29 Jun 2022

Bonagee United pip Letterkenny Rovers to win Area Shield

Darren Hunter's deflected shot was the difference between the teams at the Aura Centre

Bonagee United pip Letterkenny Rovers to win Area Shield

The Bonagee United squad with the Letterkenny Area Shield of the Brian McCormick Sports Cup. Photos Stephen Doherty

A single goal from Darren Hunter was enough to decide a keenly-contested Brian McCormick Sports Cup Letterkenny Area final in favour of Bonagee United against Letterkenny Rovers.

Letterkenny Rovers 0-1 Bonagee United

Hunter’s shot took a deflection to beat Blake Forkan in the Rovers goal on 21 minutes after the ball fell his way after Ronan Curran had blocked Lee McMonagle’s pop at goal. Aided by the wind at the Aura Centre, Damien McClafferty’s side were deserving of a first half lead and had to dig in then in the second half as Rovers piled on the pressure.

Stephen McConnell’s team might be operating in Division 2, two below their neighbours, but had plenty of the ball and penned Bonagee in for long spells in the second half as they went for broke.

However, John Carr in goal for the Dry Arch Park residents wasn’t overly tested despite his team being under considerable pressure. That said, had Rovers mustered something late on, few would’ve said their second half wasn’t meriting of something.

Aidan McLaughlin brought an early save from Forkan inside of five minutes, with McMonagle’s follow-up header from the rebound just off target. McLaughlin himself then glanced an Eamonn Cannon corner wide and Aaron Wasson was just over with a header from a fine McMonagle cross.

Bonagee were dominating and went ahead through Hunter and almost got a second when Forkan made a strong one-handed save from Sergey Alcorn. From then on though, the second quarter was much more balanced and with Jack Dwyer pulling the strings, Conor O’Donnell got in on 31 minutes and Carr scampered from his line to save. O’Donnell’s brother David then saw a fizzing shot go just over.

Bonagee sat in for the most part in the second half, although their breaks did carry menace. Carr was alert to clutch a Dwyer header and the Rovers midfielder was also inches wide with an 84th minute free-kick. Caolan McConnell’s corner, with the wind, scraped the roof of the Bonagee net and the same player also saw a dipping volley just clear the crossbar in the alst minute.

Letterkenny Rovers: Blake Forkan; Leon Doherty, Oran Winston, Edward Moore; Ronan Curran (James Kernan 80), Jack Dwyer, David O’Donnell, Patrick Gahir (Dylan Doogan 67), Caolan McConnell; Luke Parke (Darragh Morrison 67), Conor O’Donnell.

Bonagee United: John Carr; Evan McCroary, Sergey Alcorn, Duncan Patterson, Peter Carr; Darren Hunter, Taylor Russell, Eamonn Cannon (Jordan Gallagher 81), Lee McMonagle; Aidan McLaughlin, Aaron Wasson (Coady Brogan 81).

Referee: Mick Lagan.

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