GARBHAN Grant grabbed another late goal against Letterkenny Rovers as Bonagee United rescued a dramatic Ulster Senior League point.
Letterkenny Rovers 2 Bonagee United 2
By Chris McNulty at Letterkenny Community Centre
Rovers looked to be coasting to a first USL win of the season when Simon McGlynn and Connor Gormley gave them a 2-0 lead inside the opening five minutes.
Bonagee settled, though, and Micheál Doherty’s goal five minutes before half-time made a real game of it before a big attendance at the Letterkenny Community Centre.
Rovers looked to have stemmed the Bonagee advances when Grant struck a dramatic 90th minute equaliser.
Last season, Grant struck twice in the dying moments to tip the USL League Cup final in Bonagee’s favour, snatching the silverware from Rovers’ grip.
Rovers, on the back of successive defeats to Monaghan United and Cockhill, began with a real purpose here.
McGlynn riffled Danny McConnell’s Rovers ahead in the fourth minute. McGlynn was able to take control on the edge of the area and fired past Oisin Cannon.
With Bonagee rocked, Rovers turned the score and added a second. Shane McNamee’s cross from the left was headed back across goal by Gary Merritt and Gormley shot low past Cannon for a second.
Gormley shot into Cannon’s arms as the hosts looked for a third while McGlynn flashed a dangerous effort across the face.
However, Bonagee pulled one back when Michael Funston got in behind Rory Gallagher and his cross found Doherty, who managed to make enough space to tuck home.
Bonagee introduced Gareth Harkin and Gareth Brown at half-time, the latter making his debut in the Dry Arch club’s colours.
Doherty almost forced Gallagher into putting through his own net ten minutes after the re-start but Bonagee captain Jamie Lynagh had to clear from beneath his own crossbar when a testing cross from the right evaded Cannon.
Jordan Armstrong shot at Chris O’Donnell, the Rovers ‘keeper, with Bonagee beginning to get into the ascendancy,
When Jack Park clipped past the far post in the 85th minute, it seemed as if a well-organised Rovers, who defended well for the most part, would hold onto their lead.
In the final minute, though, Brown teed up Grant and he made no mistake with a superb finish from 20 yards.
Indeed, Grant might have won it but, after Tony McNamee made the incision, his left-footed effort missed the target.
No winners here, but Cockhill – who won again this afternoon – are out on their own at the top and, already, are looking menacing.
Letterkenny Rovers: Chris O’Donnell, Matthew McLaughlin (Leon Doherty 69), Rory Gallagher (Dan O’Donnell 59), Ciaran Kelly, Conor Tourish, Connor Gormley, Simon McGlynn, Chris Malseed (Gareth Doherty 69), Gary Merritt (Adam Salhi 80), Kevin McGrath, Shane McNamee (Tim Callaghan 69).
Bonagee United: Oisin Cannon, Jamie Lynagh, Jack Parke, Gareth Breslin, Mark Harkin, Dan O’Donnell (Gareth Harkin half-time), Michael Funston (Deano Larkin 77), Jordan Armstrong (Chris Dillon 69), Aidan McLaughlin (Gareth Brown half-time), Tony McNamee, Micheál Doherty (Garbhan Grant 69).
Referee: Richard Storey.