.
Drumoghill went close when Jason Doherty got in at the back post but Jason Quinn did superbly to push it away off the post.
Lagan went close when Noel Donnelly beat Michael Toner to a long ball but his shot went agonisingly past the far post. Drumoghill replied when Christopher O’Donnell headed narrowly wide from a corner.
Lagan thought they had taken the lead when Kevin Kelly bundled the ball over the line from a corner but it was correctly chalked off for handball. Lagan went close with ten minutes to go when James Gillen forced Michael Toner into a good save. Lagan pushed players forward and were caught when Drumoghill broke with Abdullah converting. He added the second deep in to stoppage time to seal the points. For Lagan Ronan Gibson, Paul Rodgers, Ross Hamlyn and Jason Quinn were best. For Drumoghill Anthony Doherty, Richie Moore, Jason Doherty and Ridha Abdullah were best.
Referee: Liam Mc Laughlin.
Cranford United 2-2 Bonagee United
The points were shared in Cranford Park in tough conditions. For the first 20 minutes both sides cancelled each other out with very few scoring chances created.
The game burst into life after 25 minutes when a quick free from Chris Carr sent Kevin Doherty away down the right and he looped the ball over the keeper to put Cranford one up.
Ten minutes later Bonagee levelled when Chris Toner cut in from the right and finished well from the edge of the box. Cranford came out eagerly the second half, creating chances but the Bonagee rearguard defended well.
Cranford took the lead again when David O’ Donnell was put through, again from Chris Carr, and he turned the defender inside out and finished well.
Bonagee came at Cranford again looking for another equaliser and got it from the penalty spot. Cranford had chances to win the match in the last 10 minutes but couldn’t get the winner.
Drumkeen United 2-1 Ballybofey United
This was a must win game for both teams if they wanted to close the gap on leaders Bonagee. The home team took all three points thanks to two penalties from Lee Guthrie.
The first half was fairly uneventful in terms of chances created and only came to life towards the end of the half. After 35 minutes Drumkeen were awarded a penalty which was calmly slotted home by Lee Guthrie.
The home team could did not hold on to the lead very long as Damien Glackin headed home an equaliser for Ballybofey just before the break.
Ballybofey started the second half brightly and put the home team under pressure which they managed to survive. Drumkeen took the lead again when another penalty was awarded for a foul on Gavin Sweeney.
Lee Guthrie is the man for penalties and once again he made no mistake from the spot. Despite been reduced to ten men Ballybofey plugged away and kept pressing for an equaliser towards the end. Drumkeen’s defence were well marshalled by Paul Mc Auley and held firm to claim a much-needed win.
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Curragh Athletic 3-1 Deele Harps
Curragh welcomed Deele Harps to the Sports Complex in Killygordan. The home side took full advantage of their early pressure when Tim Callaghan broke free and took his goal well on 25 minutes.
Curragh pushed hard throughout and on 35 minutes Callaghan doubled his tally and got Curragh’s second. Curragh got their third goal when Micky Black blasted home from close range.
Half time 3-1 to the Curragh. The second half saw Deele put on the pressure and they got their goal on 60 minutes. This invigorated them and they battled well but failed to pierce the tight Curragh defence whish was well marshalled by Michael O’ Brien and Tiernan Mc Connell was also well on his game. Best for Curragh were Callum Gordon and James Sweeney. Team effort by Deele.
Gweedore United 0-2 Dunkineely Celtic
This game played on Friday night under the lights at Carrickboyle saw the visitors leave with an excellent 3 points. The game started with the home side having the majority of the possession however Dunkineely looked dangerous on the break.
United had good chances through Padraig Mc Fadden, Frank Mc Gee and Ownie Gallagher however Corey Byrne in the visitor’s nets was excellent throughout this game. With the home side pressing the visitors had chances on the break for Darragh and Feet Murrin but like his Dunkineely counterpart Shane Coreless in the United nets did well on each occasion.
In the second half United continued to press however it was Dunkineely who took the lead in the 68th minute when a free kick from 30 yards out deceived several defenders and fell to Pauric Connaghan who finished well from close range to make it 1-0.
This goal rattled the home side and they pushed hard for an equaliser but the Dunkineely defence stood firm . The visitors got their 2nd goal in the 88th minute when a low cross was nicely flicked in by Adrian Nesbitt to make it 2-0. Corey Byrne in nets was excellent for Dunkineely throughout with Padraig Mc Fadden outstanding for United on the night.
Letterbarrow Celtic 2-1 Whitestrand United
Another blustery day in Tymeen saw a tight affair between two teams fighting for promotion. Whitestrand took an early lead when Ken Dempsey finished well. Christopher Burke and Daniel Meehan were unfortunate not to equalise, both hitting the framework with great efforts.
Letterbarrow started the second half strong. Dermot Slevin headed home a trademark free kick from James Mc Groary to level the scores. Gerrard Mc Brearty then put the home side in front with an excellent finish after great work on the left wing by Chugsie Mc Grath. Letterbarrow took the three points with a great team performance.
Best were Kevin Mc Brearty, James Mc Groary, Christopher Burke with subs Gavin Mulreany and Daniel Meehan showing the importance of having a strong squad.
Glenree United 2-2 Kerrykeel ’71 F.C.
A great start for the home team when after 3 minutes Glenree were awarded a free kick. Eoghan Kelly was the man who stepped up to unleash a stinger from 30 yards that the goalie did very well to touch against the post but it was always goal-bound.
This stirred Kerrykeel into a quick reaction and in the 10th minute they were level from a free kick that was poorly dealt with by the Glenree defence and Michael Kelly had the easiest of tap-ins.
It was all Kerrykeel for the next 15 minutes where they applied serious pressure on Glenree’s backline with constant long balls forward to Michael Sweeney who was a willing runner throughout.
The long ball was working to their advantage as they took the lead in the 34th minute when the ball ricochet off a defender straight to Sean Little who blasted his shot from 16 yards into the top corner which Oran Blaney could do nothing about.
Glenree did manage a few half chances but nothing to really test out the visitors for the remainder of the first half. Michael Sweeney had the last chance of the half when he took on the defender but shot just wide.
In the second half, Glenree came out a totally different team and played the football that has got them back in contention for promotion. The chances started to rack up and Kerrykeel were now on the back foot with some last-ditch tackles denying the home side an equaliser.
Eric Roberts was introduced to the match in the 60th minute and he had an instant impact on the match with some great wing play.
Kerrykeel were sticking to their game plan of hitting Glenree on the counter-attack with long balls to Sweeney. Glenree’s patient play finally paid off and they got their equaliser through Barney Boyce after great hold up play from Oisin Boyce who’s strike was blocked but Boyce bravely came running onto the rebound to blast it past the keeper in the 79th minute.
The game ended with a share of the spoils on a day that the weather conditions did not aid either sides footballing aspirations. Best for Glenree on the day were Gary Mc Clafferty, Aaron Mc Clafferty and Naoise Cullen. Michael Sweeney and Sean Little impressed for the Kerrykeel team.
Referee: Frank Duff
Raphoe Town 5-0 Copany Rovers
The match was played in very windy conditions at Deele College Raphoe. Raphoe started the game on the front foot and created a good few chances but the Copany keeper was on top form. Raphoe eventually broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute when Glen Mc David headed home at the back post after a great cross by Craig Kelly.
The first half ended with a Raphoe one up. Within 15 minutes of the second half starting DJ Kelly had got himself a hat-trick. Three well taken goals set up by Dean Mc Connell. Raphoe were now four up and in control. Stephen Craig made it 5-0 with a headed goal from a Kyron Coyle corner.
A good team effort by a young Copany team. Best for Raphoe: DJ Kelly and Dean Mc Connell.
Referee: Seamus Ferry