Champions Drumoghill were the big winners in the Donegal League Premier Division today. With Kildrum, Lagan and Glenea all drawing, Pajo Rafferty’s winner at Castlefin made for a fine day for The Moss men.
Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division
Rathmullan Celtic 3 Kildrum Tigers 3
For the second time in a fortnight Rathmullan had to absorb the concession of a goal deep, deep into stoppage time that deprived them of three much-needed points, settling instead for a draw that must feel more like a defeat.
Kildrum Tigers meanwhile, desperate for points at the other end of the table, will go home delighted to twice have rescued themselves from improbable positions in the second half to come away with what might prove a massive point gained in their pursuit of the Premier Division title.
The visitors trailed by two goals midway through the second half when they were reduced to ten men but the sending off appeared to galvanise Kildrum as they pinned Rathmullan back.
It looked like being in vain until a crazy spell at the end saw four goals scored, every emotion hit for both teams and their supporters and, eventually, a point each as a truce had to be declared.
This was undoubtedly a game that advertised a lot of the good things that make the Donegal League’s top flight a rip-roaring battle for all its teams.
Rathmullan hit the front inside two minutes. Skipper Eoin Sheridan lofted a header back into the 18-yard box after a corner had been partially cleared and Kevin Doran launched himself into a bicycle kick to fire past Andrew Simmons in the Tigers goal.
There were chances at both ends through the opening half but no more goals. The Seasiders knew one goal was never going to see this one out, and they doubled the lead just before the hour. Sheridan again was the catalyst, bursting at pace from the middle of the field and threading a clever reverse pass into Jude Patton’s path. He shot low and beyond the dive of Simmons into the corner.
Kildrum’s cause looked bleak when Daniel Doherty saw a straight red for a challenge on Chippy Barrett in the centre circle – the Kildrum player perhaps rightly feeling that a caution would have been plenty punishment for the crime committed.
The ten men set about getting back into the game and they did just that on 84 minutes, Rathmullan this time failing to clear their lines from a corner and Jamie McKinney thumped the ball over the line. Barely 90 seconds later and the sides were level.
A cross from Gary Crossan was met by William Lynch at the back post and Mark Gallagher had no chance in the Hoops net.
Despite the numerical handicap, the Seaside faithful would have feared the worst now as Kildrum had their tails firmly in the air. To their eternal credit, Rathmullan went on the attack right from the kick-off and regained the lead within 60 seconds.
Full-back David Fisher whipped in a terrific right-footed cross and the unmarked James Gallagher kept his eyes on the prize at the far post to head home powerfully.
There were still three minutes of normal time to play and by now tempers on both sides were a bit fraught.
Into stoppage time and Kildrum looked destined to level when a scramble in the box saw the ball drop at the feet of Lynch but he couldn’t direct his effort on target.
The home side were baying for the full-time whistle but that simply wasn’t on offer. W
ith more than seven minutes of stoppage time elapsed, Kildrum forced a corner which at one stage goalkeeper Simmons incredibly looked set to take.
He ventured into the box instead and from a second cross into the danger area the ball was pinged around before arriving at the foot of Blaine Curtis and he stabbed into the net to ensure it was Kildrum that exited the Flagpole feeling pleased with life.
Referee: Mick Lagan[adrotate group=”90″]
Castlefin Celtic 0 Drumoghill F.C. 1
Castlefin suffered a narrow home defeat at the hands of Drumoghill on Sunday at Parkview. It was a tense game with both teams title contenders. Both sides had very few chances in the opening period.
The visitors created the first chance of the half when Pajo Rafferty had a volley from 25 yards but it was well saved by Anthony Sweeney in the home goals.
Castlefin got a foothold on the game and created a few chances but JP Malley failed to convert from close range. The visitors started the brighter in the second half and took the lead when the ball broke to Rafferty who raced clear and finished well after 50 minutes.
Castlefin pressed for an equaliser but Ian Ward headed wide after good work from Jonny Robb. Drumoghill could have doubled their lead with a few opportunities but Liam O’ Donnell missed from close range.
Castlefin piled on the pressure but in the end couldn’t breach the visitors defence. Team Performance from both sides. Referee: Patrick Martin
Milford United 2 Glenea United 2
A share of the spoils was a fair result in a pulsating game at Moyle View Park in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Glenea went one up in the first minute after a mix up in the Milford defence and Kevin Mulhern tapped home. Milford levelled on 20minutes with Kyle Black hitting the net from 18 yards.
Milford took the lead on the 65th minute through a Paul Nash strike to the top corner from 20yards. Glenea levelled on 80minutes when Kevin Mulhern tapped home from a corner. Both teams went for the win but both defences withstood the attacks.
Milford’s PJ Hagan played the last 15 minutes before he and girlfriend Stephanie emigrate to Australia next week and they are wished well.
Referee: Liam Mc Laughlin.
Kilmacrennan Celtic 2 Lagan Harps 2
In a keenly contested match in Kerrykeel a draw was a fair outcome.
Lagan started well and took the lead on ten minutes. Marty Brogan flighted a great ball in to area and Kenny Doran rose highest to head home.
Kilmacrennan equalised when Christopher Dillon put a lovely ball in behind the Lagan defence and Caolan McDaid finished well.
Kilmacrennan put on some pressure as the half ended and went close on a couple of occasions. Lagan regained the lead early in the second half with a stunning goal. The Kilmacrennan defence headed a Lagan cross away but Caolan Murray met it with a superb volley in to the top of the net, his first goal for Lagan seniors.
Kilmacrennan piled on the pressure as the half wore on and were awarded a penalty on sixty five minutes. However Damien McFadden saved Caolan McDaid’s effort and in the subsequent scramble a goal was ruled out for offside.
Mark Graham set off on a great solo run for Lagan and only a superb tackle from Aidan Sweeney prevented him from bursting through.
Kilmacrennan finally equalised on eighty three minutes when a long throw in was flicked on and Aidan Sweeney headed in at the back post. Kilmacrennan poured forward in the last few minutes but Lagan held on for a deserved point.
For Kilmacrennan Aidan Sweeney, Mark Friel and Caolan Mc Daid did well, with the evergreen Timmy Burke showing some nice touches.
The calming influence of Budgie Sandilands was missed.
For Lagan it was a great team effort, Damien McFadden did well in goals with Glenn Gallagher and Ronan Gibson holding a solid defence together while Mark Graham and Oran Hilley put in a mountain of work in midfield.[adrotate group=”46″]
Temple Domestic Appliances Division One
Gweedore United 1 Glenree United 3
This game, played at Carrickboyle on a lovely day, saw the visitors collect a vital three points. In the opening 15 minutes the home side had three early chances through Ciaran Mc Fadden however were unlucky on each occassion with Martin Mc Bride doing well in nets for Glenree.
The home side were made to pay for all the missed chances when a bit of magic from Andrew Kelly in the 19 minute made it 0-1. More chances through Ciaran and John Mc Fadden for United were well saved by McBride.
In the second half the home side continued to push and got caught on the break in the 71st minute and Glenree we’re awarded a penalty which Barry Boyce finished well to make it 0-2.
Martin Mc Laughlin made it 0-3 in the 80th minute. Ciaran Mc Fadden got a consolidation goal for the home side in the 88th minute on a day they had enough chances to won two games.
Raphoe Town 1 Erne Wanderers 0
A second half penalty from Christy Bogle was enough to separate the teams as Raphoe Town recorded their second home win in as many weeks at Deele College. Despite late pressure from the visitors who sought to steal a point late on, it was a well-deserved win for Shane Dolan’s team who might well have netted more on the day.
Gavin McBrearty spurned a good chance early on and Jamie Gallagher who was excellent throughout for Raphoe, blazed wide after he’d cut the Erne defence asunder with a super run.
Gallagher was too hot to handle for the Erne men all day and he was upended for the penalty kick that Christy Bogle coolly slotted home.
Stephen Laird saw a free-kick smash off the crossbar and there were half chances later for Bogle and young DJ Kelly, but in the end one goal was enough for Raphoe to take all three points.
Gweedore Celtic 3 Bonagee United 1
Gweedore opened the scoring on 12 minutes after Tommy Diver converted a spectacular volley from a Micheal Roarty cross.
The Celts then squandered a number of chances before Bonagee drew level on 40 minutes from a fantastic strike from 35 yards by Lee McMonagle.
On 60 minutes Diver headed his side into the lead from a Ciaran McHugh cross. Diver then made the game safe and secured his hat-trick when he nodded in a cross from Eamonn McGee. The Celts held out for all three points.
Best for Gweedore were Cathal Mulligan and Christopher McFadden.
Referee: Paddy Duffy.
Cappry Rovers 1 Keadue Rovers 0
This game was played in perfect conditions in Cappry Park. It was a tight and tense first half with both sides cancelling each other out.
It was the home side that had the first clear cut chance of the game when Brendan McLaughlin’s quick free found Calvin Bradley but his effort went just wide. Mc Laughlin had a fine effort saved by the Keadue keeper in the 38th minute.
The away side came out strong in the second half and pushed the home side back but the Cappry defence held strong.
In the 56th minute Cappry took the lead following a scramble in the box Brendan McLaughlin made room for himself on the edge of the six yard box and fired into the top corner. Calvin Bradley played Mc Laughlin through and he skipped past the keeper but saw his effort cleared off the line.
Keadue piled on the pressure in the last 10 minutes but the home team defended well and held on for the valuable three points in there push for promotion. Two team efforts.
Donegal Town 6 Deele Harps 0
Donegal Town played high intensity football from the off and could have been three goals up in the first ten minutes.
A string of chances for Stephen Curneen, Conor Mc Monagle and Joe McIntyre were denied only by the Deele goalkeeper and the post. Declan Brown opened the scoring for Donegal on 10 minutes when he headed into the top corner from the penalty spot following Eoin Slevin’s cross.
Daniel McHugh doubled Donegal’s lead on 25 minutes when he pounced on a loose ball in the Deele box and finished neatly into the roof of the net.
Donegal came out of the blocks fast in the second half and were awarded a penalty five minutes in when Joe McIntyre was brought down inside the penalty area. Eoin Slevin made no mistake from 12 yards.
Daniel McHugh made it four for Donegal on 60 minutes when his wonder strike from 25 yards found the top corner.
Declan Browne got his second on 70 minutes when his low strike from the edge of the box nestled into the bottom corner. Aaron Slevin rounded off the scoring for Donegal on the 80th minute. Ben Sweeney’s excellent cross into the six yard box left set up Slevin to head home from close range.
CT Ball Division Two
Cranford United 3 Drumkeen United 4
Cranford made a great start to the game putting Drumkeen under pressure at the back and Brendan Giles got his reward with a header from close range.
Cranford pushed again this time Johnny Wilhare getting on the end of a long through. Odhran Coll got number three with a well placed finish from outside the box.
Drumkeen were rattled but when Niall Bonner picked up a loose ball he cooly put it over the advancing keeper. Bonner got a second just before half time with a neat one two and a tidy finish.
Drumkeen started the second half brightly with Bonner completing his hat-trick minutes after the restart.
They completed the comeback through Michael Guthrie. Niall Bonner and Kevin Boyle were best for Drumkeen with Odhran Coll and Johnny Wilhare doing well for Cranford
Lifford Celtic 0 Ballybofey United 2
Ballybofey started the brighter in this game and were playing some good football in the first 20 minutes but never really tested Given in the Lifford goal. The home side came into it a bit more as the 2nd half wore on and went close through Jason Mc Brearty.
Lifford threatened again when Kevin Mc Brearty whipped in a great ball from the left and striker Porter was inches from putting Lifford in front. Ballybofey striker Glackin had a great chance just before half time but keeper Given stood up strong and made a good save.
In the second half Ballybofey started going more direct and troubled the Lifford defence on a few occasions. It was with one of these long balls that they took the lead when a mix-up in the Lifford defence saw sub Griffin go clear to poke the ball past Given.
Lifford nearly got back on level terms when Johnny Mahon had a goalbound effort blocked on the line. Ballybofey went two up on 70 minutes, again it was Griffin who made the difference with a well taken effort that flew into the top corner.
Lifford pushed to get back into the game but just couldn’t crack the Ballybofey back four on the day.
A really good result for Ballybofey who will be happy to extend their lead over Lifford in the race for the title.
Whitestrand United 1 Dunkineely Celtic 2
On a bright winter’s day, Whitestrand United took on Dunkineely Celtic at Mc Garvey Park. Whitestrand started on the front foot and almost took the lead but the chance was narrowly missed by Johnny Sweeney.
The game continued but Dunkineely took the upper hand when a defensive mix up led to a goal by Aaron Byrne.
Dunkineely extended their lead when they were awarded a penalty which was converted by Martin Cunningham.
The second half started with Dunkineely happy to sit on their two goal lead and Whitestrand struggled to get into the game. Paul Coyle had a shot well saved and Dunkineely hit the post from a shot that was well saved by Martin Gallagher.
Whitestrand got a consolation goal in the 90th minute but there was not enough time to push for an equaliser. Best for the Strand was Derek Edwards.