GARBHÁN FRIEL has returned to give Cockhill Celtic’s Ulster Senior League title defence a significant boost.
After spending the last six months at Irish League Championship club Institute, Friel has decided to return to Cockhill, who are vying to win the USL for the fourth season on the trot.
The striker was one of the maintstays on an all-conquering team under Donal O’Brien.
He won the League and League Cup double with Cockhill in 2013 and 2014 before he joined Finn Harps last January. After spending the first half of the season at Harps, Friel joined Institute in the summer.
During his time away, in the interim season run to allow the USL return to an August-May season from their ‘summer football’ venture, Cockhill again won the double.
Friel’s goals were a key factor in their success and his return will add a considerable string to the bow for Gavin Cullen’s team.
Cockhill overcame Bonagee United 3-0 on Sunday to open up a four-point lead at the summit, although Letterkenny Rovers have a game in hand.
Third-placed Derry City are a growing challenger and Cockhill travel to Kevin Mahon’s Candystripes – who are six behind with two games in hand – this Sunday.
Cockhill, unbeaten so far in the League, will hope to have obtained an international clearance for Friel to allow him play this weekend.