It was another high-scoring weekend of action across the Donegal League as the Premier Division and Division One schedule commenced over a busy weekend. Full round-up below.
Glencar Inn Saturday Division One
Donegal Town Reserves 2-1 Arranmore United
Donegal Town came out on top after a very tight encounter in a game that was moved to Ballyshannon.
Playing with a huge wind advantage in the first half it was the home side who struck first with David Bustard finishing well inside the area.
Bustard had found himself in the area after a Donegal corner which Arranmore failed to clear properly. Donegal tried to extend their lead but created little in the way of clear cut chances in what were proving to be very tough conditions.
James Kerrigan went closest just before the break but he shot narrowly over. Arranmore did manage to create some chances in the half with Gavin Mc Glanaghey going closest, but his header was well saved by Donegal keeper John Leonard.
Arranmore came out strong after the break and were well on top at the start of the second period. Donegal managed to get forward on the odd occasion with second-half substitute Ronan Mc Hugh unlucky to see his effort come back off the post.
Donegal extended their lead shortly after that when the ball broke to Ciaran O’Reilly on the edge of the area and his strike found its way into the far corner for a crucial two-goal advantage.
Arranmore responded well and piled forward.
Their pressure paid off five minutes later when Aidan Proctor reacted quickest to a loose ball in the area to get the visitors right back into the game.
Arranmore pressed looking for the equaliser but Noel Gavagan and JP Byrne in central defence held firm under pressure.
Donegal netminder John Leonard was superb in dealing with everything the Islanders threw at him.
In the end, the home side held on for what could prove to be a crucial three points.
Referee: Barry Hunter
Dunlewey Celtic 1-2 Castlefin Celtic Reserves
The hosts welcomed Castlefin to Glentoran Park on a blustery afternoon. Both sides battled well through the first half but neither side could break the deadlock.
The second half saw both teams go hell for leather in this battle at the bottom of the table. Castlefin broke the deadlock when a cross found it’s way to Declan Lafferty who made no mistake from close range.
Dunlewey, however, pushed and pushed and were rewarded when a corner from the left was not dealt with and Mannie Cannon finished it off from close range. Both sides again pushed to get the winner and Castlefin struck again to take the three points when Thomas Devlin finished a neat counter-attacking move.
Glencar Celtic 2-2 Strand Rovers
A huge fixture in the race for the title saw Strand come to Flagpole looking to put distance between themselves and Glencar.
But they were soon against the ropes as the home side imposed themselves from the start and played some excellent attacking football with Kevin Rafferty giving a midfield masterclass.
The dominance paid off after 15 minutes when a beautiful Rory Gallagher cross from the left was met by Jordan Mc Ginley and his header found the far corner.
Strand were getting no joy from their long ball style and a deserved second followed for Glencar after 25 minutes when Rafferty drove into the box and his effort ended up in the net.
Glencar were now on top form and should have had a third after creating several more decent opportunities and being denied what seemed a clear penalty before the break.
Strand needed a big second-half performance and they got back in the game within five minutes of the restart when they headed home from a hopeful free kick.
Disaster struck for Glencar soon afterwards when Rafferty picked up a second yellow which gave Strand a huge boost and they began to pile the pressure on.
The Glencar defence stood firm until ten minutes from time when more hesitance in the Glencar defence from a set piece allowed Strand to nod home.
Both teams pushed hard to take the three points but had to settle for the draw which will please Strand but Glencar will feel they missed a big chance given how well they played in the opening half.
Keadue Rovers Reserves 3-3 Oldtown Celtic
Keadue and Oldtown played out an entertaining draw on Saturday afternoon in a game which was switched to Maghery after heavy overnight rain.
It was the visitors who were quick out of the blocks and went ahead on two minutes when Michael Devine was on the end of a cross from the right wing to head home.
Oldtown continued on top for most of the opening period but on ten minutes Keadue’s Damien Hanlon hit a long ball over the top and Mikey Mc Fadden was just over the bar with a lobbed effort.
The hosts were beginning to get on top and Michael Greene was just wide on twelve minutes while Peter Mc Gee looked to be fouled in the box shortly afterwards but no penalty was awarded.
Oldtown were dangerous on the break but a good spell of pressure from Keadue led to the leveller just before the half hour.
Mikey Mc Fadden escaped on the right side from a through ball, clipped the post with a deft effort and Christy Greene was there to tap in the rebound.
Keadue were well on top at this stage but the game became a bit scrappier after the half hour and it was Oldtown who went ahead again on forty minutes when a ball over the top caught the home defence square and Luke Friel made no mistake from the edge of the area.
They remained on top in the last five minutes of the half and led at the break. At the start of the second half they picked up where they left off and created some good runs and openings and had the home defence in constant trouble.
They went close again on the hour but David King’s shot was blocked by the Keadue defence when a third was looking likely.
Keadue got their first effort of the second half on sixty-five minutes when Mikey Mc Fadden’s shot was saved. Five minutes later though Keadue equalised when a corner on the right side wasn’t cleared and in the scramble Ryan Connors poked to the corner.
Oldtown went right up the field and almost went ahead only for a last-ditch tackle but they weren’t long making amends when on seventy-two minutes David King was at the end of the move to tap in at the far post.
Things were really end to end when a minute later Michael Greene was on the end of a good move to slot past the keeper to make it 3-3.
A couple of substitutions followed for each side and the home side had the better of the closing fifteen minutes and had a few decent runs inside Oldtown’s box but just couldn’t just get a shot on target.
Referee: George Clinton.
Sunday 10th March 2019
Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division
Castlefin Celtic 1-0 Milford United
Castlefin secured a vital three points in the race for the title when they defeated Milford by a single goal in awful conditions at Park View.
The hosts, in the first half, were aided by a strong breeze and had numerous attempts on goal through Ronan Tourish and Ian Ward but Caolan Mc Gettigan pulled off top draw saves to keep the game level.
The visitors were dangerous on the break through Gary Merritt and Kyle Black and created chances but Chris O’ Donnell made several vital stops.
Castlefin broke the deadlock in the 65th minute when Ronan Tourish broke down the right and crossed to Emmett White who tapped in.
Tourish should have doubled the lead when he broke through but his effort went past the post. Milford applied plenty of pressure but the home defence stood firm in the closing stages.
Referee: Paddy Duffy
Donegal Town 1-1 Rathmullan Celtic
It was honours even at the Hospital Field with Donegal Town grabbing a last gasp equaliser to deny Rathmullan the victory. David Graham was the Town hero scoring deep into added time.
Graham latched onto a through ball and finished expertly past the keeper.
It will be a tough one to take for the visitors who led from the very first minute with Mark Wilson heading them into the lead.
Rathmullan could have extended their lead on a couple of occasions, twice drawing superb saves from Donegal keeper Enda O’Hagan. Donegal themselves had their chances with Joe Mc Intyre having a couple of good chances, one of which forced the Rathmullan keeper into an excellent save. Donegal pushed hard in the second half to get into things but it looked like the visitors were going to hold on until Graham snatched a point with his last-minute equaliser.
Referee: Allister Gourley
Keadue Rovers 0-1 Cappry Rovers
Cappry Rovers were the victors for this tight encounter which was switched to Maghery due to Central Park being unplayable. The game was played in damp and windy conditions throughout but despite this both teams served up some decent fare.
The home side were the first to create a chance with Shaun Yank Boyle’s shot saved. Cappry though began to move the ball about well and gained some good territory without creating much by the way of chances.
Keadue were again unlucky on fifteen minutes when Shaun Yank Boyle had his low effort parried by the keeper and Danny Mc Glynn was wide with the rebound.
Keadue were creating the better chances, albeit with less possession, and should’ve been ahead on twenty-two minutes when Cory Gallagher’s shot was blocked and Danny Mc Glynn’s flicked effort hit the post. By the half hour the game became a bit scrappier and the wind became more of a factor.
The home side did get more possession close to half time and were on top but just couldn’t find the final ball. Cappry though had arguably the best chance of the half on forty-two minutes when a cross found David Carr free in front of goal but he shot wide.
At the start of the second half it was Cappry who were that little bit sharper and on forty-eight minutes a ball over the top caused a mix up in the Keadue defence and Paddy Mc Nulty got his foot to the ball to guide it over the line to give Cappry the lead.
Two minutes later Daniel Ward had a shot well blocked by the Cappry defence and the visitors looked fairly composed around the hour mark and defensively very solid.
Calum Boyle made a good run just after the hour for Keadue but his shot was saved and on sixty-five minutes, following more good Keadue play, a cross from Shaun Yank Boyle was tapped onto the post by Cory Gallagher.
The visitors were still proving very hard to get past and always were dangerous on the break.
On seventy-five minutes, good combination play on the left led to Shaun Yank Boyle firing just over and despite a fair bit of possession, only one further chance fell the home side’s way with Cory Gallagher shooting wide while off balance in the last minute.
It was a very good defensive display from Cappry who never looked like losing the lead once they went ahead while for Keadue it was a defeat which puts them just above the relegation zone with plenty of work to do in the weeks ahead.
Referee: Mick Lagan.
St. Catherines 1-6 Glenea United
Two goals each from Michael Mc Hugh, Michael Barry and Ciaran Mc Geady gave Glenea a 6-0 lead after 70 minutes of this match at Emerald Park.
These three players were physically too strong and sharp for the St Catherine’s defence and fully deserved their goals.
Blustery conditions made it extremely difficult for good football and a young home team kept going till the end and got a deserved consolation goal through one of the subs, Andrew Mc Morrow who slotted home after a good one-two on 80 minutes.
Donegal Physiotherapy & Performance Centre Division Two
Dunkineely Celtic 2-4 Curragh Athletic
This game was played in windy conditions in Darnley Park, Bruckless on Saturday. Following a lively opening period during which both sides had chances it was the visitors who took the lead just before half time with a free-kick curled in to the back post and headed sweetly into the net by Tim Callaghan.
Dunkineely came out of the blocks quickly in the 2nd half and equalised from a ball over top which Paul Murrin slotted past the Curragh keeper.
Curragh took the lead again in the 75th minute when Keelan Marley fired into the right bottom corner.
Dunkineely were awarded a penalty on the 78th minute but Darragh Murrin was unable to convert the chance after the Curragh keeper got smartly down to his left to pull off an excellent save.
Curragh got their 3rd and 4th in the 80th and 83rd minutes and Dunkineely got a late goal in the 90th minute from Adrian Nesbitt.
Glenree United 0-4 Raphoe Town
In terrible weather conditions, it was the away side who collected all three points when this game ended early due to adverse wind and hail showers.
Raphoe missed their first opportunity to get on the score sheet when DJ Kelly missed from the penalty spot when the keeper made a great save. Minutes later they did get their goal when a scuffed shot deceived the goalie and ended in the net from Malcolm Spencer in the 15th minute.
Glenree had a few half chances to get back level when Daire Shields blasted his shot just wide in the 31st minute and Barney Boyce had a free kick well saved by the keeper in the 33rd minute. Raphoe got their second goal from a free kick that the wind caught in the 36th minute.
The third goal for the away side came from the penalty spot when Raymond Kelly stepped up to hit the net in the 42nd minute.
John Mc Clafferty rose highest from a Glenree corner to watch his header just miss the top corner before the half time whistle.
In the second half, the home side almost got off to the ideal start when John Mc Clafferty was fouled in the box and up stepped Barney Boyce to take the spot kick but his effort hit the crossbar in the 53rd minute.
Raphoe got their final goal from a set piece when the ball found Stuart Little unmarked and he finished well into the bottom corner in the 67th minute.
The conditions were abysmal and the referee called a halt to the match after the 70 minutes. Good team performances from both teams on the day in the weather conditions.
Referee: Liam Mc Conigley
Gweedore United 1-6 Kerrykeel ’71 F.C.
This game, played in atrocious weather conditions for football, saw a highly confident Kerrykeel side secure the points.
The home side were well on top for the opening 20 minutes and took a deserved lead when great play from Ciaran Mc Fadden was well finished by Steven Mc Fadden.
With the home side forced into early changes, the visitors got back on level terms in the 24th minute with an excellent finish from Paddy Carr. It became a scrappy affair after that with very little football played on the day in the terrible weather conditions.
The visitors added three more goals through Johnny Friel, an OG and Shaun Little in the opening half to make it 4-1 at halftime.
The visitors added two more goals in the second half with Paddy Carr and a second OG on a day where the home side gifted the points to Kerrykeel.
Referee: Seimí FerryTags: