The new season in the Donegal Junior League is up and running and Sunday saw ten matches played in the four areas with another game fixed for Monday night in Orchard Park, Convoy, where the local Arsenal host Raphoe Town in this reversed fixture.
Forty-One goals were scored on what was an ideal day for outdoor sports activity. Orchard Park, Manorcunningham, was the venue for Lagan Harps’ match against Kerrykeel ’71 F.C. and what a battle it turned out to be.
Nine goals in total as the advantage swung one way then the other.
Brian Mc Cormick Cup holders, Keadue Rovers, are safely through to the next round after they defeated Cranford United with the only goal of the game.
Last year’s beaten finalists, Milford United, are out. They found Whitestrand United on tune when they visited Mc Garvey Park.
Sunday 25th August 2019
Brian Mc Cormick Cup – Area Shields
Curragh Athletic 0 Castlefin Celtic 5
Castlefin progressed to the Area Semi-Final courtesy of a comprehensive win over Curragh Athletic at The Oaktree Complex.
The visitors led 2-0 at the break and never looked in danger as they added three second half goals.
Lifford Celtic 1 Deele Harps 0
(No Report Submitted)
Gweedore Celtic 1 Glenea United 3
Glenea won this local derby, defeating the home team to progress to the next round of Cup. Glenea struck first through Micheal Barry.
They increased their lead just before the break with a Martin Mc Guire shot being helped to the net off a Gweedore defender.
The game was settled as a contest in the 58th minute with a Luke Mc Carry effort. The home team did pull one back when Sean Paul Gallagher headed home. Best for Gweedore was Micheal Roarty and a team performance from Glenea.
Referee: Liam Mc Loughlin.
Cranford United 0 Keadue Rovers 1
Cranford lost out to Keadue in a tight game in which the visitors scored late to progress. It was a tight affair throughout. Keadue had the majority of the ball throughout but chances were at a premium in the 1st half.
Cranford came out brighter in the second half with Naoise Cullen putting in a power of work in the Cranford midfield, breaking up the Keadue play.
Philip Buchanan was unlucky on two occasions from outside the box with efforts just wide. Jason Hegarty then pulled off a good save.
With fifteen minutes to go, Kyle Mc Fadden had a great effort from inside the box but the Keadue keeper somehow pulled off a world-class save.
Cranford rued a few missed chances when Keadue got the winner from a free-kick with five to go. Great performance all round from the lads who were missing a lot of players.
Glenree United 1 Gweedore United 5
From this first-round game in the Brian Mc Cormick Cup, it was the away side who progressed to next stage. Gweedore had the better chances in the game with David Ladley pulling off a few top saves to deny the strikers.
Gweedore got off the mark in the 19th minute when a through ball found Ciaran Mc Fadden who finished well from 12 yards.
The away team got their second goal in the 35th minute when a cross from the right-winger deceived everyone and ended up in the back of the net.
In the second half, the away team got their third of the game when Paul Gildea finished well from six yards.
Glenree got a lifeline in the 60th minute when they were awarded a penalty which debutant Martin Mc Gee dispatched with power past the keeper.
The game started to swing in Glenree’s favour for a period and the addition of Daniel Mc Groddy helped to add a bit of guile.
Glenree had a big opportunity to get another goal back through Marty McLaughlin but a good save from the goalie kept his side ahead.
Gweedore weathered the storm and they ended Glenree’s chances of a comeback when Kieran Mc Cafferty did well to hold off a few challenges to shoot past the keeper in the 86th minute. Gweedore got their final goal in the 90th minute when a defensive mistake let the striker clean through to finish the game.
Best for Glenree were Ultan Mc Groddy, Neil Martin and Dugy Mc Glone. Best for Gweedore was Ciaran McFadden.
Referee: Diego Rainey
Dunkineely Celtic 0 Cappry Rovers 5
This game was played in excellent conditions with only a light breeze which favoured Dunkineely in the 1st half. Cappry Rovers started the stronger and put Dunkineely under sustained pressure for a long period without reward, Dunkineely had their chances but failed to convert.
Another period of pressure from Cappry reaped its reward from a fine move down the left side which was converted by Barney McLaughlin.
Both sides had their chances but the score remained unchanged at halftime. Cappry started well in the 2nd half and kept Dunkineely firmly in their own half for periods and the 2nd goal came shortly afterwards. Dunkineely fought on but could not match Cappry for pace and three more goals were added before the end.
Goalscorers for Cappry were Barney McLaughlin (2), Sean McBride (2) and Alan Getins (1). Best for Dunkineely was Corey Byrne in the Dunkineely goal who pulled off several excellent saves.
Donegal Town L v L Letterbarrow Celtic
Donegal Town defeated Letterbarrow Celtic in this evening kick-off at the Hospital Field. Noel Gavigan got the all-important goal for the ‘Town’.
Ballybofey United 1 Drumkeen United 0
Ballybofey United are safely through to the next round of the Brian Mc Cormick Cup. The reigning Donegal Area Champions had to work hard for their victory however against a resolute Drumkeen United.
The game’s only goal came on thirty minutes when Jude Patton stole in at the back post to convert a left-wing cross. Ballybofey United had goalkeeper Chris Patton to thank when he saved a last minute penalty. Referee: Marty Mc Garrigle.
Rathmullan Celtic 2 Bonagee United 2
(Bonagee won 4-3 on Penalties)
Rathmullan Celtic welcomed Bonagee United to the Seaside in the curtain raiser of the season in the Brian McCormick Cup. After an exhilarating 90 minutes both sides could not be separated with the ensuing extra time proving similar but it was the visitors who advanced to the area semi-final with a 4-3 victory in the penalty shootout.
The Hoops completely dominated the opening half hour as their preseason training paid off and deservedly took the lead with a Reggie Miller thunderbolt header into the top corner on 32 minutes.
However, on the stroke of half time, Bonagee levelled following a corner which produced a fine save from Shaun Gallagher but forward Patrick Doherty was on hand to head home.
The Hoops took the game once again to the visitors and took the lead on the hour mark following great work from Adam Salhi who put a great through ball to Mark Wilson who dinked the ball exquisitely over the advancing Bonagee keeper much to the plaudits of the Seaside faithful.
Once again the visitors were right back in contention on 70 minutes when their centre forward Aidan McLaughlin finished a fine through ball past Gallagher to square this thrilling cup tie up. The game ebbed and flowed for the remaining quarter and indeed, extra time prove similar with nothing to separate both sides. The best chance of the exchanges fell to Hoops skipper Eoin Sheridan who saw his strike inside the area cleared off the line just before half time in the opening period of extra time.
The dreaded penalties ensured with Bonagee claiming the winning penalty in a 4-3 victory to advance to the area semi-final, while the Hoops can take much heart from their opening game of the season, with their overall their display. Referee: Joe McHugh
Drumoghill F.C. 1 Swilly Rovers 0
Swilly Rovers’ return to the Donegal League got off to a disappointing start as they lost by the narrowest of margins to Drumoghill thanks to Jason Doherty’s second half penalty.
Doherty slammed home the winner from the spot on 51minutes after Con Mc Laughlin had penalised a handball inside the box. Swilly though had their chances and Drumoghill had to rely on several crucial saves to preserve the lead and secure their passage into the area semi-final.
Whitestrand United 5 Milford United 2
Whitestrand United took on Milford United in the first match of the new season at Mc Garvey Park. Whitestrand started well and had much of the early running. They took the lead mid-way through the first half when Kevin Loughrey crossed and Kevin Mc Carry converted.
The second goal came from an excellent through ball which Aaron Curran ran on to and calmly chipped it over the keeper with a superb first time shot. Whitestrand went in at half time two up.
Whitestrand extended their lead early in the second half when Liam O’ Riordan ran through and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Whitestrand scored again when Aaron Curran scored his second superb goal when he took the ball on the edge of the area and placed the ball into the top corner.
Milford came back into the game with two quick-fire goals but Whitestrand killed any thoughts of a comeback when Liam O’ Riordan nicked the ball off the keeper and calmly slotted home. Best for the Whitestrand was Aaron Curran.
Lagan Harps 5 Kerrykeel ’71 F.C. 4
Lagan and Kerrykeel served up a real humdinger in Orchard Park. Kerrykeel dominated for long spells but Lagan hung in. Graham Edge put Jason Burke in to open the scoring for Lagan on thirty minutes. The second half exploded into life when Paddy Carr equalised for Kerrykeel on fifty-five minutes. Michael Sweeney then put Kerrykeel ahead before Richard Gordon equalised from a free.
Jason Burke seized on a defensive error to put Lagan 3-2 ahead. Marty Mc Ateer equalised from a free before Jason Burke raced clear to put Lagan 4-3 ahead. Marty Mc Ateer equalised again before Jason Burke won it for Lagan with an eighty-eight minute penalty.
For Lagan Shane Meehan, Jack Canning, Richard Gordon and Jason Burke were outstanding. Marty Mc Ateer, Evan Hewitt and Paddy Carr were excellent for Kerrykeel.
Referee: Gerard Devine.
Monday 26th August 2019
Brian Mc Cormick Cup – Area Shields K.O. 8 p.m.
Raphoe Town v Convoy Arsenal