Buncrana Hearts’ title hopes received a massive boost on Sunday as they won the battle of the top two in the Premier Division, defeating Moville Celtic 2-0.
Sunday, March 26th
Jackie Crossan Premier Division
Moville Celtic 0, Buncrana Hearts 2
With the league title at stake it was understandable that the opening half would be a nervous scrappy affair.
In the 10th minute Moville’s Michael McNaught headed wide when well placed but the visitors got a grip of the game after that. Jamie McDaid headed one chance over the bar following a corner. Kieran McDaid then went on a mazy run past two defenders but fired just wide.
Before the interval at the other end Puaric Skelly had a late chance but his header flashed narrowly wide.
Again there was nothing between the teams on the restart but the complexion of the game changed on the hour. Matthew Brown charged into the area and was upended allowing Kieran McDaid to slot the ball low to Taylor Clarke’s left hand side and open the scoring.
Moville tried to respond with a Ryan McColgan effort from distance saved by Rory Kelly.
On 75 minutes McDaid skipped past a few tackles before finding Jamie McDaid who turned his marker and fired into the bottom corner. Moville had the final chance but an Emmet Friel effort was saved by Rory Kelly as Buncrana gained a huge victory in pursuit of the league title.
Glengad United 2, Aileach FC 1
Aileach had the first chance of the game in the 10th minute after a long ball from Thomas McMonagle found his brother Darren whose low shot from the edge of the area was well saved by Ciaran Gallagher.
The home side took the lead on 22 minutes after a Matthew Byrne ball over the top found Terence Doherty who beat two defenders and fired a superb effort to the bottom corner.
Aileach had a lot of possession then until the break with Gavin Doherty’s long range effort saved by Gallagher who also saved a Caoimhin McFeely effort.
On the stroke of half-time Darren McMoangle calmly converted a penalty after Caoimhin McFeely had been upended in the area.
But Glengad regained the lead ten minutes after the restart when John G Mclaughlin converted a penalty after a hand ball in the area.
Aileach replied and good combination between Aaron Nash and substitute Dermot Doherty ended with Nash’s shot brilliantly saved by Gallagher.
Glengad were unlucky then after a Ryan McLaughlin cross fell to Joe Doherty whose first time effort crashed off the bar. At the other end Denver Kelly played Nash through on goal but Gallagher advanced smartly to smother at his feet.
The home side had the final chance of the game when substitute Matthew Mooney’s cross found Terence Doherty whose effort was brilliantly saved by Matthew Gallagher.
Greencastle FC 0, Illies Celtic 2
In a lively opening Nigel McMonagle fired just over from the edge of the area.
But Illies responded and both Brendan and Ethan Doherty headed wide when unmarked inside the area. In the 18th minute McMonagle’s cross found Brenan Moore whose header drew a brilliant save from Johnathan Noone in the visitors goal.
Moore then fired over before Brendan McClenaghan was also denied by another good save from Noone.
Illies ended the half well and Paul Doherty got clear of the home defence but shot over.
They broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time after home keeper Conor Browne pushed out an inswinging corner but Brendan Grant was on hand to slot home from five yards.
In the early exchanges of the second half Grant had an effort deflected away by a defender while the home side’s Nathan Harkin saw a close range effort blocked.
Illies then doubled their lead in the 55th minute after substitute Liam Doherty beat a defender and crossed from the left for Grant to sidefoot home from five yards.
Greencastle upped the tempo and Moore’s header produced a stunning finger tip save onto the bar by Noone and when the rebound fell to McMonagle he fired wide.
Moore then saw another cross pick out Michael Barr whose goal-bound header was turned around the post by Noone at full stretch.
Their final chance came in the 85th minute after great play from Harkin saw him evade three challenges before feeding Barr but once again Noone saved.
Strand Hotel Division One
Aileach Res 0, Greencastle Res 2
Greencastle got the perfect start to this game in the second minute when Puaric Gillen crossed for Luke Bradley to slot home at the back post. Aileach responded and when Keith McColgan crossed Stephen Doherty’s shot was well saved by Dean Mason.
Stephen O Donnell then went on a solo run past two Greencastle defenders but fired wide when well placed.
On the half hour the visitors went close again after Gillen unleashed an effort which crashed off the underside of the bar and was cleared to safety.
Aileach had the final chance of the half when Darren Bradley broke clear but his attempted chip sailed just over the crossbar.
The home side had the first opportunity of the second half as well with O’Donnell robbing a defender and advancing into the area but he failed to hit the target.
McColgan then set up Benny Hegarty but his effort was saved by Mason.
Greencastle were always dangerous on the break and Bradley raced clear but drove wide of the far post when well placed.
With the home side pushing in the closing stages the visitors broke with Gillen sealing the points with a superb twenty yards strike which went in off the underside of the bar.
Hannon Greene Insurances Fr O Gara Cup Quarter Finals
Carn Res 1, Redcastle United 1 (AET)
Carn Res win 4-2 pens
Carn Res created a cup upset as the Division Two side sent First Division Redcastle packing from the cup at St Patrick’s Park in dry sunny conditions.
It was Redcastle who started the game brightest without really troubling Carn keeper Daniel McDaid.
The best chance of the first half was Redcastle midfielder Shaun Curran’s half volley from 30 yards out which had to be tipped onto the crossbar by Carn keeper McDaid.
Carn came close just before half time when Daire Tully dragged a shot wide from fifteen yards. The second half was a more even affair.
On 67 minutes Redcastle midfielder Kevin Doherty was shown a second yellow card for a late tackle on Carn midfielder Tiernan Doherty.
From the resulting free kick Dayton Cooke’s effort curled narrowly wide and left of Michael McCole’s goal.
Carn then found themselves down to ten men when striker Nathan McConologue was also shown a second yellow.
Redcastle almost won it right at the death after Curran hit the post from a free kick from 20 yards.
The teams couldn’t be separated so it went to extra time. After a nervy first half of extra time it was Redcastle who took the lead. A great run from Allan Clarke to the front post ended with him flicking the ball past the helpless McDaid from ten yards.
A couple of minutes before the end Carn got themselves level. A flick on from Tiernan Doherty fell to the feet of Conor McLaughin who finished smartly from twelve yards out.
In the shootout home keeper McDaid emerged the hero saving two spot kicks and it was Christy Doherty (K) who stepped up and slotted home the winning kick.
Cockhill Res 3, Carn FC 1
This game started at a frantic pace and it was Cockhill Reserves who took the match to the recently crowned Division One champions in the early stages.
However it was Carn who took the lead on 10 minutes with their first real opportunity when Cian Burke turned sharply on to the loose ball to squeeze the ball under Cockhill’s Darragh O’Donnell.
Cockhill responded well to going behind and deservedly got back on level terms on 25 minutes. Dean O’Donnell drove into the Carn box and looked set to score before being brought down from behind. Mason McDaid showed great composure from the spot to send Kyle Harkin the wrong way to level the match up.
Carn had the last chance of the half as Michael McDermott latched on to a deep free kick at the back post but his well struck effort was superbly saved by Darragh O’Donnell.
Carn started the second half brightly, forcing Cockhill back but without creating any clear cut chances.
On 55 minutes, a quick counter attack by Cockhill saw Dylan McDaid break free down the left and he picked out Sean Bradley’s run from midfield who finished first time low past Kyle Harkin to edge Cockhill in front.
Carn replied and almost levelled the match up but a great block by Mason McDaid denied Cian Burke an equaliser.
As Carn pushed on looking for a way back into this cup tie Cockhill broke quickly again. Marc Doherty looked certain to score after being teed up by Shane McLaughlin but his shot was parried out by Kyle Harkin. However, McLaghlin had kept his run going and followed up the rebound to make it three one to Cockhill.
Carn threw everything at the young Cockhill side in the closing stages but they showed great composure to see the game out to reach the semi final.
Glengad Res 1, Rashenny FC 3
Rashenny started this game the better and on 11 minutes a Damien Friel snapshot from ten yards was well saved by Michael McLaughlin in the home goal.
Midway through the half they had another chance after Cormac Dillon outpaced a defender but saw his low effort again saved.
Before the break the home side saw a Matthew Mooney corner met by the head of Calvin White but Gavin McLaughlin superbly turned the ball away from danger.
Glengad then stunned the Division 2A leaders on 55 minutes when Caolan McColgan crossed from the right to White whose low effort was well parried by McLaughlin but Mooney was on hand to slot home from six yards.
The introduction of substitutes Ryan Doherty and David McLaughlin turned the game on its head. McLaughlin found Friel at the back post but his point blank range effort was brilliantly saved by the home keeper.
Rashenny got back on terms on 75 minutes after a McLaughlin cross was converted at the back post by Ryan Doherty.
Within minutes Glengad went close to regaining the lead with a Jason Doherty free which was saved at full stretch by Gavin McLaughlin.
At the tother end Rashenny took the lead through McLaughlin. With Glengad pushing hard in the closing minutes the visitors broke and McLaughlin raced clear to round the keeper and slot home his second of the game to send Rashenny to the semi finals.
Dunree United 2, Clonmany Res 1 (AET)
In a very tight first half Dunree created the opening chance when an Adam Barrett back heel found Bernie Doherty but he failed to hit the target when well placed.
Midway through the half the visitors had a great opportunity when Jamie Coyle got in behind the home defence but fired wide of the far post.
Before the break the home side came closest to breaking the deadlock when Bernie Doherty dispossessed a defender turned and unleashed a well struck effort which cannoned off the bar. The second half began in a similar fashion and it was the hour mark before an effort on goal was registered when the visitors’ Niall Mclaughlin curled a shot from the edge of the area just over the bar.
Dunree made the breakthrough on 71 minutes after Bernie Doherty beat two defenders and pulled the ball back for Tommy Mulhern to sidefoot home.
The home side then spurned a gilt edged opportunity to increase their lead when Jamie Brosnan blazed a penalty over the bar after Benny McDaid had been tripped in the box .
They paid the price in the 85th minute when Liam Hirrell headed home from six yards to send the game into extra time.
The first period saw no goalmouth action at either end. But minutes into the second period Clonmany’s Coyle broke clear in a one on one only for Adam Harrigan to save well.
Then with five minutes remaining Dunree struck for the winner when Mulhern controlled well inside the area before drilling low to the corner from twelve yards.
Dunree are the only First Division team remaining in the competition and will travel to Division Two leaders Rashenny in the semi final.
Inish Engineering Division Two A
Culdaff Res 2, Illies Res 3
Played under the lights in good conditions on Saturday the home side started well and took the lead after Niall McLaughlin pounced from close range after Jack McLaughlin had picked him out with a low cross from the left.
It got better for the home side then Jack McLaughlin controlled a Sean McGrenaghan diagonal ball and volleyed past Ciaran Sharkey.
Illies then got a goal back when Liam O Connor’s ball over the top found Ronan Hegarty who expertly hooked the ball over Dermot Callaghan to the net .
Illies got back on level terms on the hour mark after a handball in the area allowed Oran Doherty to calmly stroke the ball home from the penalty spot.
Illies struck for the winner after a good counter attack ended with Oran Doherty crossing from the right for Paddy Doherty to head home to the bottom corner.
Culdaff had a late chance after substitute Cadan Doherty took the ball down and went past a couple of defenders but his effort was well saved by Sharkey.
Sea Rovers 3, Moville Res 0
Chances were light for both teams for the first twenty minutes but a long ball from Rovers’ Keelan Doherty found Daniel Gallagher whose cross fell to Andrew Gallagher but he was unlucky to see his shot come off the post.
Minutes later a fine cross in from Rovers’ Oisin Hasson was tapped in from close range by Connor Gallagher to open the scoring.
Rovers doubled their lead before the break after Andrew Gallagher beat the Moville defence to cross for Daniel Gallagher on the six yard box to slot home.
Rovers started the second half strong and won a free kick just inside the Moville half which found Oisin Hasson who tapped in to make it three nil.
Moville came more into the game and held good possession, their closest chance after some fine play by Oisin Lynch set up Andrew Burke only to see his effort denied by Rovers keeper Glenn Watson.
Inish Engineering Division Two B
Carrowmena FC 2, Rashenny Res 1
The visitors took an early lead in the 13th minute after a home attack broke down and Gareth McKeever broke on the right hand side before crossing for Ryan O Donnell to shoot high past Michael Noone.
The remainder of the half saw little goalmouth action with defences on top and neither goalkeeper troubled.
The home side started the second half well and got back on terms in the 47th when an Eddie McIntyre free was not held by keeper Roger McGilloway allowing Declan McGuinness to slot home.
Ten minutes later another McIntyre free found Killian Dougal at the back post to head in off the post from eight yards.
They had another chance on 70 minutes after a Mark McGonigle pass found Adam Harkin but he was denied by a superb save from McGilloway.
Rasheney tried hard and on 88 minutes a Shane Ward free was tipped over by Noone to claim the points for the home side.
QPS Youths 5, Dunree Res 0
Michael Nicholas’ side got off to a dream start in the opening minute when John McCloskey found Aaron Scott on the left hand side of the area and he drilled a low effort across Philip Doherty to the bottom corner.
Eunan Mullan then fired wide before a Brian McColgan left footed effort was superbly tipped over by Doherty.
But the home side increased their lead in the 36th minute after Scott’s cross found McCloskey who looped a header over Doherty to the net.
They then made it 3-0 before the break after Oisin McIntyre’s ball over the top sent Mullan clear and he slipped the ball low past the advancing Doherty.
Dunree had the first chance of the second half with a Ryan Toland free from the edge of the area well saved by Stephen Slattery.
The home side replied with an Oisin McIntyre effort which flew just wide.
They ended the game on top with substitute Dean Hegarty releasing Lee Rutherford whose effort was well blocked by the advancing Doherty.
Hegarty then made it 4-0 with a free kick. The final goal was the goal of the game in the 88th minute. Scott advanced on the right and squared to Hegarty who turned and unleashed a stunning effort to the top corner.
Aileach Youths 6, Redcastle Res 1