4 LANTERNS ULSTER SENIOR LEAGUE: HIGH FIVES FOR COCKHILL HOOPS, ROVERS BEAT CITY AND FANAD HOLD ROVERS

first_imgUSL Results & Reports 16.06.13Results4 Lanterns USL Swilly Rovers 2 1 Derry City Res.Fanad Utd. 1 1 Letterkenny RoversBonagee Utd. 0 5 Cockhill CelticDrumkeen Utd. v Finn Harps Res. (playing Monday 17th) at 7:30pm ReportsSwilly Continue Winning WaysSwilly Rovers 2Derry City Res. 1An excellent game of football played on an excellent playing surface as both teams produced delightful football for the good crowd that was present. George Kelly hit the bar for Derry early on and Wade saved well to keep the Derry men at bay. Jordan Toland, Michael Mc Hugh and Blain Curtis all came close for Swilly early on but Derry playing lovely football went ahead on 16 minutes. Aaron Harkin crossed from the right and George Kelly was on hand to knock the ball home from close range. Swilly levelled matters on 71 minutes when Michael Mc Hugh fired home a brilliant strike from sixteen yards to restore parity. Blain Curtis with a superb 20 yard free wrapped up the points for the Ramelton men ten minutes from time to continue their push to get in amongst the title challengers. Matthew Henry hit the post for Derry late on but the Lennon siders had done enough to keep the points at home on this occasion. Match Referee: Thomas Mc Aree Fanad Claim first PointFanad Utd. 1Letterkenny Rovers 1By Aidan O’Donnell at Tri-A-Loch FANAD United collected their first point of this year’s Ulster Senior League but were a little unlucky not to be celebrating their maiden win of the season after Darren McElwaine converted a controversial penalty to earn Letterkenny Rovers a draw at Tri-A-Loch on Saturday night.Fanad were defeated in each of their four previous league games to date but when Shane Buchanan capitalised on a calamitous defensive error from Kieran Gorman to give his side the lead seven minutes before half-time, Ollie Horgan’s young charges started to believe a first win might be on the cards.However, Rovers had other ideas and after referee Con McLaughlin penalised Declan Sweeney for a wholehearted, but well-timed, challenge on Oisin McMenamin inside the area, the visitors were handed a glorious chance to draw level.McElwaine stepped up to the plate and his stuttering run was enough to send goalkeeper Sean Daffan the wrong way as the striker coolly slotted into the opposite corner.The decision to award a penalty was harsh on Fanad but the visitors were deserving of at least a point, having gone close on numerous occasions throughout the 90 minutes.The result wasn’t enough to lift Fanad – 14-time winners of the USL – off the foot of the table and the draw was the third in 5 games for Letterkenny.The point could go down as something of a seminal moment for this young Fanad side, who are all in their teens bar the unmistakeable veteran Paddy McGrenaghan and assistant manager Declan Sweeney.Horgan’s team have been battered off the park in their opening four games, conceding 18 goals in 360 minutes of football. But their youthful exuberance has never waned through that difficult start and they will now be hoping to turn a new leaf.Rovers, who also boast an array of young talent, started the brighter and after Daffan spilled a long-range effort from Oisin McMenamin, it seemed certain that McElwaine would convert the rebound from close range.However, Sweeney never gave up the chase and the centre-half produced an excellent last-ditch block to thwart the Rovers front-man.At the other end, some overly casual defending from Rovers allowed the hosts a couple of half chances. Brian McVeigh almost found the top corner with a cross before the playmaker danced his way past Gorman’s challenge inside the area, only to be denied by a covering tackle from Ruairi Kelly, who was forced off after 18 minutes through injury.Mark Neeson, who won the Donegal League Premier Division with Lifford Celtic this year, was at the heart of everything positive from Letterkenny and, on 29 minutes, the energetic midfielder crashed an unstoppable shot from 30 yards off the underside of the crossbar.The frame of the goal was still shaking when the rebound fell at the feet of McElwaine, who was again thwarted by a last-gasp block, this time from Kevin Murray.Kevin Doran should’ve tested Daffan following a delightful cross from McMenamin but the Rovers winger couldn’t get enough purchase on his header, which fizzled harmlessly wide.Kelly’s withdrawal forced Letterkenny manager Trevor Scanlon to reshuffle his back-four, with former Finn Harps legend Jonathan Minnock moving into the heart of defence alongside Kieran Gorman, following the arrival of substitute Dan O’Donnell.And seven minutes before half-time, Fanad were handed the chance to go in front after a serious mix-up in the Rovers rearguard.Gorman’s under-hit back-pass was pounced on by Buchanan who kept his cool to round goalkeeper Jason Quinn before sliding into the empty net.The Letterkenny centre-half, who spent last season at Fanad, almost rectified his mistake just moments later but his bullet header from Minnock delivery arrowed inches past the wrong side of the post.The visitors started the second half the same way they did the first – on the front foot. Minnock drove over the bar from 30 yards while McElwaine was unable to get a shot away inside the area following a perfectly-timed tackle from the ageless McGrenaghan.But for all Letterkenny’s pressure, they were susceptible at the back and quite possibly could’ve been two or three behind before they eventually drew level midway through the half.McVeigh volleyed over from 15 yards out following a cross from Buchanan, who then had the chance to punish another Letterkenny defensive error.Minnock’s back-pass fell well short of its intended target but Buchanan was unable to take advantage with a lob over Quinn that sailed off target.Letterkenny then drew level on 65 minutes when a wonderful through-ball from Neeson released McMenamin inside the area before the striker was stopped in his tracks by Sweeney.The Fanad defender got every bit of the ball but referee Con McLaughlin claimed he took the man as well and after pointing to the spot, McElwaine restored parity with a typically nonchalant effort.Both sides had chances to engineer a winner, with McMenamin just off target with a shot from the edge of the area, while Buchanan and McVeigh both fired efforts straight down the throat of Quinn in the dying stages.Fanad United: Sean Daffan; Jordan McBride, Kevin Murray, Declan Sweeney, Oisin Shiels; Keane Ryan, Oisin Hassett, Paddy McGrenaghan, Conor Matthewson; Brian McVeigh, Shane Buchanan. Subs: Glenn McNulty (Ryan, 74 mins), Kyle Burke (Matthewson, 80 mins), Padraic Ferry (Hassett, 90 mins).Letterkenny Rovers: Jason Quinn; Anthony Doherty, Ruairi Kelly, Kieran Gorman, Jonathan Minnock; Kevin Doran, Chris Malseed, Mark Neeson, Aaron Scanlon; Oisin McMenamin, Darren McElwaine. Subs: Dan O’Donnell (Kelly, 18 mins), Glenn Gallagher (Doherty, 58 mins), Matthew O’Rourke (Doran, 79 mins).Referee: Con McLaughlin.Leaders Win AgainBonagee United 0Cockhill Celtic 5Celtic could well have been behind after all of three minutes when the bobbly surface quickly played havoc and forced a routine Johnny Havlin backpass over the foot of Gavin Cullen and trickling towards the bottom corner only for the goalkeeper to slide across his goals and clear off his line. That near calamity couldn’t have been farther from reflecting how the game would pan out though and how Cullen would fare manning the sticks. The Cockhill ‘keeper was superb throughout and, without having to make any top class stops, he used all his experience, all his pace, all his passing ability to keep the away side comfortable at the back.On three occasions in the first half, Cullen was out like a shot off his line to intercept long balls in behind and completely nullify the pace of Anthony Appia which United were continuously trying to exploit.It took the guts of 26 minutes though for the league leaders to finally get some sort of a foothold in the game and it came courtesy of a cunning switch from the sidelines. With Conor Keddy doing all his running from a deep central midfield position, Gerard McLaughlin was leading the line up top with the ramrod Garbhan Friel but it was only when Keddy and McLaughlin switched that Cockhill got any sort of joy going forward.It worked on two fronts. Keddy offered pace up top, he offered movement and he pestered the life out of the Bonagee backline as he ran and ran and then ran some more at them every time the ball came near him. On the other hand, McLaughlin steadied them up in the middle and, along with the measured Liam O’Donnell who just kept his side ticking over, the new midfield pairing provided a solid platform through which Celtic finally got going.It was Keddy who then sent out the first real message of intent when he bullied possession back down the right flank and raised appeals all over the park when his cross looked to have been blocked down by the hand of Paddy Sheridan inside the area.The referee wasn’t interested but Cockhill came again and Keddy threatened again. With United pushed forward for a corner, Celtic finally found the opposition open and, with a quick counter attack, Mark Moran bombed down the left, pushed Friel into the channel and with one cross and one diving Keddy header, the Bonagee ‘keeper was relieved to watch the effort drift just over.But the tide had changed and Celtic pushed hard for an opener before the break, almost being gifted one when Sheridan’s back pass also evaded the clutches of his goalie but the number one got back to rid the danger.And still, the pressure continued to mount. Liam O’Donnell curled a delicious ball over the top to put Keddy in behind but the young attacker couldn’t get it under control before O’Donnell again turned provider to dink an effort right into the path of Garbhan Friel, only for the forward to power his header off the joint.With that, the home side had held on and made it to the break with the scores still deadlocked and goalless.Half time: 0-0But the half time timeout was a productive one for Donal O’Brien and, when Cockhill re-emerged, it was clear for all to see in Letterkenny that there would be only one winner.Friel fired in the first warning shot when he latched onto a Keddy through ball but blazed just over and the big number 10 came close again when Oisin McColgan broke free on the left wing and found the head of his forward but to no avail. However, Celtic had done their homework and Gavin Cullen was no longer needed to keep watch over Bonagee’s advances. The Inishowen men stretched the game, they played with a higher line, Friel won everything that came in his direction – Gerard McLaughlin pushed up too – and men were nipping in and around picking up the scraps deep in United territory.The final prelude to the game’s opener demonstrated just how much easier Cockhill were cutting through the opposing backline, it showed just how much swagger they had rediscovered. William O’Connor launched another long ball forward, Derek Doherty ducked and spinned, left it for Friel and got the return off the forward’s chest before sliding Keddy through to make the ‘keeper work low to his bottom right. With that, they came again. The clearance was won by Oisin McColgan who nipped in front of Appia and put Conor Keddy away down the right. Under pressure, with his back to the corner of the box, the Cockhill number eight managed to dig out a special cross, a teasing cross which travelled deep and all the way to the back post for Garbhan Friel to header home.Moments later, the lead had been doubled and the writing began inscribing itself on the wall as Bonagee eventually bowed to the script. Conor Keddy got another assist to his name when he drove forward, forced the United centre halves back, slipped in Mark Moran who had burst in from the left and, as the winger pulled back onto his left foot, he buried his effort into the bottom right hand corner. Derek Doherty then floated a weighted cross from the left right into the mix and, although Liam O’Donnell sprang in and got his head to it first, the ball came back off the cross bar.O’Donnell would come close again when a well worked corner saw a number of men switch runs and Moran pulled back to the edge of the box for the central midfielder who had looped full circle but couldn’t get over his shot. Still, a third was imminent and, with 20 minutes remaining, Moran doubled his tally and put the game to bed. Oisin McColgan fed Keddy on the left, the attacker held up the play, waited for support, and he crept a cunning ball inside for Moran who rounded the defender and drilled home, this time off his right. Another corner saw Johnny Havlin head off the post before Keddy’s rebound was denied on the line but the fourth soon came when Gavin Cullen spotted the number eight free again and, with one outrageously long throw, sent him away down the right wing. A ball inside found the onrushing Greg Bradley and the substitute lifted a fantastic cross across goals and right onto the head of Friel to bag his brace.With the final passage of play, Conor Keddy finally grabbed the goal his 90 tormenting minutes fully deserved. Mark Moran floated a diagonal ball forward from the left and inroads to the perennial target of Friel’s head. A delicate first time touch spotted the run of Keddy who broke through, rounded the ‘keeper to the left, and slotted into the empty net with superb composure and to finish the rout for Cockhill.DPD Ulster Senior League First DivisionSwilly Rovers Res. 0Drumkeen Utd. Res. 3A victory for the Drumkeen men in an absorbing encounter at a wet Swilly park. There were very few chances in the first half with both defences on top. Drumkeen went ahead on 40 minutes when Lee Guthrie converted from the spot after a foul in the penalty box. Cathal Doyle was just wide moments later with a fine drive. Gary Patton made it two with an opportunist strike on 51 minutes. Cathal Doyle completed the scoring near the end with a fine half volley. Swilly’s Eunan Diver had a fine free kick come of the crossbar and Leonard Boyce went close twice for the hosts. It was great to see so many young players getting their chance. This was a hard fought game with both teams giving it their all. Match Referee: Joe Mc HughFixturesWednesday, June 19th at 7:30pmDonegal News League Cup Group AFanad Utd. v Kildrum Tigers Ref. J. McHughThursday, June 20th at 7:30pmDonegal News League Cup Group AFinn Harps Res. v Drumkeen Utd. Ref. W. HarveySaturday, June 22nd at 2pmDPD Couriers First DivisionDrumkeen Utd. Res. v Kildrum Tigers Res. Ref. C. McLaughlinSunday, June 23rd at 2pm4 Lanterns USLCockhill Celtic v Letterkenny Rovers Ref. W. HarveyFinn Harps Res. v Kildrum Tigers Ref. T. McAreeBonagee Utd. v Drumkeen Utd. Ref. C. McLaughlinMonday, June 24th at 7:30pm4 Lanterns USLFanad Utd. v Derry City Res. Ref. P. DuddyTuesday, June 25th at 7:30pmDPD Couriers First DivisionSwilly Rovers Res. v Letterkenny Rovers Res. Ref. V. McLaughlin4 LANTERNS ULSTER SENIOR LEAGUE: HIGH FIVES FOR COCKHILL HOOPS, ROVERS BEAT CITY AND FANAD HOLD ROVERS was last modified: June 16th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:4 LANTERNS ULSTER SENIOR LEAGUE: HIGH FIVES FOR COCKHILL HOOPSROVERS BEAT CITY AND FANAD HOLD ROVERSlast_img