Here are the match results and reports from another week of Donegal League action.
Friday 24th November 2023
Finn Travel Saturday Division Three
Letterkenny Rovers Reserves 1 v 0 Fanad United Reserves
In a high-tempo and physical encounter between Letterkenny Rovers and Fanad United, the first half showcased intense pressure from Fanad, with play predominantly in the middle of the pitch. Both keepers had a relatively quiet half with most shots originating from frees. Noteworthy opportunities for Fanad fell to Daibhid Lynch and Darragh O’ Doherty while Rovers had their chances through Gareth Temple, Jason Doherty, Danny Hall, Keelan Dunleavy, and Mohammed Touchami. The breakthrough for Rovers came right on the 45th minute when Darragh Morrison capitalised on Conor O’Donnell’s free-kick, flicked on by Jason Doherty, to slot the ball past Fanad keeper Brian Gallagher. The second half witnessed Letterkenny Rovers growing in strength, dominating the chances. Conor O’Donnell had a promising opportunity on the 49th minute but his effort was saved by Gallagher. Moments later a left-wing delivery from Temple forced Gallagher to stretch for another crucial save. On the 58th minute, O Donnell’s strike from the left wing again tested Gallagher who pushed it into the path of Darragh Morrison but he couldn’t convert cleanly. Mohammed Touchami had a chance in the 62nd minute but struck the ball over the bar. Unfortunately, Morrison had to leave the field in the 65th minute due to a head injury, making way for Evan Gibbons. Despite continued efforts from Rovers, with Doherty and Hall having good chances, Gallagher’s resilience kept the ball out. The game concluded with Letterkenny Rovers securing a hard-fought 1-0 victory, thanks to Darragh Morrison’s first-half goal. Referee: Barry Hunter
Saturday 25th November 2023
Glencar Inn Saturday Division One
Arranmore United 2 v 0 Kildrum Tigers Reserves
This game was played in perfect conditions at Rannagh Park. The home side started well and on 15 minutes the impressive Phil Boyle poked home following a goal mouth scramble. Finnian O’Donnell looked as if he had doubled the lead but the Kildrum keeper got down well to his bottom corner. Both teams had goals chalked off for offside but Arran went in with the lead. The away team got on the ball more in the second half with William Lynch controlling the tempo from the back. Kildrum were pushing hard for an equaliser and went close a couple of times but Frankie Early was at his best and kept them out. Arranmore nearly doubled their lead twice on the break through Glenn O’Donnell and John Roper but the Kildrum keeper did well to keep them out. In the closing stages John Roper played a diagonal through ball to Martin Mc Garrigle who calmly finished to seal the win for Arranmore. Team performances from both teams. Referee: Michael Connolly
Glenea United Reserves 1 v 1 Strand Rovers
In fine conditions, Glenea and Strand played out a hard-fought draw and shared the points. In a tight opening 1st half chances were at a premium but as the half progressed it was the home side that had the first effort on target on 23 minutes when Carragher Friel’s effort from 30 yards forced Kevin Mc Govern into a fine save. Strand were next to threaten when John Mc Dyer forced Shaun Mc Clafferty into a good save. On 35 minutes Strand’s Ultan Boyle got onto a through ball and he lifted the ball over the home keeper, but Darren Mc Geever cleared it off the line. Dylan Boyle then saw his effort blocked on the line by Mc Geever. On the stroke of halftime Strand’s Shane O’ Donnell had an effort from the edge of the box come back off the bar. In the 2nd half both defences tightened up and chances were at a premium. Glenea eventually took the lead on 68 minutes when a nice inter change of passes released Luke Mc Carry and his shot from 25 yards found the top corner. Strand pushed hard for an equalizer but the home side held firm and had a couple of chances on the break to increase their lead but failed to convert them. Deep into injury time Strand were awarded a penalty for a handball and Dylan Boyle converted it leaving both sides with a share of the points. Best for Glenea were James Geaney and Carragher Friel, while James Mc Eniff and Ultan Boyle were to the fore for Strand. Referee: Con McLaughlin.
Keadue Rovers Reserves 3 v 1 St. Catherines Reserves
Keadue Reserves claimed all 3 points with 2 late strikes to push themselves back into the top 3 at Central Park on Saturday afternoon. Played in ideal but cool conditions, it was St. Catherine’s who were much the quicker out of the blocks and pushed Keadue back in the first five minutes. Ciaran Sharkey saved a visitor’s effort on seven minutes but they went ahead deservedly after eight minutes. From a corner kick, Aaron Byrne rose highest to plant the ball in the Keadue net. This gave Keadue a wakeup call and on twelve minutes a Daire Gallagher shot was well saved by the keeper. Further chances fell to Conor Diver on twenty minutes, from a good move on the right wing and shortly after, Oran Fallon had a shot from long range. Keadue were growing more and more into the game with chances falling to Patrick O’Donnell and again to Daire Gallagher. However, St. Catherine’s almost went two up on thirty four minutes when a left wing free kick was headed on to the crossbar. Close to half time, Daire Gallagher was again unlucky to have hit shot saved after a good passing move. Keadue were unlucky to be behind at half time but the away side were solid defensively and had more experience in the back line. At the start of the second half Keadue again pressed with another shot saved by the St. Catherine’s keeper. The visitors were unlucky when Paul Murrin had a shot saved by Ciaran Sharkey. Oran Fallon again had a shot saved at the near post before the hour and it was beginning to look like a frustrating day for the home side. However, they were to level on sixty-five minutes when a good move led to Brendan Mc Cafferty finding some space on the edge of the box and he slotted home with his right foot for a leveller. However, the visitors even without much possession were still a threat and a cross from the left wing hit the Keadue crossbar before going behind. On seventy-nine minutes, Keadue finally took a deserved lead when, from a corner, a loose ball fell to Damien Hanlon and he was on hand to poke home from close range. Back came the visitors and Keadue had to be on alert to close down the chance of a leveller before the game was made safe on eighty-four minutes. A cross from the right wing by Aaron Mc Cafferty was met at the far post by Damien Hanlon, who glanced it into the net for a 3-1 lead and it stayed that way until the final whistle. A good win for Keadue, while for St. Catherine’s, they were well served by Dermot Cunningham and Paul Murrin, while best for Keadue were Daire Gallagher, Damien Hanlon and Brendan Mc Cafferty. Referee: Mick Lagan.
Old Orchard Saturday Division Two
Swilly Rovers Reserves 1 v 3 Dunlewey Celtic
Swilly Rovers and Dunlewey Celtic played the only game in Division 2 this weekend. Dunlewey Celtic secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory. A spectacular wonder strike from 30 yards in the first half gave Dunlewey the initial lead, followed by a second goal shortly after halftime. Swilly Rovers displayed resilience, pulling one back with a stunning top-corner finish from Edan Bradley who was 25/30 yards out. Dunlewey held on to claim the victory. This result leaves these two teams at the top of the league both sitting on 21 points. Referee: Dessie Mc Laughlin.
Ulster Junior Shield
Ramelton Mariners 1 v 3 Cockhill Celtic
The Mariners were up against Cockhill Colts in the Ulster Shield and despite excellent work from everyone left the Flagpole with a 3-1 defeat. The Colts started well, scoring early, but the Mariners soon got into the game. The Colts scored again early in the second half but the Mariners responded well getting one back through Shay Callan Mc Fadden. Despite a strong second half the Mariners conceded a third to end a well contested cup game.
Sunday 26th November 2023
Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division
Keadue Rovers 0 v 5 Fanad United
Fanad United went back to the top of the Premier Division table with this comprehensive win over Keadue Rovers at Central Park. In what was a decent day for football, in front of a big crowd, it was the visitors who settled much the quicker, pressing Keadue back and creating some half chances. They went ahead after 7 minutes when after some good work down the left-hand side Liam Mc Granaghan’s shot was deflected into the Keadue net from 20 yards out. Keadue did settle down and started to create a few openings but were dealt a further blow on thirteen minutes when, from a corner, the ball was cleared off the line only for James Gallagher to slot home from close range for 2-0. The game became more balanced after that and by twenty minutes Keadue had got the upper hand in possession and on twenty-four minutes a bicycle kick by Chris Greene was cleared off the line by the Fanad defence. Keadue were looking likely to score the next goal but against the run of play Fanad went three up when following a ball over the top the home defence was caught flat footed and Eddie O’Reilly took control and drove a good left footed effort from outside the box past Caelan Bonner in the Keadue nets. That was the clinching moment in terms of the outcome of the game and Fanad could then afford to absorb pressure from the home team. After thirty-seven minutes a further goal from Eddie O’Reilly gave Fanad a four-goal lead. On forty-nine minutes, Peter McGee had his shot saved. Fanad all the while were very resolute in defence despite the home side pushing further forward. The home side’s substitutions made a difference and both in ball retention and tactically, they had a better shape about them. Ten minutes from the end Peter Mc Gee had a shot saved. Keadue kept the Fanad defence under pressure and after a succession of set plays, were awarded a penalty but Chris Greene’s effort was saved, as was the rebound. Keadue were very unlucky not to score after a decent second half performance and had further bad luck in the last minute, when their defensive clearance fell to Keelin Mc Elwaine who poked home for 5-0.
Overall, a very impressive, well drilled performance from Fanad, for whom Eddie O’Reilly, Oisin Langan and Shaun Carr were very impressive. For Keadue, Mark Forker, Brendan Mc Cafferty and Michael Greene did well. Referee: Alastair Gourley.
Kilmacrennan Celtic 2 v 2 Swilly RoversKilmacrennan took the lead on 25 minutes through a great strike from 25 yards from Jordan Gallagher. On 40 minutes Caolan Curran raced through and finished from inside box after a great ball from Jordan Gallagher. Kilmacrennan went in at half time with a deserved 2-0 lead. On 46 minutes Shane Mc Namee scored a free kick from 25 yards into bottom left corner and it was game on. On 60 minutes Swilly drew level when a cross was diverted into his own net by a Kilmacrennan defender. Kilmacrennan had good chance to win it in injury time through Sam Harvey but the keeper saved from close range. Best for Kilmacrennan were Jordan Gallagher and Shane Mc Devitt. A team effort Swilly Rovers. Referee: Con Mc Laughlin.
Milford United 2 v 0 Castlefin Celtic
(No Report Submitted)
Rathmullan Celtic 4 v 3 Kildrum Tigers
In the last home game of the calendar year, Rathmullan Celtic fans were treated to an electrifying display as their team secured a thrilling victory against Kildrum Tigers in a captivating seven-goal showdown. The excellent Jay Curran was joined by Mark ‘Sparky’ Mc Ateer and Oisin Mc Menamin on the scoresheet for Rathmullan while Kildrum relentlessly fought back with goals from Keelan Gillen, Ethan Coll and Jordan Mc Kinley. At the eight-minute mark, Rathmullan surged ahead as Curran and Mc Menamin combined brilliantly down the right wing to set up Mc Ateer whose impeccably timed run towards the goal was matched only by his cool composure. With precision, Mc Ateer instinctively slotted the ball past the outrushing Christopher O’Donnell, propelling the Hoops into a well-deserved one-goal lead. Rathmullan continued in their impressive performance, creating multiple promising opportunities that seemed to foretell an imminent second goal. However, momentum shifted when the visitors capitalised on a lacklustre clearance within the home team’s eighteen-yard box. Gillen seized the moment without hesitation, expertly converting the chance to level things up. With the game in the balance, Jay Curran displayed quick reactions to toe-poke the ball home, restoring the home advantage. Just as the home side thought they might have been heading into the break with a goal to the good, a route one kick from O’Donnell somehow found Coll in a one-on-one situation, and with finesse, he managed to squeeze it past Shaun Gallagher into the far corner, once again levelling the game. The second half began at a slower pace, with both teams trading half chances. It was not until the 70th minute that the game saw a significant turn when Jay Curran was brought down in the box from a corner, leaving the referee, Richard Storey, with no option but to award a penalty. Stepping up to the challenge, the experienced Mc Menamin took the responsibility and expertly sent the keeper the wrong way, converting the penalty with confidence. Rathmullan started to move through the gears and in the 80th minute and Mc Ateer repaid the favour from the first half locating Mc Menamin inside the opposition’s box. With a quick turn, Mc Menamin evaded the defender and unleashed a powerful strike, hammering the ball home to provide Rathmullan with the much-needed cushion they had been seeking. Kildrum refused to relent, responding with a penalty of their own. McKinley fired past Gallagher, setting the stage for an intense finale to the game. Despite the late pressure, Rathmullan managed to hold on, securing a crucial three points.
Temple Domestic Appliances Division One
Cranford United 1 v 0 Lagan Harps
Cranford took all three points in a tight affair. It was a tight battle throughout but a goal in the first half was enough for the win. Lagan started the better but the Cranford defence limited them to half chances. The winning goal came on 30 minutes when Paddy Sheils produced a great turn on the edge of the box and toe poked the ball home. Lagan had a chance to equalise from the penalty spot but Jason Hegarty saved. The second half was tight again with not many chances and Cranford held out for a vital three points.
Donegal Town 1 v 3 Bonagee United
Town were quicker out of the blocks and were one up after 10 minutes, Stephen Graham flicked a corner from Eoin Slevin into the Bonagee net. Town kept the pressure on Bonagee but couldn’t get that elusive second goal. Bonagee started the second half brightly and had keeper Roulston to thank as he made two world class saves. Bonagee were level when a ball was toe poked through a sea of defenders after a long throw. Bonagee were then awarded a penalty and Gallagher was unlucky not to get to the kick. Bonagee got another shortly afterwards to claim all three points. Roulston man of match for Bonagee and team effort by Town with Ben Sweeney excellent.
Donegal Physiotherapy and Performance Centre Division Two
Curragh Athletic 1 v 2 Deele Harps
A 89th minute winner saw Deele Harps claim with all three points in a tight affair at the Curragh.
Curragh started the game the brighter, dominating possession and created some half chances through Stephen John Carlin and Cormac Callaghan. Deele’s first chance came on 25 minutes when Tom Mullan got in behind but he shot wide. Curragh continued to control possession but Deele began to grow into the game coming up to half time. Curragh took the lead on 48 minutes when Stephen John Carlin scored from range after a mix-up between the Deele centre back and goalkeeper. Deele found the equaliser when Tom Mullan scored from the penalty spot two minutes later. Both teams battled hard for the rest of the game and as it looked to be heading for a draw but Deele scored from a corner on 89 minutes. Oisin Mc Cool was best for Curragh. A good team performance from Deele. Referee: Paul Murphy
Drumoghill F.C. 3 v 1 Lifford Celtic
Drumoghill held off a late onslaught from Lifford Celtic to secure three precious points in their quest for promotion against title chasing Lifford Celtic. Colm Gardiner’s spectacular 40-yard lob over Lee White in injury time sparked scenes of joy as Drumoghill knew the points were finally safe.
Having led 2-0 at the interval, Drumoghill looked to be on their way to a vital win but Lifford Celtic managed to pull a goal back midway through the second half through Matthew Doherty.
This triggered a period of play when Lifford threw everything at the reds but could find no way past a resolute Drumoghill rearguard. Conor Carlin and Ryan Stewart had the best of their opportunities but Roy Duffy in goals for Drumoghill was equal to anything that Lifford could throw at them. This was a much-improved defensive display from Drumoghill who knew they would need to be at their best against Lifford team that were hoping to extend their good run. Gavin Mc Brearty came into the side and was superb in defence, as were Seamus Bogle, Ryan Mc Crossan and Kieran Devenney. The solidity at the back provided the foundation for an excellent opening half from the reds and they took the lead on 12 minutes through Liam O’ Donnell. They got a deserved second on 32 minutes from the penalty spot. The impressive Niall Mc Crossan, who was a constant threat throughout the game, evaded one challenge before Daniel Lindsay was late with a tackle and the referee had no option but to award the penalty. White did produce a fine save to keep out Gardiner’s spot kick but the ever-alert Lee Smyth was first to the rebound and his cross gave Gardiner another opportunity and this time he made no mistake. The home side will feel they should have put the game to bed early in the second half with Smyth, Mc Crossan and O’Donnell all going close. Lifford too had their chances and managed to reduce the arrears when Doherty found a gap at Doherty’s near posts to bring his side back into the game. This set up the frantic finish with Drumoghill holding on to their slender lead. They did have opportunities to seal the game with several counter attack opportunities but the clinching goal looked like it was going to elude them. That was until the 92nd minute. There seemed little danger when Lee White raced from his goal to attempt a clearance but he succeeded only in finding Gardiner and the midfielder was composed enough to lob the keeper and seal the points to revitalise their promotion hopes.
FAI Junior Cup
North End United L v L Letterkenny Rovers
(No Report Available)