COCKHILL Celtic’s lead at the top of the 4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League is down to six points after Gavin Cullen’s team lost out to Derry City.
Meanwhile, Letterkenny Rovers overcame Bonagee in Saturday evening’s derby. Fanad United are up to third thanks to their slender win over Finn Harps.
Cockhill Celtic 1 Derry City Reserves 3
AFTER not losing a game in the 4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League in a 72-match sequence going back to 2012, Cockhill Celtic have now lost twice in three games.
A strong Derry City Reserve side inflicted a 3-1 defeat on Cockhill at the Charlie O’Donnell Sports Grounds.
The match was played in perfect conditions and it was the visitors Derry who scored with their first attack.
Mark Timlin, recently signed from St. Patricks Athletic, picked the ball up wide on the right and his cross into the box was neatly laid off by Barry McNamee for the inrushing Cathal Farren to shot past the helpless Gavin Cullen into the net from 10 yards.
Cockhill responded well and had a few early corners but both were gathered well under pressure by Derry’s Eric Grimes.
On 10 minutes the visitors, playing their home match away, were two up.
Cockhill’s defence failed to clear a Josh Daniels corner and young Farren turned well in the box to shoot high to the roof of the net doubling his tally in the process. Cockhill started to grow into the game and had the majority of possession without creating too much.
Cockhill’s main threat was coming from set pieces and on 24 minutes a Ronan Doherty ‘Ollie’ Doherty corner was flicked towards goal at the near post by William O’Connor but with the keeper Grimes beat Harry Monaghan was on hand to head clear under the crossbar.
Cockhill did pull a goal back on 43 minutes when the referee, Packie Coll, awarded the home side a free wide on the left 35 yards from goal after young Jack Blake was adjudged to have handled the ball while controlling it.
Gerry Gill’s excellent dead ball into the area was not cleared and Gerard McLaughlin’s pass back into the area was bundled home from two yards by James Bradley.
Derry restored their two-goal advantage on 49 minutes when, after a Cockhill corner, the Candystripes broke at pace and Farren flicked the ball through the gap to Ronan Curtis for the striker to dummy the ball and round Cullen to tap the ball home from 12 yards.
Cullen was smart off his line on 52 minutes to deny Farren his hat-trick after the young forward was played through by Timlin.
Cockhill had a chance to reduce the deficit on 55 minutes after good play from Conor Keddy and Bradley but midfielder Ryan Varma’s effort from 16 yards was saved by Grimes low to his left.
Cockhill were very much still in the game and on 62minutes William O’Connor had a goal disallowed for offside by Bradley much to the dismay of the home support. O’Connor had another chance on 68 minutes when he blazed over from 14 yards after Delap had cleared an initial Keddy effort off the line after a Gill corner.
Derry has their chances to see the game out in the closing 15 minutes with Cullen saving easily from Timlin, Daniels, Curtis and Shane McNamee after the young substitute was set up by his elder brother Barry.
Cockhill tried in vain to get another goal back but the visitors defence stood firm. The ‘poor day at the office’ was summed up on the stroke of fulltime when a Paul McKinney penalty for the home side was saved by Grimes diving too his left after Blake was adjudged to have pushed Keddy to the floor
Cockhill Celtic: G Cullen, D Doherty, P Doherty, O McColgan, W O’Connor, G McLaughlin, G Gill, R Varma, C Keddy, J Bradle, R Doherty. Subs: DM Doherty for G McLaughlin.
Derry City Reserves: E Grimes, A Delap, B Doherty, J Blake, S Whiteside, H Monaghan, B McNamee, R Curtis, J Daniels, M Timlin, C Farren. Subs: S McBride, S McNamee, P Doherty, J McCallion
Referee: P Coll.
Fanad United 1 Finn Harps Reserves 0
Fanad United got back to winning ways when they overcame Finn Harps Reserves 1-0 in a game that was switched to Traigh-a-Loch.
In a game played in glorious conditions, Fanad started the quicker of the two teams and almost took the lead after two minutes when a deep cross from Seimi Nanny Friel was met at the back post by Eunan Kelly but his header went just wide.
Fanad continued to press and a fine move on 10 minutes involving Daire McDaid and Davitt Walsh resulted in a Eunan Kelly shot but Tommy Lee McCarron produced an outstanding save to deny him .
Fanad opened the scoring from the resulting corner when Shaun McElwaine rose highest at the back post to meet Daire McDaid’s delivery and he gave McCarron no chance.
Harps started to come into the game after this and had a good chance on 15 minutes to equalise when Kealn Kearney shot over when well placed.
On the half hour mark a Dylan Rooney hit a cross shot but Shane Graham did well to push the ball out for a corner.
On the stroke of half time Fanad were awarded a free some 40 yards out, Daire McDaid spotted McCarron off his line but his effort was eventually saved by the Harps keeper.
Harps could have levelled the game five minutes into the 2nd half when after some good work down the left, Oran McConnell fired just wide of the Fanad post.
Five minutes later McConnell came even closer to equalising when he met a corner in the box but his powerful header was blocked on the line by the alert Declan McGarvey.
There wasn’t much in the way of goal mouth activity for the remainder of the game.
One incident though came in the 70th minute when McDaid charged down a McCarron clearance and a scrambling McCarron just about recovered to make the save.
Best for Fanad were Shaun McElwaine, Oisin Langan, Declan McGarvey. Best for Harps were Tommy Lee McCarron, Liam Doherty and Ryan Finn
Fanad United: Shane Graham, Oisin Langan, Seamus ‘Nanny’ Friel, Seamus ‘Coshia’ Friel, Shaun McElwaine, Matthew Crossan, Marty McAteer, Davitt Walsh, Declan McGarvey, Daire McDaid, Eunan Kelly.
Finn Harps Reserves: Tommy Lee McCarron, Paul Ferry, Adam Byrne, Liam Doherty, Shaun Rodgers, Ryan Finn, Kealan Kearney, Jack McKelvey, Oran McConnell, Liam Walsh, Dylan Rooney.
Referee: Vincent McLaughlin
Bonagee United 0 Letterkenny Rovers 2
Letterkenny Rovers visited Dry Arch Park on this chilly January evening in a bid to get back to winning ways after last weekend’s defeat to table-toppers Cockhill Celtic, and duly left with all three points thanks to goals from Paul McVeigh and an injury time second from Kevin McGrath.
The hosts had won the corresponding fixture back in late October, but it was the men from Leckview who were under no pressure throughout this contest.
The opening goal came in the 11th minute, when the lively McVeigh reacted to a loose ball in the Bonagee penalty area to expertly place the ball past the dive of Gareth Wade.
Letterkenny could have doubled their advantage in the 28th minute when a Chris Flanagan effort from distance almost caught Wade out, who had to scramble to push the ball around the post for a corner.
The second half began much as the first forty five ended, with Letterkenny dominating possession and limiting Bonagee efforts to ones from distance.
Bonagee thought they should have had a penalty in the 69th minute when Dean Larkin went down in the box, but any appeals were waved away by referee Marty Quinn.
The second goal for the visitors arrived in the 92nd minute when Odhran McMackens pass into the danger area was met by McGrath at the back post to make it 2-0.
Bonagee United: Wade, Breslin, Russell, Lynagh, Hunter, O’Brien, Stolarcsyk, McCauley, McLaughlin, Larkin, O’Doherty. Subs used: Coyle, De Kook
Letterkenny Rovers: Kelly, Lonergan, Gildea, Tourish, Boyle, Flanagan, McVeigh, McGrath, McElwaine, Conaghan, Shovlin. Subs used: McVeigh, McMacken
Bonagee United 0 Letterkenny Rovers 2
Derry City Reserves 3 Cockhill Celtic 1 (Played at Cockhill)
Finn Harps Reserves 0 Fanad United 1 (Played at Fanad)
Thursday, January 26, 7.30pm
Fanad United v Swilly Rovers
Saturday, January 28, 2.30pm
Letterkenny Rovers v Finn Harps Reserves
Sunday, January 29, 2pm
Bonagee United v Fanad United
Swilly Rovers v Derry City Reserves
|Derry City Reserves
|Finn Harps Reserves
GOALSCORERS (League goals only)
Cathal Farren (Derry City Reserves) 10
Darren McElwaine (Letterkenny Rovers) 7
Mark Moran (Cockhill Celtic) 6
Jimmy Bradley (Cockhill Celtic) 4
Gerard McLaughlin (Cockhill Celtic) 4
Aaron McCready (Finn Harps Reserves) 4
Laurence Toland (Swilly Rovers) 4Tags: