CHAMPIONS COCKHILL Celtic showed their mettle and muscle all in one go as they defeated Derry City Reserves at the Charlie O’Donnell Sports Grounds.
Cockhill Celtic 5 Derry City Reserves 1
Gerard McLaughlin netted a hat-trick for Gavin Cullen’s men who were much too strong for a youthful Derry outfit.
Shane McNamee’s peach of an equaliser cancelled out McLaughlin’s opener, but when the Cockhill striker restored the lead within a minute, Cockhill were on their way for a real statement win.[adrotate group=”85″]
Gerry Gill and Paul McDermott also got in on the act with goals on a day when Cockhill really outlined their credentials.
After early chances for Ronan Doherty and Mark Moran narrowly missed the target, McLaughlin put them into the lead on 11 minutes, superbly flicking a header beyond Mark McElhinney from Gill’s free-kick.
McNamee, younger brother of Derry’s Barry and Finn Harps’ Tony, delightfully leveled it in the 23rd minute, curling the sweetest of strikes to the top corner of the Cockhill net.
However, Cockhill hit back instantly and McLaughlin turned home from close range.[adrotate group=”38″]
Conor Keddy, who was to the fore for Cockhill in a dominant display, did well to hold off Jack Blake to carve a chance late in the first half, while Moran rounded McElhinney, but shot into the side-netting.
Just before half-time, Cockhill stretched their advantage. Keddy made the goal after getting in behind and cut back for Gill, who showed all his guile to find the bottom corner.
Ten minutes into the second half, full-back McDermott converted from a tight angle, after Gill clipped over the crossbar with a teasing free.
McLaughlin coolly slotted home his third and Cockhill’s fifth and the hosts might have had more, but McElhinney saved from Gill and sub Daniel Martin Doherty, after a fine solo run, was denied.
Late in the game, Keddy’s dipping effort fell a fraction too late and Darren Coyle couldn’t get the necessary conviction on his shot, while Doherty also hit the top of the crossbar.
It was a day when, in front of the watching Ollie Horgan, when Cockhill issued a big message to challengers for their title.
Cockhill Celtic: Harry Doherty, Paul McDermott, Jason Breslin, Peter Doherty, Oisin McColgan, James Bradley, Conor Keddy, Gerry Gill, Gerard McLaughlin, Mark Moran, Ronan Doherty. Subs: Daniel Martin Doherty for McLaughlin, Ryan Varma for Moran, Darren Coyle for Gill.
Derry City Reserves: Mark McElhinney, Adrian Delap, Matt Doherty, Jack Blake, Cristian Castelles, Dean Power, Shane McNamee, Stephen Duffy, Sean Toland, Sean McBride, Cathal Farren. Subs: Reece McDermott for Farren, Max Duffy for Toland, Paul Doherty for M.Doherty.
Referee: Vincent McLoughlin.Tags: