Inishowen League, finalists last year, were hit by a sucker-punch by Cavan-Monaghan last night and they must now navigate a play-off against the Donegal League.
Cavan Monaghan 2 Inishowen League 1
Played on the Cootehill astro pitch Inishowen have only themselves to blame as they spurned quite a few chances before Cavan-Monaghan netted the injury time winner.
On 6 minutes a Nigel McMonagle cross from the right found Brendan McLaughlin and from the tightest of angle he beat the keeper but the ball came off the base of the far post and was cleared.
Kieran McDaid then flashed a free kick from the edge of the area narrowly wide.
On 12 minutes Inishowen took the lead when Terence Doherty laid the ball across to Dillon Ruddy who fired a sweetly hit 25-yards effort to the top corner.
Inishowen retreated after this and the home side had a chance when Amosi Asukulu headed over before a Darren Freeman effort from the edge of the area clipped the top of the bar on the way over.
Inishowen responded and a Matthew Byrne cross found Terence Doherty who headed over at the near post before Matthew Henry fed Doherty on the edge of the area but he fired inches wide of the post.
The home side then equalised on 35 minutes when Asukulu’s superb cross from the left found John McDye and while Darragh McLaughlin blocked at his feet the ball fell kindly for McDye to poke home from close range.
Inishowen finished the half strongly and a brilliant burst inside from the right by McMonagle saw him release McDaid into the area but keeper Darren McQuaid advanced to smother at his feet.
On the stroke of half time McMonagle got to the byeline and pulled the ball back to Doherty but he was dispossessed just as he was about to shoot.
The home side had the first chance of the second period after Asukulu crossed for Mark Mulligan who fired straight at McLaughlin when well placed. Inishowen dominated the remainder of the game pouring forward with McLaughlin feeding Henry inside the area but his low effort was turned behind by McQuaid at full stretch.
McLaughlin broke on the right but his cross failed to find McMonagle. A brilliant run by Kieran McDaid took him past three men and when he pulled the ball back McLaughlin miskicked before seeing his follow up header saved.
In a rare break forward Sean Duffy headed narrowly wide from a corner for the home side.
Inishowen roared back and a delightful cross from the left by Henry found McLaughlin who sidestepped a defender and the keeper but saw his driven goal-bound effort deflected onto the crossbar and over.
Substitutes Seamus Doherty and Anthony Doherty combined for the latter to fire into the side netting before an Anthony Doherty cross from the right was just too high for Terence Doherty.
Four minutes into injury time the home side broke on the right and substitute Caolan Reilly’s deflected effort was parried by McLaughlin but the ball fell to Duffy who fired home.
Even at that Inishowen created a chance to force extra time when McLaughlin cut inside the area from the right but saw his effort strike a defender and be cleared.
A disappointing night overall for Inishowen and now they face a home and away play off against Donegal to decide who advances to the knock out stages.Tags: