LETTERKENNY ROVERS secured their League Cup semi final spot with a comfortable 6-1 win over Swilly Rovers at a balmy Leckview Park this afternoon.
Letterkenny Rovers 6 Swilly Rovers 1
Both sides came into this game on the back of 3-1 defeats against Cockhill Celtic which meant this was a winners takes all tie with the possibility of a penalty shootout if it ended in a draw to see who would progress, but the Letterkenny men made sure that was never going to be a possibility when scoring goals on 11,12 and 14 minutes to effectively kill the game with barely a quarter of an hour gone.
The home side introduced Brian McVeigh and Darragh Black for their first starts of the season and both were to the fore in the early proceedings and after Darren McElwaine brought a save from visiting keeper JP McColgan it was McVeigh who fired Rovers in front on 11 minutes..
A fine flowing move involving Christopher Flanagan, Black and McElwaine led to a teasing ball into the box which wasn’t properly cleared and the ball fell to McVeigh on the edge of the box and his wonder strike found the top corner leaving McColgan rooted to the spot.
The home sides joy was extended just a minute later when they doubled the advantage when Darragh Black did well to win possession before firing a shot which McColgan parried and Black reacted quickest to the rebound and took it past the keeper before squaring to Steve Okkapo-Emeka who couldn’t miss from close range.[adrotate group=”37″]
Okakpo-Emeka then made the third goal for himself on 14 minutes when he pounced on a ricochet before rounding the keeper and fired home off Dylan Hegarty with the retreating Swilly defender doing his best to clear.
Rovers had a gilt edged chance to extend their lead and came close through a Conor Tourish header before they went 4up when McVeighs exquisite through ball found Darren McElwaine and the big striker made no mistake firing low into the corner.
Swilly then had a brief period of dominance and were unlucky not to get one back when Aaron Rogans free kick clipped the top of the bar while Laurence Toland had a deflected effort just wide but they were thrown a lifeline on 38 minutes when Rogan made no mistake from the spot when Michael Devine was adjudged to have been brought down by Tourish much to the chagrin of the Rovers players.[adrotate group=”38″]
Devine then should have made it 4-2 but couldnt connect from close range while Dylan Hegarty should have done better when he headed over from a Rogan corner on 56 minutes.
Rovers though were impressing with some pretty passages of football and went 5-1 up on the hour mark when after some penalty box pin ball the ball fell to the impressive McVeigh and his shot goalward was met by the deftest of neat touches from Kevin McGrath who diverted it past McColgan.
Rovers looked lively every time they moved forward and they saved one of their best moves to score the last goal with Black, Okakpo-Emeka and McVeigh all combining to find McElwaine and his fine effort flew into the top corner.[adrotate group=”46″]
A good result for the Cathedral town men who were also able to hand competitive debuts to Calvin O’Brien and David O’Donnell with O’Brien coming close with a header while Shaun Curran also made his second appearance for the Leckview Park side.
League action commences for both sides next weekend when Letterkenny welcome Derry City Reserves and Swilly travel to Bonagee.[adrotate group=”70″]
Letterkenny Rovers: Sean Friel, David Shovlin, Chris Flanagan, Ryan Gildea, Conor Tourish, Kevin McGrath, Darragh Black, Christy Connaghan, Steve Okakpo-Emeka, Darren McElwaine, Brian McVeigh. Subs: David O’Donnell and Calvin O’Brien for Black and McElwaine (70), Shaun Curran for McGrath (78).
Swilly Rovers: JP McColgan, Noel Doherty, Shaun Crossan,Duncan Patterson, Dylan Hegarty, Marty McDaid, Shay Durning, Corey Hegarty, Barry Mooney,Aaron Rogan, Laurence Toland. Subs: Michael Devine for Durning (29), Glen McElhinney for Crossan (66), Ryan McDaid for Toland (77).Tags: