COCKHILL CELTIC came from two down last night to get the point they needed to win their fourth Ulster Senior League title in a row.
Cockhill Celtic 2 Derry City Reserves 2
Gerard McLaughlin, in the 80th minute, and Peter Doherty, with an 88th minute header, netted for Cockhill on a jubilant night at the Charlie O’Donnell Sports Grounds.
Derry hadn’t read the script with Conor Tourish and Jordan Allen giving them a 2-0 lead.
The home side came into the game knowing that a point would be sufficient to reclaim the title after having a 4-1 win over Letterkenny Rovers on Sunday.[adrotate group=”37″]
Cockhill had early shouts for a penalty waved away on 6 minutes by referee Packie Coll.
Derry showed well but Jordan Allen’s effort was easy for Gavin Cullen in the home net.
On 19 minutes Malachu McDermott headed over after a cross from Garbhan Friel.
Derry threatened again on 28 minutes but a heavy touch from Tourish allowed Cullen to smother.
Cockhill’s Gerry Gill then delivered a ball for McDermott but his effort flashed wide with no trouble to Patton in the visitors net. Derry stunned the home side on 36 minutes and went one up when Tourish got on the end off a terrific cross by Allen to give Cullen no chance from 12 yards.[adrotate group=”62″]
The home side responded well on 40 minutes when Friels fiercely struck effort, after a McDermott pass, was well saved by Patton.
Three minutes later and Patton again denied Cockhill, this time saving from Derek Doherty low to his left at the back post after James Bradley had flicked on a Doherty (O) cross.
Patton was again the hero for the candystripes on the stroke of half-time when he saved smartly with his legs from a Friel shot.
Derry started the second period in determined fashion and on 55 minutes should have been two up.
Josh Daniels found space in midfield and found McGlynn coming in off the right with a lovely pass only for the winger to fire past the far post when he should have a least worked the keeper.
The game was going from end to end with some quality on both side and Cockhill’s net minder and player manager Cullen kept his side in the game on 63 minutes when he dived to save smartly from McGlynn who was finding some space on the right.[adrotate group=”46″]
Three minutes later and it was 2-0 to the visitors; Daniels, who looked composed on the ball all evening, broke the offside trap on the left hand side to advance into the area and give Allen an easy chance which he colly slotted home past Cullen from 12 yards.
Cockhill had an effort cleared off the line on 75 minutes and the players seemed to think this wasn’t to be their night.
On 80 minutes Cockhill got a lifeline. Garbhan Friel done great work down the right and advanced into the box before cutting the ball back from the end line for McLaughlin to shot right footed to the net from close range.
Five minutes later and a long throw into the box by McDermott was flicked on by McLaughlin only for Friel’s shot on the turn to flash wide.[adrotate group=”61″]
The home fans sensed the goal was coming and on 88 minutes it arrived.
Cockhill were awarded a free on the right wing about 25 yards from goal and Gill produced a great delivery that was met by the diving Doherty at the back post to power a header past Patton to send the home players into mass celebrations. When things settled down the referee showed a second yellow to the Derry keeper Patton for dissent after he picked up an earlier booking for time wasting.
Derry, although down to ten men, had the last chance off the game in stoppage time but Daniels’ delightful cross eluded everyone and went out for a goal kick much to the relief off the home team and their supporters.
Cockhill Celtic: G Cullen, K McLaughlin, J Breslin, P Doherty, W O’Connor, M McDermott, D Doherty (S), J Bradley, G Friel, G Gill, R Doherty (O).Tags: