Illies Celtic moved out on their own at the top of the North West Women’s Super League thanks to an away win in the top-of-the-table clash at Bonagee.
Bonagee United 0 Illies Celtic 2
The two sides went into the game having won two-from-two, but it was John Doherty’s side who had the edge thanks to goals from Paula McGrory and Michelle McDaid.
McGrory’s goal, just before half-time, was the goal that broke Bonagee’s resistance and laid the platform for the win.
Bonagee contested that there had been a foul in the lead-up to the goal, but as McGrory headed in off the inside of the post the appeals fell upon deaf ears and Illies were in front.
As they parted ways at the break, the body language told the story; Illies energised by the goal and Bonagee deflated after a tough, tense first half.
Denise McElhinney, the Bonagee netminder, was called into action by Deirdre Grant in the opening minute and at the other end McElhinney had a go from a free-kick, but her effort was too high.
McElhinney denied Grant again and a powerful closer-range drive by Kirsty Grant warmed the palms of the Bonagee ‘keeper.
Bonagee, with Donegal senior ladies Gaelic footballer Kelly Wilson in their engine room for the first time, were more than a match for Illies, but the clinical edge just belonged to the Inishowen side as McGrory, having been twice denied by McElhinney, broke the deadlock.
Bonagee introduced Alice Diver and Shannon McBride at half-time in a bid to get back into the game but despite a valiant attempt they couldn’t force a breakthrough.
Just when it seemed as if the home side were beginning to come into it, Illies struck a decisive second when McDaid continued her good form, rolling past McElhinney after narrowly beating the offside trap in the 72nd minute.
Bonagee United: Denise McElhinney, Siobhan Sweeney, Emma Ryan, Leona Russell, Aisling Grieve, Brenda Sweeney, Kelly Wilson, Olivia McGinley, Naomi Moore, Deborah Kerrigan, Michaela Carolan. Subs: Alice Diver and Shannon McBride for Sweeney and Moore (HT), Lauren Lynch and Caoimhe Kelly for Grieve and Carolan (73), Aoife O’Donnell for Kerrigan (81)
Illies Celtic: Kerrie Kelly-Ferguson, Deirdre Grant, Tessie Coyle, Aishling Gillespie, Alana Doherty, Caroline Gallagher, Claire Doherty, Michelle McDaid, Paula McGrory, Alison McGonigle, Kirsty Grant. Subs: Caoimhe Devlin for Gillespie (54), Mary McKinney for D.Grant (88).
Referee: Dessie McLaughlin.
Bonagee United 0 Illies Celtic 2 (Paula McGrory, Michelle McDaid)
Carndonagh FC 0 Lagan Harps 8 (Branagh Gallagher 4, Zoe Green 2, Amy Boyd, Paula Valles)
Greencastle 6 Moville Celtic 1 (Sarah Faulkner 3, Sarah Jane McDonald 2, Aisling McDermott for Greencastle)
Rasheney 3 Swilly Rovers 0 (Danielle Gordon 2, Leanna Devlin)
Branagh Gallagher (Lagan Harps) 6
Deborah Kerrigan (Bonagee United) 6
Michelle McDaid (Illies Celtic) 6
Sarah Faulkner (Greencastle FC) 5
Sarah Jane McDonald (Greencastle FC) 5
Zoe Green (Lagan Harps) 4
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