There were wins today for Carn and Greencastle in the Clubman Shirts League Cup while Buncrana Hearts and Aileach played out a scoreless draw.
Carn FC 3 Illies Celtic 1
Played in good conditions Carn got their season off to a dream start under new manager John D O’Kane.
They started well and on 11 minutes a superb through ball by Conor O’Donnell sent Matthew Mclaughlin into the left hand side of the area and he scored with a brilliant chip across Johnathan Noone to the far corner from a tight angle.
O’Donnell then got on the end of a deflection to lift it over Noone but Paul Doherty cleared superbly off the line.
They increased after great McLaughlin cross from the left found Darragh Deery to head home.
Illies had a good spell with Paddy Doherty seeing a header saved by Gregory Doherty before the same player had an effort hacked clear by the keeper.
Carn then increased their lead when Cade Cooke cut in the right and played an excellent through ball to O’Donnell running from midfield and he rounded Noone to slot home.
Illies had another chance before the interval when Philip Margey blazed over when well placed inside the area.
Illies started the second period the better with Carn content to sit on their lead.
On 51 minutes a mazy Liam Grant run took him past three defenders but his effort was blocked by the outstretched leg of keeper Doherty.
They did get a goal back on 63 minutes after an inswinging Gavin Doherty crossed was flicked home by Liam Doherty from six yards.
They could have had another after a forceful Kevin McGonigle run saw him release Adrian Donaghey Doherty through the middle but his effort was well saved by the advancing Doherty.
Carn responded on 74 minutes when substitute Shane Doherty released Christy Mclaughlin who raced clear but his low effort was brilliantly turned behind by Noone who also tipped O’Donnell’s header from the corner over.
Illies continued to press and Donaghey Doherty volleyed a good chance over before substitute Dominic Doherty saw a low effort well parried by Doherty.
Carn had the final chance after Michael McDermott crossed for substitute Darragh Browne but his effort from ten yards grazed the outside of the post.
Greencastle FC 3Glengad United 2
In a cracking encounter after a cagey start the home side broke the deadlock on 16 minutes when Jamie McCormick fired a stunning effort to the top corner from 20 yards past Christopher McLaughlin.
The remainder of the half saw little goalmouth action until the 43rd minute when a James McKinney free found Dillon Ruddy who headed across goal for Cathal McDaid to head home from close range.
Greencastle started the second period well and scored twice in a five-minute spell.
On 50 minutes a Nigel McMonagle cross from the right found Michael Henry to slot home from close range before after good build up Stephen Grant found Henry who deftly fired home to make it three-one.
The home side were then awarded a penalty after a push on Gavin Harkin but Henry’s spot kick was fired straight at McLaughlin.
Greencastle went close again but a Stephen Grant effort crashed off the bar.
Glengad upped the tempo in the last 15 minutes and reduced the deficit when McDaid raced clear with the home defence appealing in vain and he calmly fired past Dylan Doherty.
Doherty then sealed the win in the closing stages when he made a superb save to deny McDaid.
Buncrana Hearts 0Aileach FC 0
This was a close hard fought game in Castle Park and one which means this will be the tightest group.
Buncrana started the better and in the opening half Eoin Murphy saw an effort cleared off the line before Kieran McDaid was unlucky when his well struck effort crashed off the bar.
Eoin McNamee then dragged an effort wide when well placed.
Aileach, with Denver Kelly and Darren McMonagle always prominent, and the pace of Anthony Doherty a threat in attack, were always dangerous.
On the hour mark substitute Gerard Boyle was denied by a fine save from David McGeady while Mcgeady then done well to tip McDaid’s effort over the bar.
Aileach replied and a superb cross from McMonagle found Doherty but he headed over the bar.
Buncrana then spurned a gilt edged chance to seal the points after McGeady parried an Aaron McDaid effort and Mark McFadden mishit his effort allowing McGeady to recover.