THE four Brian McCormick Cup Area Shields are beginning to hot up with the standings starting to take real shape – here’s a roundup of today’s action across the Donegal Junior League.
Brian McCormick Cup-Area Shields
Ballybofey United 1 Donegal Town 5
The visitors got an early lead through Ryan O’Brien as the game started on an even keel.
United looked capable of getting back on level terms but went further behind when Joe Mc Intyre got Donegal Town’s second from the penalty spot.
Two nil wasn’t really a fair reflection at this stage and Ballybofey deservedly got one back on the half-hour mark.
The ever threatening Daithí Mc Mahon raced in behind the Donegal Town defence and calmly slid the ball past the visiting keeper after he was sent through by Michael Lafferty.
That’s how it remained until the break. Again the second-half started as the first, both sides looking capable of added to their tallies. It was Donegal Town who assumed to high ground, getting a third after a right-wing move and a fourth, this time after a move that started with their left-back taking a throw-in and a cross from the left being converted at the back post.
This double strike took the wind from the Ballybofey sails and they couldn’t find a way back into the match. Donegal added another before the end to complete the win. Scorers for Donegal Town were Ryan O’ Brien, Joe Mc Intyre (2) and Ronan Mc Hugh (2).
Cappry Rovers 8 Curragh Athletic 1
Cappry started brightly and went 1-0 when Alan Gethins scored from a Paddy McNulty pass. Cappry made it 2-0 when McNulty finished a Jamie Murray cross.
McNulty added a 3rd shortly afterwards when he finished off a fine team move.
Curragh didn’t give in and got a goal back through Jason Sweeney. Cappry restored their three-goal advantage when Paddy McNulty completed his hat-trick.
Cappry kept pressing and got their fifth when Paddy Mc Nulty finished well. Cappry started the second-half strong and Paddy Mc Nulty got his fifth goal of the game. Cappry added to their goal tally when Gary Dunnion headed home from a corner. Sean Mc Bride finished off the scoring with a good finish from just inside the box.
Drumkeen United 2 Letterbarrow Celtic 0
Drumkeen hosted Letterbarrow at the Deele College Pitch in Raphoe on Sunday and it was the hosts who claimed a hard-earned victory over the visitors from South Donegal. This game was scoreless at half-time.
Drumkeen could have been three or four goals ahead but they found Goalkeeper Cathal Charlton and the Letterbarrow defence in good form. Letterbarrow survived a few anxious moments at the start of the second-half.
Drumkeen kept the pressure on and finally broke the deadlock after 57 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Michael Guthrie. Guthrie himself stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake as he calmly stroked it home past Charlton in the Letterbarrow goal.
At the other end Letterbarrow had a strong penalty claim waved away by referee Colm McConigley, much to the relief of the Drumkeen supporters. Drumkeen then had to make a change as young Niall Sweeney had to go off to be replaced by Nigel Hegarty.
Although this was a forced substitution it proved to be an inspired one as Hegarty was hardly on the field a minute when the ball fell to him and he caught it perfectly from forty yards out and it flew into the Letterbarrow net giving Charlton no chance.
Michael Guthrie and Eoghan Kennedy both had chances to add a third but Guthrie put his effort over the bar and Kennedy fired wide. Letterbarrow didn’t give up and battled away and could have made things interesting with about five minutes left but Des McGroarty saw his effort go just wide.
St. Catherines 5 Dunkineely Celtic 0
No sunshine in Emerald Park but this local Derby kept us all well entertained for 90 minutes. Conor O’Rourke settled the home side early with a superb solo run through the Dunkineely defence to make it 1-0 with four minutes on the clock .
Dunkineely held their own for large portions of the first-half and super strikes from distance from Arron Mc Shane and young O’ Shea rattled off the crossbar and away from danger.
Ryan Farrell was causing major trouble down the left and his darting runs paid off as he put his pass on a plate for Dan O’Keeney to make it 2-0 on the stroke of half time. Dunkineely rallied again at the start of the second-half and again the Saints’ crossbar did them no favours when a delightful chip from Adrian Nesbit beat the keeper but not the woodwork.
The home team made a few substitutions and one of these was a young Kyle McGeoghan, two super assists from him from the left on 70 and 75 minutes saw Dan Breslin and Donal Mc Guire slot home respectively 4-0.
Man of the Match Ryan Farrell got his just rewards on 85 minutes, a super-strike into the roof of the Dunkineely net completing a 5-0 victory for St. Catherines. Tony Mc Namee awarded a penalty on 86 minutes which sailed over bar from the right boot of Dan Breslin.
Jamie Kelly was unlucky to pick the ball out of his net five times as the young keeper pulled off some great saves during the course of the game.
Cranford United 2 Gweedore United 5
Gweedore United left Cranford Park with the three points following a deserved victory. Cranford took the lead after five minutes from a Danny McBride strike. It was even for the next fifteen minutes until Gweedore scored two quick-fire goals to go in 2-1 up at the break.
Gweedore scored fifteen minutes into the second-half and Cranford seemed to give the game up as they conceded two more and were 5-1 down with twenty-five minutes to go.
Cranford got one back from a Chris Duffy free-kick and began to get back into the game and had multiple chances to score but couldn’t take them.
Gweedore Celtic 0 Glenea United 3
A young and inexperienced Gweedore team found it hard going against a well organised Glenea team at An Screaban on Sunday. Glenea hit the front on ten minutes through Lee O’Brien and when John McFadden doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time with a strike from 20 yards it was always going to be an uphill struggle for the home team in the second half.
They went at the Glenea defence in the second half but with Sean Coll controlling matters it was never easy for the Celts. Jamie Doherty, Ciaran Mc Hugh and Ryan Doherty did their utmost to break the Glenea rearguard but their efforts were in vain. At the other end Glenea, with Lee O’Brien and John McFadden, looked always dangerous but Fiachra Coyle, Colin Mc Nicholls, Shaun Gallagher, Ryan Greene and goalkeeper Ciaran Ferry all did their best to restrict Glenea to one second half goal.
A well-directed Sean Coll free-kick was powerfully headed to the net in the 75th minute to seal the victory for the away team.
Kilmacrennan Celtic 8 Glenree United 0
It was all Kilmacrennan from the first whistle as the home side ran out 8-0 winners. Kilmacrennan’s first attack resulted in a penalty when Kevin Kelly was fouled in the area and Chrissy Flanagan converted the spot kick.
Ridha Abduhlla got the second after good play between himself and Liam Mc Bride. Mc Bride then struck to make it 3-0.
Garry Gorman came on for James Doherty on 40 minutes and scored just before the break. The home side continued in the same vain in a second-half that saw Eoin Brown, Paul Bradley, Chrissy Flanagan and Michael McLaughlin get on the scoresheet.
Bonagee United 0 Swilly Rovers 2
Marty McDaid, for the visitors, saw his strike from twenty yards saved by Carr in the home goal on five minutes. The visitors went ahead on fifteen minutes when McDaid headed home from ten yards from a James McCahill cross from the right.
Seven minutes later James Mc Cahill saw his header from six yards hit the post and cleared by a defender. The remainder of the first half was scrappy and both sides had half chances and strikes on goal but nothing to bother the keepers.
On 49 minutes an Eamon Cannon free-kick into the Swilly box was met by the head of Peter Carr but his header from ten yards was brilliantly saved by Blaney in the visitor’s goal.
On 55 minutes Swilly got their second when a corner from the left into the box was cleared to the edge of the box only to fall to Anthony Fisher and his shot flew into the roof of the net.
Peter Carr saw his header from an Arron Wasson cross come off the crossbar on the hour. The visitors were always a threat and Marty McDaid and Mc Cahill had a few good strikes on goal but Carr was in fine form.
On 76 minutes a Cameron Gormley corner was headed just wide of the Bonagee post by Damien Friel. On 84 minutes a Ryan McGavigan corner was headed wide of the Swilly post from ten yards by Sergi Alcorn.
Three minutes later a corner by the visitors was headed wide of the post from six yards by Shaun Crossan. T
Fanad United 2 Milford United 1
Fanad United came from behind to defeat local rivals Milford United 2-1 on Sunday. Played in ideal conditions, Fanad had the first effort on goal in the fifth minute when Keelin McElwaine collected the ball on the edge of the box but his well hit effort produced a superb save from Caolan Mc Gettigan. It was Milford who took the lead in the 10th minute after a period of pressure.
When a free from out on the right was parried by the Fanad keeper, Lorcan Friel pounced to score from close range. Two minutes later Mark Wilson missed a good chance to put Milford further ahead when he shot over when well placed.
Fanad started to apply pressure and in the 35th minute Caolan Mc Gettigan produced another fine save to deny Keelin McElwaine. Five minutes before the break Fanad equalised when Ryan Langan collected a ball from Keelin Mc Elwaine and fired home.
In the second minute of the second-half Ryan Langan produced a great turn in the box only for McGettigan to make a point-blank save. Fanad then went ahead in the 55th minute when, after some good play involving Dylan Dorrian and Keelin McElwaine, Ryan Langan fired into the bottom corner. Ten minutes later Colm Mc Gonigle missed a chance to extend the lead when he shot over the bar.
The last chance of the game fell to Fanad captain Paddy McGinley when he rattled the cross bar with a thumping header from a Mc Elwaine corner.
Letterkenny Rovers 2 Rathmullan Celtic 1
Letterkenny Rovers remain unbeaten in this season’s Group Stages of the Brian Mc Cormick Cup after a hard fought 2-1 win over Rathmullan Celtic on Sunday afternoon at Leckview Park. It was a case of the early and the late, as goals from Brandon Ndlovu on two minutes and Daire Morrison in injury time won it for the home side who are now top of the Area Section on their own but will need two big results in their remaining two games to qualify for the Area-Final as the section is really bunched up behind them.
The large crowd were barely settled in their seats when Rovers went ahead on two minutes when an Adam Yisaus cross was headed home by Brandon Ndlovu past a stranded Roy Duffy in the visitor’s goal. Rathmullan came into the game as the half wore on and had an excellent chance to level when Kevin Doran got in behind the defence but saw his effort well saved by Blake Forkan who was excellent between the sticks for Rovers.
Rathmullan though did draw level on the half hour mark when Dara Patton converted from the spot after Eddie Moore was penalised by referee Barry Hunter for a foul on the lively David Edwards. The Seasiders steeped up the pressure towards the end of the half and Patton saw his well hit free-kick saved by Forkan on 43 minutes as the sides were level at the break.
The second half was a tame affair until the 70th minute when Eddie Moore went close with a header from a well delivered Nathan Plumb free-kick and just two minutes later there were penalty shouts for a handball and a foul in the Rathmullan penalty box with Roy Duffy forced to make a cracking stop from Morrison during what turned into a lengthy goalmouth scramble which also saw sub Toby Akinyimika come close.
Adam Yisau then started to cause bother for the Hoops’ defence and forced Duffy into two super stops while Ronan Curran on 75 minutes could only wonder what might have been as his rasper from distance was met with a fine stop from the in-form Duffy.
Rathmullan saw a goal ruled out for off-side as the game looked set to finish even until a well worked corner routine saw Plumb’s delivery finally find Morrison and he shot home from close range much to the delight of the vociferous home support.
The win for Rovers sets them up nicely as they play second placed Swilly Rovers next weekend.
Whitestrand United 3 Kerrykeel ’71 0
(No Report Available)
Castlefin Celtic 2 Convoy Arsenal 2
Castlefin and Convoy shared the spoils from an entertaining game at Park View. The first half was a close affair with limited clear cut chances, Chris Bryson and Ronan Tourish going closest for Castlefin and Joe McGill going close for Convoy.
The second-half produced the goals. In the 52nd minute the visitors took the lead, a JP Malley shot deflected into the path of McGill who finished well. This prompted a strong response from the hosts, a scramble in the box following a corner and Matthew O’Rourke reacted quickest to stab home.
The home side continued to apply the pressure and were rewarded when good build up play involving Ian Ward and Tourish who found O’Rourke who turned and half-volleyed a shot into the back of the net with fifteen minutes left to play. The home side continued to dominate and had further opportunities through Tourish, Jordan Mc Kinney and Aaron O’Hagan but they failed to convert.
In the dying minutes of injury-time Convoy stole a point when Darren McElwaine poked home a rebound after a Gavin Sweeney shot.
Deele Harps 0 Drumoghill F.C. 1
Deele travelled to ‘The Moss’ for this fixture and came away empty handed from a hard-fought contest. Deele started brightest and in the second minute Jordy Duffy flashed a 20-yard strike just wide following good approach work from Paul Lynch and Shane Gallagher.
Deele should have taken the lead on 12 minutes when a ball over the top sent Shane Gallagher through on goal but the recovering defender did enough to ensure Gallagher’s shot went over the bar. David Arthur was called into action on 23 minutes, saving a long-range effort with ease.
Conor Mc Gurn was tricky for Deele down the right-wing and he went close, cutting in on his left foot and firing into the side net on 26 minutes.
On 33 minutes a Drumoghill set-piece looked to have been dealt with but an improvised header 15-yards from goal by Lee Smyth looped into the net for what proved to be the only goal of the game.
The second-half was an even contest, Gareth Hamilton should have scored on 60 minutes but headed wide when free in the box.
Shane Gallagher had a strike on goal which was comfortably saved by the Drumoghill keeper. Drumoghill took the victory in the end.
Lagan Harps 0 Kildrum Tigers 3
Lagan put up a great battle against Premier League side Kildrum before their quality told in the end. Lagan went close on 12 minutes when Shay Harkin crashed a shot off the crossbar. Kildrum replied with Luke Toland shooting just over.
Kevin McHugh and Oran Higgins forced good saves from Frank Carberry. Shane Porter then had a shot cleared off the line by Ciaran Cunningham. The second half was equally well contested. Lagan had an opportunity to take the lead when Shay Harkin had a shot blocked but Noel Donnelly didn’t get enough power on his follow up strike.
Kildrum took the lead on 65 minutes when Damien Crossan rose high to head home in a Gary Crossan free.
They got a second when Aaron O’Donnell reacted quickly to knock home a rebound. Lagan had a chance to pull one back when Bernard McMenamin got in a great cross but Jack Canning just failed to get a touch.
Kildrum got their third in injury time when Gary Crossan swept home a Kevin Mc Hugh cross.