IT WAS A case of three out of four for the Inishowen League today in the FAI Junior Cup.
Buncrana Hearts, Cockhill Youths and Greencastle all took victories against Donegal League opponents.
Kildrum Tigers will carry the Donegal League’s flag into the national phase of the Cup after their penalty shoot-out win at Carndonagh.
Buncrana Hearts 2 Castlefin Celtic 1
The first half was a very entertaining affair and on 8 minutes Ronan Tourish for the visitors was denied by the legs of Eoghan O’Doherty.
Buncrana replied with Eoin Murphy finding John Timlin on the right but his effort was superbly saved by Christopher O’Donnell.
Tourish then fired over from twenty yards before the visitors took the lead midway through the half after a defensive error allowed McKinney to slot past O’Doherty.
Buncrana upped the tempo and Gerard Mclaughlin should have got the home side back on terms but from a superb Declan Fullerton cross he headed straight at O’Donnell.
Immediately they were caught on the break with Tourish breaking clear but firing into the side netting.
Buncrana replied and Fullerton’s corner was met by a superb glancing header from Gerard Boyle to bring the sides level.
Buncrana were the stronger side then with Shane Dillon heading just over, Boyle denied by a good save before Mikey Friel had another effort well saved by O’Donnell as the half ended.
Buncrana started the second half well with Timlin firing wide before Friel saw an effort crash off the post. On 65 minutes Timlin then had another effort turned round the post by O’Donnell.
In a rare foray into the home area Tourish saw an effort in a crowded goalmouth drift just wide.
On 75 minutes the Hearts got what turned out to be a deserved winner when a superb Eoin Murphy cross picked out Mclaughlin whose excellent downward header beat O’Donnell.
Castlefin tried to exert pressure but from their corner Kevin O’Loughlin headed clear and broke onto the ball to release Friel but he fired wide.
Castlefin substitute McNamee went close in injury time when he headed over from a corner but was under huge pressure.
Bonagee United 0 Cockhill Youths 5
Carn FC 2 Kildrum Tigers 2 (Kildrum win 5-3 on pens)
Kildrum had an early chance after Conor Crossan released Kevin McHugh but he shot high and wide with Daniel Houghton to beat.
Carn then took the lead on 15 minutes after Brandon Browne released Cade Cooke and his cross was slotted home by Gert Dzerins.
Carn should have doubled their lead after Shane Doherty intercepted and sent Browne clear but with only Rory Carr to beat he fired wide from 15 yards.
Kildrum had the final chance of the half when Gareth Colhoun broke on the right and crossed for Luke Toland but he headed wide from twelve yards.
Kildrum equalised in fortuitous fashion after a McHugh corner on 55 minutes rebounded off Houghton to the net.
Houghton then denied McHugh with a good save after good approach play by Oran Higgins. Carn responded and when Cooke’s free broke on the edge of the area Browne fired just over.
Kildrum scored what looked like the winner on 87 minutes after Colhoun broke, cut inside a defender and drilled low past Houghton.
Carn rallied and on the stroke of full time substitute Christy McDaid collected Browne’s pass and crossed for Dzerins to slot low past Carr.
Kildrum had the only chance of the second period with Colhoun beating a defender and finding Toland who drilled low but his effort drifted just wide. In the shootout Kildrum converted all five spot kicks to advance to the next round.
Greencastle FC 5 Donegal Town 3
Greencastle started this game well and took the lead on 5 minutes after Nigel McMonagle retrieved the ball and crossed for Conor Gillen to slot home.
On 15 minutes they made it two nil after James Henry had an effort well saved by Eamon McGinley but McMonagle pounced to drill home.
But the visitors reduced the deficit when Zhagi had an effort parried by Dylan Doherty and Diarmuid Spratt headed the rebound home.
Greencastle regained their tow goal cushion when James Henry played a one two with brother Michael before seeing his cross swept home by Gillen from six yards.
Again the visitors gave themselves a chance when a Joe McIntyre corner was volleyed home by Stephen Culeen from six yards to leave the half time score three two in favour of the home side.
In an explosive start to the second half the home side increased their lead after a superb low cross from McMonagle found the inrushing Jason Dickson to slot home from close range.
Within a minute the visitors were awarded a penalty at the other end after Oisin Roper had been upended and McIntyre confidently fired to the top corner. Grencastle made the tie safe on 69 minutes after Darragh Brown released James Henry who beat two defenders before lifting the ball over the top for McMonagle who controlled, sidestepped a defender and fired high past McGinley.
Donegal Town had a late chance but a Roper header was tipped onto the bar by Doherty who recovered to gather the rebound.