CASTLEFIN Celtic moved into third in the Donegal League Premier Division, while Glenea stay top of Division One and Swilly Rovers took top spot in Division Two. Here’s a recap of all of today’s Donegal League action.
Brian McCormick Sports Premier Division
Donegal Town 1 Castlefin Celtic 3
Donegal started very brightly with Ghazi, McIntyre and McKenna running at the Castlefin defence causing all sorts of bother.
Castlefin to their credit came back into the game and keeper McCafferty reacted smartly to thwart one or two Castlefin efforts. In the 30th minute, with both teams at a stalemate, a Castlefin attack created a chance for Bogan who finished smartly.
Five minutes into the second half Mc Cafferty saved a Castlefin penalty but the force of the shot saw it trickle past the net-minder.
Town to their credit never gave up and Ghazi was on the end of an excellent Town move to make it 2-1 to Castlefin. Castlefin then upped the tempo and an excellent finish from the edge of the box saw them increase their advantage. Referee: Dessie Mc Laughlin.
Cranford United 1 Keadue Rovers 1
Cranford started brightly in the first half grabbing an early lead when Kevin Doherty turned his defender inside the box to find the net after good work by Martin McBride and Eoghan Rafferty.
In the second half Keadue loaded men forward but the Cranford rearguard worked hard to limit their chances to long range shots.
The equaliser came with 15 minutes to go, a penalty awarded to the away side and Ciaran Greene powered his spot kick into the roof of the net.
Both teams pushed for a winner but it finished with a point apiece
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Drumoghill FC 1 Convoy Arsenal 4
Letterbarrow Celtic 1 Ballybofey United 1
Prior to the game a minute’s silence was observed as a mark of respect to recently deceased Claire McGroary. In near perfect conditions, this game was played at a high tempo from the first whistle. Both sides had good chances to open the scoring in the first half but the game remained scoreless at the break.
The second half was equally competitive and Ballybofey broke the deadlock on sixty minutes when Damien Glackin beat the offside trap and finished well from a good pass over the top.
The visitors pushed for a second but were denied by the excellent Karl O’Brien who saved from close range. Letterbarrow equalised on seventy minutes when Ryan O’Brien set up Gerard McBrearty who calmly finished past the advancing keeper.
Both sides had chances towards the end but it finished all square.
Griffin and Glackin were best for Ballybofey with Cian Dolan and Karl O’Brien excellent for the home side. Referee: George Clinton.
Kerrykeel ’71 F.C. 7 Lifford Celtic 1
The ‘71 kept their recent good run going with a well-deserved win over Lifford at Rab’s Park.
The home side had seven different scorers on the day which will please the management of Walsh and Sandilands. Michael Sweeney got the ball rolling on 5 minutes when he scored from ten yards after good work from Paddy Carr. Captain Marty McAteer made it two on 15 minutes with a great strike from the edge of the box.
Johnny Nanny Friel got the third and his third in two games with a brilliant header from a Mc Ateer free. On the stroke of half time it was four when Michael Sweeney had his cross tapped home by Sean Little.
Full credit to Lifford who kept pushing on and at the start of the second half Kevin McBrearty found the net with a postage stamp free kick.
Paddy Carr then scored from the spot after Johnny Nanny was taken down inside the area.
Young Evan Hewitt then made it six when he rounded the keeper to fire home and in the last five minutes Patsy Friel got his name on the score-sheet when he fired home from a brilliant Paul Friel cross. Team performance from the ’71.
Best for Lifford Mc Brearty and Caldwell. Referee: Seamie Ferry.
Gweedore Celtic 3 Rathmullan Celtic 0
Gweedore Celtic recorded their second victory on the trot when overcoming a very impressive Rathmullan team who played open, attractive football but could not convert their chances into goals. Gweedore were more clinical in front of goal and added to solid defending, they were worthy of taking all three points.
Thomas Diver got the Celts off to the perfect start, netting after six minutes after good work by Eamon McGee. They then endured a period of pressure from the away team who created most of their scoring chances from several corners.
With Donal Mac Giolla Bhríde and John Paul Gallagher combining at centre back and Cian McBride and Liam McFadden operating effectively at full back, Rathmullan found it hard to crack the Gweedore rearguard.
When they did manage to break through Michel McKelvey in goals showed his experience to keep Rathmullan at bay. A second goal before half time from Eamon Mc Gee, who was a handful all day for the away team, left Gweedore in a comfortable position.
The second half was only five minutes old when Rathmullan could have been level, the best of those chances falling to Eoin Sheridan. After that Gweedore were happy to soak up the pressure and hit on the break.
In the 60th minute the hard-working Ciaran McHugh scored the goal of the day when he beat the keeper with a shot from outside the box after good work from Eamon McGee and Colin Ferry. Eoin Sheridan was Rathmullan’s most impressive player on the day with Mc Gee, Liam Mc Fadden and Ciaran Mc Hugh best for Gweedore.
Glenea United 3 St. Catherines 2
In dry blustery conditions it was the home side that picked up another three points with this hard fought victory over the Fishermen.
St. Catherine’s playing with the aid of the strong breeze started well and took the lead within 30 seconds of kick off when Ryan Cunningham picked up a loose ball and made his way to the edge of the box and drilled the ball in off the post. The away side continued to push for another goal and Glenea were finding it difficult to get a foothold in the game.
St Catherine’s were denied on 25 minutes when Ryan Cunningham got free but his effort this time was well saved by Shaun Mc Clafferty.
As the half progressed the home side finally began to get into the game and on 35 minutes they found an equaliser through Michael Barry who was on the end of a fine cross from John McFadden.
In the second half the home side looked to continue with the upper hand but were caught out on 55 minutes when Ryan Cunningham was played in and he slotted the ball under Shaun McClafferty.
Glenea went looking for an equaliser again but were finding it hard to create a clear cut chance. Eventually they found an equaliser from a John McFadden free kick on 68 minutes.
On 75 minutes the away side were handed a chance to take the lead again from the penalty spot but Ryan Cunningham’s effort was well saved by Shaun McClafferty.
Just as a the game looked like ending in a draw looked St Catherine’s failed to deal with a Glenea free-kick and Sean McBride was on hand to force the ball home from close to give Glenea victory. Best for Glenea were Darragh Breen & John McFadden, while Ryan Cunningham was a danger throughout for St Catherine’s.
Referee: Barry Hunter.
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Glenree United 2 Dunkineely Celtic 1
Glenree got a well-deserved first league win of the season after a great team effort against a dogged Dunkineely side.
It was all Glenree in the opening exchanges. Glenree won a corner kick in the fifth minute and John McClafferty reacted the quickest to fire past the keeper and find the net. Glenree didn’t hold their lead long as Dunkineely equalised in the 9th minute against the run of play when Shaun Murrin lobbed the keeper from 18 yards after some good build up play.
The home-side reacted well with Daire Shields, Cathal McGinley and Hugh O’Donnell all having good efforts saved by the goalie to keep it all square. Glenree did regain their lead in the 38th minute when the keeper was forced into an error which the striker capitalised on to hit the net.
Dunkineely almost levelled the match for a second time only for a fine one handed save from John Manus Caldwell to force it wide. In the second half Glenree started very impressive creating numerous chances but not capitalising on them. Ruairi Friel was having a strong game running the show in the middle of the park and linking play up.
The home-side introduced Marty Mc Laughlin for the closing 20 minutes. Glenree had two more efforts cleared off the line. The Glenree front man then pulled a great save out of the keeper when it looked bound for the top corner. Dunkineely kept plugging away until the final whistle but Glenree saw it out and got their first three points of the season and a deserved victory.
Referee: Sean O’Donnell
Gweedore United 3 Lagan Harps 2
This game, played on a crisp afternoon in Carrickboyle saw the home side come away with the three points following a tight encounter. In the opening half it was a tight affair with chances at both ends. In the 18th minute the visitors took the lead when Rory Crawford headed in from close range following a corner.
This goal spurred the home side on and they saw great efforts by Ciaran and Stephen McFadden well saved by Carberry in the Lagan nets. In the 36th minute Stephen Mc Fadden made it 1-1 when he tapped in from close range following good build up play and a good pass from Ciaran McFadden.
In the second half United upped the tempo and Stephen Mc Fadden made it 2-1 with a great individual run and finish in the 58th minute.
The home side continued to dominate and went 3-1 up when Niall Friel shot from 12 yards into the bottom corner in the 68th minute. Lagan had other ideas and pushed hard to pull one back and they got their second goal in the 76th minute when Damien Nelis finished well following a defensive mix up.
Lagan put the United defence under pressure in the final quarter of an hour however the home side held out. Damien Nelis and John Rodgers played well for Lagan with Conor Mc Fadden and Stephen McFadden excelling for the home side. Referee: Gerard Devine.
Swilly Rovers 2 Curragh Athletic 0
The game started brightly for both teams. On 16 minutes Dylan Hegarty hit a speculative ball into the box that sailed straight over the goalie into the net putting the hosts one up.
On 39 minutes Swilly doubled their lead when Oisin Coyle threaded a wonderful ball through to Leon Boyce who clinically dispatched the ball into the corner of the net. The second period saw Curragh have an impressive opening 20 minutes, winning six corners on the trot without creating any chance of note.
The introduction of Tyler Durning and Ronan Doherty stabilised Swilly for last 15 minutes. Mickey O’Brien had exceptional game for Curragh.
Raphoe Town 2 Whitestrand United 1
Roy Duffy was the hero for Raphoe Town on Sunday, making a super penalty save late in the game as Shane Dolan’s team took victory against Whitestrand United.
The visitors, who came into the game top of the table, went ahead when Kevin Loughrey seized on an error in the Raphoe defence to score. However the lead was short-lived and Corey Gillen scored a header from a fine Zak Brolly cross to level things up.
The home side were well on top in the first half and could have added another when Oliver Quinn missed with a header from close range, but they did go into the break in the lead thanks to a super free-kick from Zak Brolly.
Both teams had chances in the second half and Whitestrand must have thought they’d sealed at least a point when they were awarded a late penalty for handball. Roy Duffy saved brilliantly from the spot-kick and even though Raphoe finished the game with ten men, they held on to take a valuable three points.