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Doherty double keeps Moville in title hunt 16.02.12
Jackie Crossan Premier Division

Redcastle United...2
(Curran, C. McLaughlin)

Moville Celtic...4
(J. Doherty 2, McElhinney, Harkin)

Caoimhinn Barr reports from Foyle Park. Photos: Herbie Barr.

Moville Celtic kept their Premier League title hopes alive following a comfortable victory over Redcastle United in a derby clash on Sunday afternoon.
In front of one of the biggest crowds of the season at Foyle Park, a Joe Doherty brace added to goals from Richie McElhinney and Dermot Harkin gave the Glencrow men a vital win with league leaders Aileach facing a sensational points deduction.
Redcastle hit back with two second-half penalties, converted by James Curran and Colm McLaughlin, but John Logue’s men never really looked like recovering a 3-0 half-time deficit.
In recent years league games between these two Foyleside rivals typically saw Redcastle eyeing a title with Moville hoping to cause an upset but on Sunday the roles were reversed and it was the Glencrow men with one eye on Premier glory.
Just four points clear of the drop zone, Redcastle, Premier Division champions in 2010, have not yet staved off the spectre of relegation and will need at least one more win from their three remaining fixtures to remain among Inishowen’s elite.
Employing Alan Orr in the centre of defence to great effect, Darren Bredin’s Celtic team showed superior strength and guile throughout as the impressive Richie McElhinney, who opened the scoring with a stunning volley, ran riot in midfield all afternoon.
In attack veteran striker Joe Doherty chipped in with two more goals either side of a Dermot Harkin strike. Doherty’s first was a deftly controlled volley on the right while his second, a tap-in, ensured all three points would be headed three miles north.
The introduction of substitute Terry McColgan sparked the home supporters in the second period and an early Curran penalty gave the faithful hope until Doherty rolled in Nigel McMonagle’s cross with twenty minutes remaining.
The visitors were first to threaten when Dermot Harkin volleyed Shane Canning’s free-kick wide from a difficult angle after five minutes.
Graeme Doherty then released Nigel McMonagle before Redcastle full-back Kevin Toner moved quickly across to clear.
Central defender Cathal Faulkner fired Redcastle’s first attempt wide from distance after collecting Gavin McCauley’s pass.
In the fifteenth minute a period of Moville dominance paid off when Richie McElhinney gathered possession thirty yards from goal and fired a dipping volley over the head of keeper Michael McCole into the Redcastle net.
A minute later McElhinney fired wide after controlling Conor McLaughlin’s pass on the right before home keeper McCole dived bravely at the feet of Nigel McMonagle to deny the Moville striker.
Midway through the first-half Redcastle spurned a great opportunity to draw level when Brendan Murphy headed Paul McGowan’s perfect cross inches wide from seven yards.
United midfielder Colm McLaughlin then volleyed wide from 25 yards before Moville defender Alan Orr drilled off target from a similar distance at the other end.
Redcastle centre-half Cathal Faulkner clipped Marty Byrne’s free-kick over the top soon after before Moville doubled their advantage with a fine goal.
Combining well with Conor McLoughlin on the right, Richie McElhinney skipped clear and crossed for Joe Doherty to guide the ball home with the deftest of controlled volleys from an extremely tight angle.
Five minutes before the break Darren Bredin’s men were three up. This time Nigel McMonagle was the architect, skipping past Redcastle defender Seamus Doherty and crossing for Dermot Harkin to score with a shot that bounced into the ground before trundling past McCole.
Bringing substitute Terry McColgan into the fray, Redcastle almost pulled one back in first-half injury time but Paul McGowan’s dragged wide of McGuinness’ near post after robbing Moville full-back Conor McLoughlin.
In the opening minute of the second-half Redcastle were handed a lifeline when referee Eamonn Doherty sensationally pointed to the spot following a goalmouth scramble from a home corner.
James Curran grabbed the chance with both hands coolly firing to Sean McGuinness left into the net.
Bouyed by Curran’s strike, Redcastle enjoyed their best period of the game for the next fifteen minutes with Paul McGowan and Colm McLaughlin testing Moville keeper McGuinness before Murphy headed McLaughlin’s cross just over.
The home supporters thought their team should have had a second penalty when Brendan Murphy appeared to be chopped down in the box but referee Doherty waved play on.
Terry McColgan then set up a James Curran volley which drew another fine stop from McGuinness before, at the other end, Richie McElhinney blazed over a great chance to make the game safe following great work by Nigel McMonagle.
Looking increasingly likely on the break, Moville’s McMonagle was the provider again as McElhinney raced clear of the Redcastle defence only to be denied by a fine save from United keeper McCole.
Joe Doherty then arrowed a drive a foot wide as Moville began to wrest control of the game once more.
With twenty minutes remaining Doherty struck for the game’s crucial moment, tapping into an empty net after McCole had saved McMonagle’s dink following a good run by McElhinney.
Super-sub Tony Boyce could have added to the visitors lead but unselfishly opted to look for strike partner McMonagle with a pass instead of going for goal himself allowing Marty Byrne to clear.
In injury-time a calamity in the Celtic defence led to a second penalty when Terry McColgan was tugged back after Darragh McConway had charged down keeper McGuinness’ attempted clearance.
Colm McLaughlin stroked home nothing more than a consolation for Redcastle.

Redcastle United: Michael McCole, Kevin Toner, Marty Byrne, Seamus Doherty, Cathal Faulkner, Gavin McCauley, James Curran, Colm McLaughlin, Brendan Murphy, Liam McLaughlin, Paul McGowan. Subs: Terry McColgan, Darragh McConway, Ciaran Gallagher.

Moville Celtic: Sean McGuinness, Conor McLoughlin, Dermot Harkin, Alan Orr, Darryl Doherty, Shane Canning, Graeme Doherty, Raymond Campbell, Joe Doherty, Nigel McMonagle, Richie McElhinney. Subs: PJ Barr, Anthony Maloney, Tony Boyce, Mark Crossan.

Man of Match
Redcastle’s best player was Terry McColgan while Joe Doherty, Shane Canning, Alan Orr and Darryl Doherty all excelled for Moville. The award though goes to Richie McElhinney, who gave a masterclass of how to play in the ‘hole’ between midfield and attack as well as scoring a fantastic volley. His touch and technique are fantastic. Was involved in all four Moville goals.

Key Moment
Moville looked to be home and hosed until James Curran’s early second-half penalty gave Redcastle renewed hope. The fact that Logue’s men failed to add another goal during a good fifteen minute spell thereafter condemned them to defeat before a Joe Doherty goal ultimately ensured the points for Moville in the 69th minute.

Ref Watch
Referee Eamonn Doherty drew the ire of both benches; first awarding Redcastle a questionable penalty before denying them what looked a much clearer infringement in the box soon after. In the end though Doherty was correct to award two penalties for Redcastle over the ninety minutes. Let the game flow and was fair to both sets of players throughout.

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