Bonagee United clinched the Division 1 crown this evening as the Dry Arch Park celebrate their first ever Sunday League title.
Gweedore Celtic 1 Bonagee United 1
By Chris McNulty at An Screaban
Glenn Gallagher’s penalty was cancelled out by Colin Ferry’s goal, but the share of the spoils was all that Damien McClafferty’s men needed to uncork the champagne.
Bonagee enjoyed the bulk of the play, but made life difficult for themselves and their sizeable following, for whom the glances at the stopwatches became more frequent until, finally, after 95 minutes and 48 seasons, the whistle shrilled and they were crowned champions.
Gallagher gave them a deserved lead 12 minutes into the second half, tucking home from the spot after Jason Ashmore was upended by Sean Paul Gallagher.
However, Gweedore drew level when Ferry crashed home a Michael Cutliffe cross.
Bonagee had several openings to put the tie to bed in between times, with Lee McMonagle riffling goalward only to be blocked by Michael McKelvey after getting on the end of Ashmore’s delivery.
Aidan McLaughlin fired over after connecting to a cross from Eamonn Cannon, a former winner of four Premier Division titles with Glenea.
Bonagee began with a real purpose and McMonagle rose not far over after three minutes as the visitors set about their business well.
But as the game wore on, Bonagee – who were enjoying the lion’s share of possession – grew increasingly frustrated.
McMonagle beat the offside trap in the 12th minute only to be denied by the legs of Daniel McLaughlin, the Gweedore Celtic goalkeeper.
Aidan McLaughlin’s stabbed effort from close range was beaten out by McLaughlin before a brilliant move from Bonagee ended with McMonagle prodding wide from 20 yards.
Glenn Gallagher curled a free inches over and Greg McGee prodded wide as Bonagee continued to probe with intent.
Gallagher turned provider for Drew Connolly, who will feel that his downward header should have opened the scoring.
As is often the case in these type of contests, Gweedore Celtic had their moments against the run of play.
After a fine passage involving Tomas Diver and Michael Roarty, the latter’s cross was headed wide by Colin Ferry.
Gweedore Celtic were closer still to the lead in first half stoppage time when Diver cracked a free kick off the post.
It was a moment that characterised the game, but ultimately it was Bonagee’s day as they collected the silverware from proud Donegal League secretary Jimmy Haughey, a Bonagee United clubman.
Gweedore Celtic: Daniel McLaughlin, Fiachra Coyle, Sean Paul Gallagher, Michael McKelvey, Eugene Noel Ferry, Damien O’Sullivan, Michael Cutliffe, Michael Roarty, Ryan Ferry (Ryan Greene 51), Colin Ferry, Tomas Diver.
Bonagee United: John Carr, Glenn Gallagher, Taylor Russell (Darren Ferry 51), Glenn Rainey, Noel O’Donnell, Greg Magee (Shane Kelly 75), Jason Ashmore (Darren Hunter 75), Eamonn Cannon, Lee McMonagle, Aidan McLaughlin (Paddy McGowan 88), Drew Connolly.
Referee: Joe McHugh.Tags: