CHAMPIONS COCKHILL CELTIC were held to a one-all draw by Letterkenny Rovers in the Ulster Senior League today while Bonagee United came from three-nil down at Swilly Rovers to draw 3-3 yesterday.
Letterkenny Rovers 1 Cockhill Celtic 1
THE spoils were shared in a frenetic encounter between two sides who have serious title ambitions in the Ulster Senior League as Letterkenny Rovers and Cockhill Celtic drew 1-1 at Leckview Park on Sunday afternoon.
Picture caption: Cockhill Celtic goalkeeper Gavin Cullen climbs high to collect this ball. Picture courtesy of Stephen Doherty.
After a tame enough opening half hour it was Gavin Cullen in the champions’ goal who was first called into action on 31 minutes when saving well from Steve Okakpo-Emeka after the big Navan man had initially done well to shake off the shackles of Jason Breslin.
Rovers took the lead via the penalty spot on 33 minutes. There seemed to be little danger when Jonny Bonner floated in a cross and the ball was cleared to the edge of the box and just as Kevin McGrath was about to get his shot away he was adjudged to have been clipped by Malachy McDermott inside the area.
Darren McElwaine made no mistake firing low to the right corner past Cullen.
Cockhill had chances to equalise through William O’Connor and Christy McLaughlin before they got the leveller on 41 minutes.
A long ball out of defence from Ronan Ollie Doherty over the Rovers defence led to the nippy Brendan McLaughlin nipping in and firing a composed effort past Rory Kelly.
The second half was a rip-roaring affair and after Darren Coyle and Jonny Bonner exchanged early long range efforts Cockhill began to assume some control and had a number of threatening moves which certainly worked the Rovers defence with the McLaughlin’s – Christy and Brendan – particularly threatening.
The closest they came was on 77 minutes when sub Michael Coyle’s thundering header came off the underside of the bar before his second attempt was well saved by Kell.
Rovers did have half chances through Dan O’Donnell and Paul McVeigh but neither really threatened the visitors. T
he introduction of James Bradley on his return from injury was a big plus to Cockhill and he certainly added to Cockhill’s midfield but as much as they tried they couldn’t find a winner.
Letterkenny Rovers: Rory Kelly, Ryan Lonergan, Jonny Bonnar, Tristan Ferris, Conal McGonigle, Garbhan Grant, Paul McVeigh, Kevin McGrath, Darren McElwaine, Mark Forker, Steve Okakpo-Emeka. Subs: Terence Shiels for Okakpo-Emeka (65), Dan O’Donnell for McElwaine (70), Cathal McDaid for Grant (80).
Cockhill Celtic: Gavin Cullen, Darren Coyle, Jason Breslin,Peter Doherty,William O’Connor, Mal McDermott, Ronan Ollie Doherty, Ronan Newman Doherty,Paul McKinney, Brendan McLaughlin, Christy McLaughlin. Subs: James Bradley for Ronan Newman Doherty (59), Michael Coyle for McKinney (70), Mark Moran for Ronan Ollie Doherty (84).
Referee: Vincent McLoughlin
Swilly Rovers 3 Bonagee Unite 3
BONAGEE United emerged from Swilly Park with a point after performing a miraculous comeback from 3-0 down at half time.
Swilly started brightly and took the lead early with only two minutes played through Laurence Toland.
Midway through the first half Toland grabbed his and Swilly’s second goal. The midfielder produced sublime control to take the ball in his stride and slot the ball home giving Eugene Ferry in the Bonagee goal no chance.
Ferry was involved soon after when he produced a magnificent save to deny Calvin Mooney whose close range effort was heading for the top corner of the Bonagee goal.
The game was soon 3-0 when a rash tackle in the Bonagee box giving the referee, Con McLaughlin, no choice but to award a Swilly penalty.
Toland stepped up to convert the penalty sending it high into the top corner completing his hat trick.
Bonagee got a lifeline in the game when Gareth Breslin converted from close range with 18 minutes remaining.
Swilly were on the back foot with wave after wave of Bonagee pressure coming and they were soon rewarded when Breslin doubled his tally with a back post header.
Swilly defended well until a rash tackle on the edge of the Swilly box from James McCahill resulted in the Ramelton man getting his second yellow and being dismissed whilst also giving Bonagee a free kick in a dangerous area.
With the resulting free kick Bonagee caught the Swilly defence sleeping with a ball down the outside of the wall to an open Bonagee player whose cross was met by the onrushing Aiden McLaughlin who converted from close range with a header.
Swilly Rovers: Gareth Wade, Ronan Sweeney, Duncan Patterson, Dylan Hegarty, Shaun Crossan, Brandon Toye, Marty McDaid, James McCahill, Laurence Toland, Ryan McDaid, Calvin Mooney. Subs: Shay Durning for Patterson (46), Adam Salhi for Crossan (70), Caolan Murray for Mooney (80)
Bonagee United: Eugene Ferry, Gareth Breslin, Darek Frankowski, Darren Hunter, Declan Lynch, Jamie Lynagh, Ciaran Curran, Chris Moran, Aidan McLaughlin, Aodhan Cannon. Subs: Paul Clarke, Barry McGinley.
Referee: Con McLaughlin.