A Garbhan Friel hat-trick propelled champions Cockhill Celtic to an impressive win at
Letterkenny Rovers 1 Cockhill Celtic 4
By Chris McNulty at the Aura Centre
Friel’s treble handed Cockhill a big win over their old rivals from the Cathedral Town with Laurence Toland also on the mark. It was Toland’s goal, Cockhill’s third, that proved so vital.
Just 30 seconds after Adrian Delap shot narrowly wide with a chance to draw Rovers level, Cockhill pounced.
Friel flicked Daniel Houghton’s goal kick into the path of Toland and the Ramelton man arrowed a fine effort to the roof of the net.
Just 45 seconds into the game, Matthew McLaughlin was penalised for a foul on Jack Doherty. Referee Marty McGarrigle pointed to the spot and Friel opened the scoring.
Chris O’Donnell got a strong connection, but was unable to keep out Friel’s effort.
Rovers equalised in the seventh minute. Delap robbed possession back on the edge of the area and Sean McBride’s shot squeezed just inside the post.
However, Cockhill regained the lead just three minutes later when Friel lobbed the advancing O’Donnell.
Rovers did have their moments in the second half, with Nathan Plum testing the reflexes of Houghton, while Simon McGlynn wasn’t too far away with another opportunity for the hosts.
Cockhill seemed well in command in the second half and Peter Doherty cannoned off the crossbar.
Corey McBride and Christy McLaughlin had chances for Cockhill, but Gavin Cullen’s men put the game to bed when Friel curled past O’Donnell.
Letterkenny Rovers: Chris O’Donnell; Matthew McLaughlin (Connor Gormley half-time), Ciaran
Kelly, Rian Aikpitanyi, Rory Gallagher; Simon McGlynn, Kevin McGrath, Gareth Doherty, Adrian
Delap; Tim Callaghan, Sean McBride (Nathan Plumb 74).
Cockhill Celtic: Daniel Houghton; Keegan Hegarty (Conor McNamee 82), Peter Doherty, Oisin
McColgan, Lee McColgan (Fionn McClure 82); Jimmy Bradley, Jack Doherty; Laurence Toland
(Stephen Duffy 65), Corey McBride (Oisin McMenamin 74), Christy McLaughlin; Garbhan Friel
(Mark Moran 82).
Referee: Marty McGarrigle.
Saturday, December 4, 2pm
Monaghan United v Finn Harps U21
Sunday, December 5, 2pm
Bonagee United v Cockhill Celtic
Letterkenny Rovers v Derry City Reserves