Point squander two-goal lead and
Caoimhinn Barr reports from Muff. Photos: Herbie Barr.
Quigley's Point Swifts squandered a two-goal lead before crashing out of the Ulster Junior Cup at the hands of Gweedore Celtic in the rain at Muff on Sunday afternoon.
Two goals up in less than a half hour after a Raymond Buchanan strike and a Gerard McLaughlin penalty, the Inishowen League men were cruising until a deflected Colin Ferry brace before the break handed Gweedore a lifeline they grabbed with both hands.
Further goals from Oran McNelis, Ciaran McFadden and another from Ferry helped complete a remarkable turnaround for the Donegal Premier kingpins.
Clear favourites going into the game, Gweedore were made to scrap all the way by a plucky Point side, which controlled the game for much of the first-half until Ferry's shot, which was diverted past Lawrence Lynch by a home defender attempting to block.
Employing Eamonn Cannon and Damien O'Sullivan in central midfield, Gweedore drew level before the break when Oran McNelis' volley deceived home keeper Lynch before running out deserving winners in the second-half.
For their part, Quigley's
Point, inspired by Gerard McLaughlin throughout the
afternoon, will wonder how they let a two-goal lead slip
so easily. The Inishowen men were in total control for
the first 30 minutes but never looked like holding on
for a famous win after Ferry fortuitously drew the
Hughie Gallagher's men will now fancy their chances of winning the coveted trophy for the Donegal League while Quigley's Point will resume their relegation dogfight in the Inishowen Premier Division.
Gweedore Celtic began on the front foot with duo Colin Ferry and Oran McNelis threatening on the right inside the opening two minutes before Trevor Gallagher was quickly across to sniff out the danger for Quigley's Point.
Swifts midfielder Gerard McLaughlin then picked out Raymond Buchanan with an incisive pass but Donal McBride poked clear for the visitors.
At the other end Gweedore's Ciaran McFadden spun in the box and won a corner off Oisin McColgan before the home team almost broke the early deadlock. Another Gerard McLaughlin angled pass found Raymond Buchanan, who fired a fierce drive, which crashed off Gweedore keeper Michael McKelvey's crossbar from fully 30 yards.
Back on the attack, Celtic's Eamonn Cannon picked up possession on the edge of the Swifts area and arrowed narrowly wide from eighteen yards before Point defender Oisin McColgan stopped Ciaran McFadden in his tracks.
Midway through the first
period Quigley's Point shocked the Premier League
leaders with a fine opening goal when Raymond Buchanan
gathered Gerard McLaughlin's pass to cut through the
centre of the Celtic defence before firing against the
post and tapping in the rebound himself.
Gerard McLaughlin almost put Steven McCarron in the clear soon after but Gweedore keeper McKelvey was out bravely to stop the young Inishowen midfielder.
Minutes later Paul Hegarty's Swifts were two clear when Gerard McLaughlin expertly dispatched a penalty, awarded after David Ward's rash tackle on Steven McCarron.
A Ciaran McFadden lay-off was then volleyed goalward by Gweedore wireman Oran McNelis but a smart save by Quigley's Point keeper Lawrence Lynch preserved the home side's advantage.
Impressive Swifts midfield
man Steven McCarron then saw a shot blocked behind
before, out of nowhere, Gweedore grabbed a vital
lifeline when, ten minutes before the break, Colin
Ferry's shot took a wicked deflection and skewed past
Lynch in the home goal from 20 yards.
The visitors picked up the pace thereafter with Lynch taking Gary Whoriskey's cross before Kevin Wallace made a great interception to deny Oran McNelis.
Seconds later Celtic drew level when McNelis' tentative shot from 20 yards was fumbled into the net by home keeper Lynch.
A David Ward cross then almost found McFadden before McFadden's header brought a good save from Lynch following Shane Barr's pinpoint cross as Hughie Gallagher's men finished the half strongly.
Colin Ferry dragged wide for Gweedore in the initial stages of the second-half before Gerard McLaughlin saw a shot deflect wide at the other end.
Moments later Gweedore
completed a remarkable turnaround when Ciaran McFadden
poked the visitors ahead after Point keeper Lynch denied
Eamonn Cannon after another dangerous Oran McNelis foray
A rare Oisin McColgan snapshot then tested Gweedore keeper McKelvey before Celtic's Eamonn Cannon almost put clear daylight between the sides; driving at Lynch in the Swifts goal from eight yards after Gary Whoriskey's inswinging corner.
Just on the field, Quigley's Point substitute Joe Johnston made an instant impact, flicking on for Gerard McLaughlin, who could only blaze over under intense pressure from Paul McBride. McLaughlin then almost found Johnston with a superb reverse pass as the home side gained a foothold in the game again.
Steven McCarron's shot was well blocked following a marauding run by Quigley's Point defender Oisin McColgan before Gweedore substitute Jamie Boyle headed Gary Whoriskey's cross narrowly wide as the visitors sought a crucial fourth goal cushion.
Gweedore keeper collected Steven McCarron's cross before a quick counter attack all but sealed victory for the Donegal League men. Jamie Boyle pivoted brilliantly in midfield before picking out Colin Ferry, who rifled past Lynch with a devastating first-time shot on the run from eighteen yards.
Celtic's Kevin Friel then almost got in on the scoring act but the late substitute was denied by a fantastic point blank save by Lawrence Lynch. The home keeper was called into action again, minutes later, to save at the feet of Colin Ferry, who ghosted past three defenders on a fine run.
Steven McCarron's last gasp drive was well tipped over by McKelvey before referee Liam Porter sounded the final whistle.
Quigley's Point Swifts: Lawrence Lynch, Simon Wallace, Trevor Gallagher, Oisin McColgan, Kevin Wallace, Martin Donaghy, Steven McCarron, Brian McColgan, Gerard McLaughlin, Oisin McCool, Adam Harkin. Subs: Dean Hegarty, Joe Johnston, Sean McIvor, Gerard Green.
Gweedore Celtic: Michael McKelvey, Shane Barr, David Ward, Paul McBride, Donal McBride, Eamonn Cannon, Gary Whoriskey, Damien O'Sullivan, Ciaran McFadden, Colin Ferry, Oran McNelis. Subs: Kevin Friel, Christopher Sweeney, Jamie Boyle.
Man of Match
All on the mark, Gweedore trio Colin Ferry, Oran McNelis and Ciaran McFadden tormented the Quigley’s Point defence all afternoon and were a constant scoring threat. For the Swifts – Raymond Buchanan and Steven McCarron sparkled on a dull day but the award goes to Gerard McLaughlin, who had a hand in both home goals and retained possession intelligently throughout.
The game’s key moment arrived ten minutes before the break when Colin Ferry’s deflected shot brought Gweedore Celtic back into a game they looked likely to lose. Until that point the home side were cruising, two-goals up and controlling possession. After Ferry’s fortuitous goal Gweedore homed in on a fine come-from-behind victory.
Bridgend referee Liam Porter had an excellent game in the middle. Let the action flow throughout and was right to award Quigley’s Point a first-half penalty after David Walsh’s rash foul on Raymond Buchanan. Walsh was also booked in the incident. That aside, Porter did not have to reach into his pocket again with both teams playing in a sporting manner.
For full coverage of all your weekend sport, read the Inishowen Independent.
|Return to > Sports > News > Home|