Donegal League: Goals galore as Strand Rovers produce emphatic display

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It was goals galore in the Donegal League this weekend, with several entertaining games producing thrilling contests throughout the county. Full round-up below. 

Glencar Inn Saturday Division One

Strand Rovers 5 Donegal Town Reserves 1

Donegal Town started the better of the two teams. Strands’ defence were incoherent with a few defensive mistakes leading Donegal Town rattling the Strand crossbar twice in quick succession.

In the 12th minute Strand won a free-kick which Doalty Boyle swung to the back post where Conor Greene climbed highest and headed Strand in the lead.

Strand produced something of a carbon copy goal seven minutes later to double their advantage. Strand increased the lead further with five minutes to go in the first half-half when James Mc Cole’s long pass found Conor Greene and he slotted home for his hat-trick.

Second half action saw Donegal Town won a penalty but the Strand Rovers’ shot-stopper Kevin Mc Govern saved the penalty. A few minutes later Strand scored their fourth goal when a great pass from James Mc Cole found Matthew O’ Donnell who finished well.

The goal of the game came when a great run by Jack Doherty from the halfway line saw him evade several tackles before lobbing the goalkeeper to score Strand’s fifth goal. Donegal Town pulled a goal back in the last few minutes. Good team performances for both teams.

Keadue Rovers Reserves  5 St. Catherines Reserves 0

Keadue Reserves got back to winning ways today with a good victory over St. Catherine’s at Central Park. Conditions were ideal for football despite the previous night’s stormy weather.

The visitors were the first to launch an attack and almost capitalised on a defensive mistake, a minute later at the other end Keadue’s Shaun Burns had a shot blocked.

Following that lively opening the home took some control and on ten minutes Adam Neely got the ball just outside the box, evaded a few tackles, and stroked a fine effort to the corner of the net with his left foot.

Within a few minutes, they were two up when a good move led to Peter Mc Gee converting a close-range opening. Keadue were very comfortable, moving the ball around, and had several more chances.

Around the half-hour mark, they were rewarded for their pressure when Peter Mc Gee’s corner was headed to the net by a Killybeg’s defender for an OG.

The second half again started at a good pace with a chance for either side in the first five minutes. Aidan Mc Hugh was close for Keadue on fifty minutes with a free-kick. St. Catherine’s almost got one back on fifty-two minutes when their full back shot just over from a corner.

The home side made a few substitutions before the hour and continued to pressurise a St. Catherine’s side that were low on options.

Ultan Boyle was unlucky just after seventy minutes following a good run and shot which was saved and then two minutes later Peter Mc Gee shot just wide. The visitors did have a good spell around the seventy five minute mark and Donal Maguire was unlucky with a shot just over the crossbar.

On seventy-eight minutes the game was put beyond doubt when Mikey Mc Fadden found himself in space and lobbed the keeper from thirty yards for a fine goal. They finished off the scoring on eighty-eight minutes when good work from Ultan Boyle saw Peter Mc gee tap home from close range. Best for Keadue were Peter McGee, Ultan Boyle and Danny Mc Glynn. St. Catherines played as a team throughout. Referee: Barry Hunter.

Old Orchard Saturday Division Two

Milford United Reserves 1 Drumbar F.C. 0

With Milford’s pitch unplayable this game was switched to Tri-A-Loch. Milford started the stronger but were unable to test Drumbar’s keeper with Ryan Campbell, Conor Meakin and Darren McLaughlin all firing wide. When Raymond Friel did find the back of the net it was ruled out for offside.

On the half-hour mark, Milford finally took the lead when a brilliant cross from Brendan Murray was taken down by Ryan Campbell who slotted home.

Drumbar came out strong for the second half and were unfortunate not to equalise when a shot from the edge of the box smashed the crossbar and came down but was judged not to have crossed the line.

Darren Mc Laughlin was unlucky when his free-kick just missed the top corner and Milford had a strong penalty claim for handball turned away. Milford comfortably held on to take the 3 points. Team efforts from both teams.

Fintown Harps AFC 5 Drumkeen United Reserves 0

Fintown started this home game very well and Karl Mc Glynn put them ahead after 5 minutes from a Shan Mc Millan flick-on. Drumkeen hit the post from a Rory Gildea penalty before Karl got his second from a free-kick after another Shan assist. Jason Campbell finished well to make it three nil.

Shan with his then assist set up CJ Laverty for his first senior goal. Jason got his second, a tap in, after a great run from Christopher Mc Glynn. A great performance from Fintown. It just wasn’t Drumkeen’s day.

Kildrum Tigers Reserves 2 Cappry Rovers Reserves 3

When Kildrum came from behind, with goals by James McNulty and Christopher Cronin, on 80 and 85 minutes, they looked set to be crowned Old Orchard Saturday Division Two champions.

But the tide by the Foyle turned again as Cappry struck, through Kyle O’Meara and Jason Dunne, deep into added time.

Kildrum hadn’t lost in the League since the tail end of September, but they were behind here after only 90 seconds when an O’Meara shot was fumbled to the net by unfortunate Tigers ‘keeper Keenan Gibson.

Connor McNulty headed wide as Cappry began well, while Kildrum’s only opening of note in the first 20 minutes saw Cronin warm the palms of Dylan Doherty.

Gibson foiled O’Meara to keep Kildrum in the game, while Emmett O’Donnell did well to win a header at the other end, but couldn’t trouble Doherty after connecting with Brian Coll’s free kick.

Kildrum were a new side after the re-start and Gareth Colhoun wasn’t far away from levelling the tie during a period where the home side forced a succession of corners.

Dominic Keys slid in to connect with a cross but cannoned his attempt off the base of the post.

Coll whizzed one wide of the far post and Justin Mc Gee couldn’t keep his shot down as time ticked away on Kildrum. They got the 80th-minute lifeline when Liam Mc Conigley, the referee, spotted a handball in the area. Mc Nulty stepped up to fire the penalty past Doherty.

Kildrum looked to have repelled the blows at that point and they hit the front. Cronin found some space in the area and drilled to the far corner, sparking big celebrations.

Kildrum have become known for their late, late trophy-winning escapades over the years. But they were the victims here of a late salvo. O’Meara silenced Station Road when he converted from a penalty two minutes into added time and a crazy finale was completed when Dunne tucked home in the 95th minute.

With Milford beating Drumbar 1-0 and Fintown 5-0 winners over Drumkeen, Kildrum still only need one point from their final two games and will have the champagne back in the icebox when they head for St Patrick’s Park to face Drumkeen next Saturday.

Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division

Milford United 3 Donegal Town 3

Two goals in the last ten minutes earned Donegal a share of the spoils at Moyle View Park. Milford led one nil at half time through Gavin Grier.

Donegal equalised on fifty minutes through Ronan Mc Hugh from close range. Milford scored two goals in five minutes to regain the lead through Mark Flood and Darragh Black.

Donegal Town scored twice in the last ten minutes to earn a draw.

Temple Domestic Appliances Division One

Ballybofey United 8 Gweedore Celtic 2

Ballybofey United entertained Gweedore Celtic at the Finn Valley Complex in Stranorlar on Sunday afternoon. As a contest, it was done and dusted mid-way through the first half as the hosts went on a scoring rampage against a weakened Gweedore outfit.

The vastly experienced Thomas Diver partnered Colin Ferry in the Gweedore front-line and they led by example however their input wasn’t enough to derail the Ballybofey steam train. When Diver, on thirteen minutes, invited a tackle inside the penalty area from the Home custodian, the lesser travelled netminder was drawn and referee Paddy Martin rightly pointed to the spot.

Diver himself converted the penalty. It was to be Gweedore’s only bright moment however in an opening half which saw Damien Glackin score four.

The opening goal came in the third minute when Shaun Mc Gowan sent a long ball from defence to Jude Patton wide on the right. He took on the visiting left-back before crossing to Glackin at the back post from where he shot low past Daniel Mc Laughlin.

It was 2-0 after five minutes as, despite the best efforts of Fiachra Coyle to block the ball, Patton fired to the net. Diver’s intervention was a very temporary reprieve for the visitors. On eighteen minutes Damien Glackin got the ball on the angle of the Gweedore penalty area.

He turned smartly and sent an unstoppable shot high into the top corner. On twenty-one minutes Ryan Duffy floated the ball into the box where Conor Doherty brought it down before unleashing a thunderous drive past the over-worked keeper.

A minute later Patton was on hand to head home a left-wing cross. Doherty, who was majestical when in possession, then fed Glackin with a defence-splitting pass.

Glackin shrugged off a defender before completing his hat-trick from just inside the box. Glackin then got his fourth and Ballybofey’s seventh on thirty-nine minutes. Ciaran Foy, the Home Keeper, made amends for his earlier penalty concession when he saved bravely as Diver and then Ferry tried their luck from close range.

Just before the interval Diver shot wide after Michael Mc Kelvey did well to win the ball at centre field. The second half was never going to be a spectacle but credit to the Gweedore lads they never lay down.

Jude Patton raced in at the back post on fifty-four minutes to stoop and head home Glackin’s cross from the right.

On sixty-four minutes Diver tried a long-range shot which bobbled just in front of the diving keeper to chalk a second goal on the scoreboard for the Gweedore side.

Mc Laughlin saved at point-blank range when Patton looked certain to score. A solid team performance from Ballybofey United with Glackin lethal in their front line. Gweedore showed great heart and pride but were second best on the day. Referee: Paddy Martin.

Bonagee United 3 Drumoghill F.C. 2

This match was reversed to “the moss” and on fifteen minutes the visitors were in front when the ball was headed out of the box by the defender and a Jason Ashmore shot went in at the near post past Keeper Michael Toner from twenty yards. The home side levelled the game on forty minutes when a Ciaran Deffan corner was headed home from six yards by Chris O’ Donnell.

The visitors were in front again three minutes later when an Aiden Mc Laughlin cross from the right was hammered home from five yards by Ashmore.

The home side came close to levelling the game on forty-eight minutes when a strike from Deffan went just over the bar from the edge of the box.

Chris O’Donnell should have levelled the match on fifty-five minutes when he headed over the bar from six yards from a Gareth Hamilton cross. Glen Gallagher for the visitors saw his free kick on fifty-seven minutes go just wide of the post from twenty-five yards.

Drumoghill had a number of chances to level the match.

They did score on seventy-five minutes when the ball was crossed into the box and it came back of the post and was fired home from three yards by Gareth Hamilton. Ritchie Moore hit the bar with a great strike from thirty yards on eighty minutes.

The final goal of the game came on eighty-five minutes when Eamon Cannon won the ball in his own half and his through ball beat the defender and Aiden Mc Laughlin broke clear and slid the ball past the advancing keeper from just outside the box.

The home side again had chances to score but again the post came to the rescue from a Chris O’ Donnell header from ten yards on eighty-eight minutes.

Donegal Physiotherapy & performance Centre Division Two

Raphoe Town 6 Deele Harps 1

It was a wet and windy day at Deele College Raphoe for this local derby. It didn’t take Raphoe long to get going. Michael Quinn scored in the first minute with a great strike from 25yrds.

Raphoe tried hard to get the second goal, but the first half ended with Raphoe one ahead. Deele levelled the game in the 50th minute after a mix up in the Raphoe defence.

DJ Kelly then put Raphoe back in front with a volley after great work down the right by Michael Quinn. Kelly then scored a great solo effort, going past three defenders before chipping the Deele keeper.

DJ completed his hat-trick with a strike from 18-yards in the 70th minute. Kelly scored his fourth for Raphoe three minutes later. Zak Brolly finished off the scoring for the day with a tap in at the back post after good work down the left wing by Ciaran Cunningham.

Kerrykeel ’71 F.C. 3 Whitestrand United 0

It was derby day in Kerrykeel and it was the ‘71 who stole the show with a solid display from start to finish. Sean Little and Michael Sweeney both went close in the opening 10 minutes.

Whitestrand were trying to hit the ‘71 on the counter-attack but the home defence coped well. Michael Sweeney put the ‘71 in front on 26 minutes when he headed home a Sean Little corner.

It became two six minutes later when a mix up in the Whitestrand defence lead to Anthony Fisher scoring an own goal.

At the start of the second half Kerrykeel should have put Whitestrand out of sight with Sean Little and Bernard Mc Gettigan both missing great chances.

The home side kept pushing for their third goal and it came on 76 minutes when Sweeney fired home after great work from Patsy Friel. Paddy Carr, making his debut for Kerrykeel, was then unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet after a brilliant ball from Conor Mc Gonigle.

The bragging rights go to the ‘71 which keeps them right in the hunt for the title.  A brilliant all-round display from the ‘71 who man for man were excellent.

Glenree United 6 Gweedore United 4

In wet conditions, the sides produced a ten goal thriller in Glenree Park. The people who came out to support got to see one of the games of the weekend.

The opening goal came in the 3rd minute when John McClafferty nodded the ball down to Luke Mc Carry who let fly from 18 yards to find the top corner. Aaron Mc Clafferty extended their lead when a defensive mistake fell into his path and he made no mistake from 6 yards in the 8th minute.

Glenree seemed to be cruising but Gweedore hit back when a ball into the box was half cleared and Ciaran Gillespie let fly from the edge of the box in the 14th minute. Frank Mc Gee then got his side on level terms when he shot through a crowd of players to beat the keeper in the 25th minute.

It was John Mc Clafferty who grabbed the next goal after he won the ball on the halfway line to stride forward and played a one-two with Oisin Boyce on the edge of the box before finishing well past the keeper in the 35th minute.

With moments left in the first half Gweedore got a lifeline when a defensive mix up allowed Ciaran Mc Fadden in on goal and he beat the outrushing Oran Blaney to draw his team level.

In the second half it was Gweedore who took the lead for the first time in the match in the 56th minute when a free kick was launched towards the back post and Ciaran Gillespie did well to head his effort towards goal.

It was blocked on the line but Ownie Gallagher was on hand to tap home. Glenree had their work cut out for them but continued to play fine passing football.

It was the former Gweedore United man John Mc Fadden that got them level after a flick from Oisin Boyce for Mc Fadden to skip past two defenders on the edge of the box and curl his effort into the top corner.

John McFadden then got his second of the match in the 73rd minute to put his team back in the lead after another Oisin Boyce assist.

The final goal of the game came in the 80th minute when a free kick to the home side was nodded on by Oisin Boyce towards Gary Mc Clafferty who made no mistake from seven yards out to put it past the keeper.

The match ended with a victory for the home side after what was very entertaining match. Gweedore put up a brave battle but the class of Glenree’s play shone through in the end.

Curragh Athletic 3 Letterbarrow Celtic 1

The Curragh welcomed Letterbarrow to the sports complex in Killygordan on Sunday. In very wet conditions both sides looked for the breakthrough. It was Curragh who struck first trough Tim Callaghan with a great strike to put Curragh one up on fifteen minutes.

Letterbarrow pushed hard and were awarded a penalty on thirty-five minutes which left it 1-1 at half time. The second half saw Curragh start really well with chances fell to Marley and Callaghan but Letterbarrow keeper stood strong.

It was on 80 minutes when Callaghan pulled a ball back for Marley to make it 2-1and again the same players linked well for the third. A fine second half from Curragh with Callaghan and Marley standing out.

Multimedia Sports Reporter from Derry currently repenting for my sins in Letterkenny. Recent journalism graduate. NUJ member.

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