BONAGEE UNITED advanced to the national stage of the FAI Intermediate Cup after getting the better of Fanad United at Triagh-A-Locha.
Fanad United 1 Bonagee United 2
Francesco Crisci and Seamus Brown bagged the goals for Peter Moran’s team, who just had enough firepower to see off the two-time Intermediate winners.
Fanad’s powers mightn’t be at their once-formidable levels, but under Arthur Lynch they have lost none of their spirit and John McGarvey’s goal nine minutes from time gave the home side hope.
They couldn’t find a second way through to force extra-time and their cause wasn’t helped by the dismissal of Seamus ‘Coshia’ Friel just moments after his introduction.[adrotate group=”80″]
For long periods it seemed as if the opening goal, by Italian Crisci on 42 minutes, might well have been decider.
Shane O’Doherty’s inch-perfect corner invited Crisci to have a go and he drilled a wonderful first-time effort across Shane Graham and into the far corner from 15 yards.
Having found space, and just enough time, in the box, Crisci’s finish was expert.
Their second arrived in the 80th minute and it, too, was a work of art, substitute Brown turning and hooking over ‘keeper Graham with the deftest of touches. Graham attempted to claw away, but assistant referee Paul Duddy was well positioned to award the goal.
A minute later, McGarvey turned home from close range after getting on the end of a cross by Killian Gallagher and it was game on.
However, Fanad’s hopes of a comeback were dealt a blow when Friel was given his marching orders, handed a straight red card by referee Packie Coll for his part in an incident involving the Bonagee goalkeeper Gareth Wade.
Try as they might and, as is their wont, Fanad certainly dug deep in the closing minutes, but Bonagee held firm.
Early in the game, Crisci saw a thumping effort deflect wide, while Aidan McCauley stung Graham into action with a teasing free.
Martin McElhinney, the Donegal Gaelic footballer, who has recently signed for Fanad, warmed the palsm of Wade from distance and Aidan McLaughlin almost got in for the lead goal, but his shot was palmed out by Graham.
Crisci soon had Bonagee on their way – to the win and into the next round – with Brown’s goal giving them sufficient breathing space in a keenly-contested affair.[adrotate group=”83″]
Fanad United: Shane Graham; Seamus ‘Nanny’ Friel, Shaun McElwaine, Kieran Gorman, Conor Blaney; Kelan McElwaine, Matthew Crossan, Martin McElhinney, Eoghan Rafferty; John McGarvey, Marty McAteer. Subs: Killian Gallagher for Rafferty (50), Seamus ‘Coshia’ Friel for Blaney (83).
Bonagee United: Gareth Wade; Taylor Russell, Gareth Breslin, Darek Frankowski, Gareth Breslin; Francesco Crisci, Aidan McCauley, Chris Moran, Shane O’Doherty; Jamie Lynagh; Aidan McLaughlin. Sub: Seamus Brown for O’Doherty (79).
Referee: Packie Coll.