THE TWO FIXTURES played in the Ulster Senior League today finished all square.
Bonagee United and Derry City shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw and Fanad United and Cockhill Celtic drew 1-1.
Fanad United 1-1 Cockhill Celtic
Fanad United (pictured above) secured their first point of the season after earning a battling 1-1- draw with reigning champions Cockhill Celtic in an entertaining game played in ideal conditions at Traigh-a-Loch on Sunday.
Fanad United produced their best performance of the season when they secured a 1-1 with Cockhill. After Fanad took the lead through Keelin McElwaine in the 20th minute, Cockhill equalised in the 58th minute courtesy of an unfortunate own goal from Declan McGarvey.
But Cockhill would have left Traigh-a-Loch wondering how they never secured all three points as they had the majority of the possession throughout the game. Cockhill started the game the stronger and had a number of chances in the opening part of the game.
The earliest chance came in the fifth minute when following a corner the ball was cleared to Peter Doherty who’s half volley from 20 yards flew just wide of the post. 10 minutes later Malachy McDermott robbed the ball off Declan McGarvey in mid-field and sent a through ball to Ronan Doherty whose shot was well saved by Oran Blaney.
Player manager Arthur Lynch was having a great game at centre half getting his head on a number of crosses. Fanad started to come into the game and had a few half chances.
After a free was awarded out on the right, Eric Roberts swung the ball in and it well held by Cockhill player manager Gavin Cullen in a crowded penalty area.
However Fanad were not to be denied and took the lead in the 21st minute. When Martin McElhinney fed Eric Roberts down the right, his cut back was met by Keelin McElwaine with his back to goal. McElwaine then turned and curled a lovely shot into to bottom corner.
The goal spurred Cockhill back into life and they were unlucky not to equalise in the 27th minute when Ronan Doherty’s fine cross from the left was just missed by the on rushing Derek Doherty.
Fanad had young keeper Oran Blaney to thank in the 32nd minute when he made a brave block to deny Gerald McLaughlin who had been sent through by Mal McDermott.
Cockhill dominated the second half without creating many clear cut chances. Four minutes in Benny McLaughlin swung in a dangerous free kick from the right but Arthur Lynch rose highest to head over.
On 55 minutes Benny McLaughlin produced a fine cross but Gerald McLaughlin seen his header well saved by Blaney. Cockhill’s pressure finally paid dividends in the 58th minute when they equalised in somewhat fortuitous circumstances.
When the referee awarded a free on the right, Benny McLaughlin sent in a good ball into the box. In his attempt to clear the ball Declan McGarvey flicked the ball into his own net giving Blaney no chance.
The introduction of Mark Moran gave Cockhill a boost but no matter how hard they tried they couldn’t force a winner. Moran’s best chance came in the 71st minute when Derek Doherty’s driving run and cut back was hit straight at the keeper. Overall Arthur Lynch will definitely be the happier of the two managers while Gavin Cullen will be left ruing their lack of cutting edge up front.
Best for Fanad were Arthur Lynch, Martin McAteer and Eric Roberts. Best for Cockhill were Benny McLaughlin, Malachy McDermott and Mark Moran.
Fanad United: Oran Blaney, Oisin Langan, Chris Duffy, Martin McAteer, Arthur Lynch, Patrick Carr, Declan McGarvey, Martin McElhinney, Keelin McElwaine, Conor McGonigle (Brain McVeigh 74), Eric Roberts.
Cockhill Celtic: Gavin Cullen, Kieran McLaughlin, Jason Breslin, Peter Doherty, William O’Connor, Malachy McDermott, Derek Doherty (Mark Moran 54), Ronan Doherty (Darren Coyle 83), Gerald McLaughlin (Paul McKinney 75), Ronan Doherty, Benny McLaughlin
Referee: Martin McGarrigle.
The Cockhill Celtic side who drew against Fanad United in the Ulster Senior League
Bonagee United 2-2 Derry City
Both these sides went into this game on the back of a good victory last time out, and a share of the spoils probably was a fair result.
Bonagee Unitede came out of the blocks quickly and almost scored in the third minute.
James Carolan ghosted past his marker to cross a ball into the danger area only for Dean Larkin to scoop his effort wide of the post. The visitors had their first opportunity in the 19th minute.
Bonagee goalkeeper, Eugene Ferry, miscued a clearance to the feet of Ronan Curtis, but the young Derry striker managed to put his effort narrowly wide, much to the relief of Ferry.
The Candystripes had another chance on the half hour mark. Full-back Shay Dunlop crossed a ball into the box which reached Josh Daniels. Daniels took a touch and managed to shoot wide off the far post.
The deadlock was broken in the 35th minute. Anthony Appiah, who was a constant threat all afternoon, got on the end of a Carolan pass to finish beyond Shaun Patton. The second half was only seconds old when Derry got their equaliser. Aaron McEniff swung in a great corner and Ronan Curtis made no mistake with a header from six yards.
Derry were certainly on top at this stage, with Daniels and McEniff causing problems for the Bonagee backline. They deservedly took the lead in the 61st minute, when Darek Frankowski pushed Paddy McClean in the box. Vincent McLaughlin pointed to the spot, and Ryan Curran scored the resulting penalty.
With Bonagee pushing forward for the leveller, Derry had a couple of chances to increase their lead, but they found Eugene Ferry in inspiring form. With seconds remaining, Bonagee got their equaliser. An effort from Chris Moran took a wicked deflection to wrong foot Patton and give Peter Moran’s side a share of the points.
Bonagee United: Eugene Ferry, Gareth Breslin, Darek Frankowski (Paul Clarke), Decky Lynch, Aodhan Cannon, James Carolan (Paul Simon Treacy), Chris Moran, Jamie Lynagh, Anthony Appiah, Dean Larkin & Aidan McLaughlin.
Derry City: Shaun Patton, Shay Dunlop, Gareth McFadden Seamus Sharkey, Paddy McClean, Aaron McEniff, Rory Holden, Stephen Mills (Ryan Doherty), Ronan Curtis, Josh Daniels, Ryan Curran.
Referee: Vincent McLoughlin.
Fixtures – Sunday, October 25th
FAI Intermediate Cup Round, 2pm
Cockhill Celtic v Letterkenny Rovers
Bonagee United v Fanad United