Glenea United 2 Gweedore Celtic 1
BY AIDAN O’DONNELL
A FIRST-HALF brace by Ryan McFadden set the cat amongst the pigeons as Glenea United inflicted a first league defeat of the season on derby rivals Gweedore Celtic yesterday afternoon to blow the Premier League title race wide open.
McFadden pounced to net a quick-fire double after goalkeeper Sean McClafferty produced a brilliant penalty save to deny the league’s leading marksman Tomas Diver.
Paul ‘Rua’ McBride reduced the deficit for the defending champions with a thunderous strike eighteen minutes from time to set up a grandstand finale.
Glenea, though, held firm to deservedly cut the gap at the top of the Premier League to just three points and, with a game in hand yet to come for Tom Coll’s side, it appears the race for the title will go right down to the wire and possibly the way of a play-off.
Gweedore, who had won 22 of their previous twenty-four league games, suffered a first league defeat since last January.
They remain in pole position, however, and their experience of winning the league last year should no doubt stand to them for the last stretch of the season, but Glenea’s confidence will have rocketed after a performance that completely overwhelmed their rivals.
Glenea United: Sean McClafferty; Kevin McFadden, Padraig McGee, Paul Sweeney, Barry McGinley; Sean Coll, Sean McGuire, Kevin Mulhern, Darren McGeever; Ryan McFadden, Brian Cuffe. Subs: John Harley for Coll (77 mins), Declan McGarvey for McGeever (85 mins), Donal Coll for Cuffe (88 mins).
Gweedore Celtic: Michael McKelvey; Paul McBride, Shane Barr, David McGee, Jamie Boyle; Fionnan Diver, Damian O’Sullivan, Eamonn Cannon, Gary Whoriskey; Tomas Diver, Colin Ferry. Subs: Eugene McBride for Whoriskey (65 mins), Ciaran McFadden for Boyle (79 mins).
Referee: Paddy Duffy.
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