Finn Harps Reserves - beaten by Cockhill Celtic
The race for league honours in the bmcsports.ie Ulster Senior League took a significant twist on Sunday.
Cockhill Celtic moved joint top as the champions overcame Finn Harps Reserves.
And it means they now join Letterkenny Rovers at the summit. Rovers suffered a heavy 6-3 loss at Derry City Reserves and while the sides are level on points, Cockhill have three fewer games played.
Cockhill Celtic . . . 4
Finn Harps Reserves . . . 0
Cockhill Celtic ran out comfortable winners against Finn Harps Reserves at a blustery but dry Charlie O’Donnell Sports Grounds.
The home side started on the front foot and on five minutes Daniel Doherty tested Adrian McLaughlin in the Harps net with a low drive from 20 yards.
McLaughlin got down well diving to his right and the ball was cleared for a corner by Lee McLaughlin.
On 12 minutes Doherty released Laurence Toland in on goal with a neat pass but McLaughlin was out early to make a smart save pushing Toland's effort wide for a corner as he dived to his left.
Cockhill Celtic who beat Finn Harps Reserves
Lee McColgan’s corner was allowed to drop inside the 6-yard box but was eventually cleared by Jack Doherty.
Finn Harps didn’t really get going in the first half and found themselves a goal down on 40 minutes when a Ronan Doherty corner for the home side dropped inside the 6-yard box and nestled into the net with the last touch coming off the unfortunate keeper.
Cockhill doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time when a Lee McColgan delivery, from a corner on the right, was met by a glancing header from the unmarked Toland that made its way to the net past the keeper’s right arm.
Harps found themselves down to ten men 8 minutes into the second period when midfielder Jack Doherty picked up his second yellow of the game.
This was a big blow for the young Harps side as Doherty was arguably the best player for the visitors.
Cockhill added number three on 63 minutes when Lee McColgan played a pass into James Bradley’s feet inside the area.
Bradley lost his man and played a great ball across the area for Toland to tap home from five yards.
Cockhill added number four on 73 minutes when Christopher McLaughlin got his head to a Bradley cross to score from eight yards, again the keeper having no chance
Derry City Reserves . . . 6
Letterkenny Rovers . . . 3
Caolan McLaughlin grabbed a hat-trick as Derry City Reserves overcame Letterkenny Rovers at The Brandywell.
McLaughlin’s treble has helped to puncture Letterkenny’s title tilt in the bmcsports.ie Ulster Senior League, where it is now advantage Cockhill who, with three games in hand, moved joint top of the pile today.
Letterkenny had led, too, as Emmet Friars connected with a free kick for a stylish finish against his hometown club on 19 minutes.
Derry City Reserves who were impressive winners against Letterkenny Rovers
However, Derry equalised when Gaoth Dobhair man Patrick Ferry netted on 33 minutes.
Derry led as another Donegal resident, Brendan Barr, beat Rory Kelly in the 40th minute.
Early in the second half, McLaughlin cracked a superb free kick to the net to make it 3-1.
Friars headed home his second, powering to the net to keep his men in it.
However, Ferry quickly restored the two-goal cushion with a tidy finish and McLaughlin netted his second on 73 minutes for 5-2.
The Letterkenny Rovers side who lost out against Derry City Reserves at The Brandywell
Three minutes later, McLaughlin completed his hat-trick as he kept his composure.
Rovers grabbed a late goal through substitute Davitt Walsh, but it was a disappointing visit to the Maiden City for Rovers.
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