Cockhill Celtic left it late before overcoming derby rivals Buncrana Hearts in the Knockalla Caravans Senior Cup at the Charlie O’Donnell Sports Grounds.
Cockhill Celtic 3 Buncrana Hearts 1
Played in driving rain in Cockhill the first half was a lacklustre affair with efforts on goal at a premium.
Cockhill had the first effort on four minutes when Brendan McLaughlin latched onto a breaking ball in midfield. He advanced to the edge of the box but fired narrowly over.
Buncrana were content to soak up pressure and try to hit Cockhill on the break and indeed it was the away team who had the next effort on target, a John Timlin effort well held by Lee McCarron.
Cockhill’s pressure told on 32 minutes. After good interplay involving Lawrence Toland and James Bradley, Gerard McLaughlin got across his man before guiding home Toland’s cross with a controlled low finish.
The second half continued in a similar fashion with Cockhill having the lion’s share of possession without forcing Buncrana keeper Eoghan O’Doherty into serious action.
Then on 73 minutes, Buncrana equalised. A John Timlin free kick from out on the left was flicked on by Aaron McDaid to Calvin Gallagher who showed composure to slot low past McCarron to the delight of the away contingent.
This seemed to spur Cockhill into upping the pace of the game.
They were rewarded on 82 minutes when they retook the lead.
A driving run from Marty Doherty ending with him being impeded in the Buncrana box.
Referee Garvan Taggart showing no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Lee McColgan tucked away the spot kick sending O’Doherty the wrong way.
Cockhill were on top now and added gloss to the scoreline on 86 minutes when Malachy McDermott powered home a header from a McColgan free kick.