Letterkenny Rovers 1 Kildrum Tigers 2
BY CHRIS MCNULTY
RUSSELL Porter and Darren Cassidy netted the goals that earned Kildrum Tigers a narrow, but deserved win over Letterkenny Rovers.
The Tigers struck twice inside the opening 25 minutes, but couldn’t put the game beyond Rovers’ reach.
They might have been left to rue a series of missed opportunities with Rovers given a lifeline when Darren McElwaine netted a 64th minute penalty, but the hosts couldn’t find a second way through despite strong late pressure.
Kildrum got a golden start when Cassidy’s teasing free kick from the right flank was headed home by Porter in the third minute.
Roles reversed when Porter turned provider for their second on 25 minutes. His diagonal ball over the top played in Cassidy and he drilled a fine effort across Jason Quinn and into the far corner.
New signing Kevin Barr, Barry O’Donnell and Paddy McLaughlin all had chances for Kildrum, but Maurice Toland’s side couldn’t kill the tie off.
Rovers weren’t without chances, but were restricted to half-openings in the first period, the best chance falling to McElwaine whose first-time effort was saved by Michael Lynch’s legs.
Neil Lloyd hit the post early in the second half, but the ex-Finn Harps man had to leave the action early after landing heavily in the 67th minute.
That meant that Kildrum played the final 23 minutes with ten men. Three minutes earlier, Rovers had got a way back into it when McElwaine drilled home a penalty won by Oisin McMenamin.
Rovers sensed a way back in, but despite having a series of set pieces in advanced positions they couldn’t breach Lynch a second time.
Letterkenny Rovers: Quinn; K.Gorman, Minnock, Kelly, O’Donnell; McMacken, Malseed, Neeson, McGrath; McMenamin, McElwaine. Subs: Doherty for Gorman (53 mins), Gallagher for McGrath (53 mins), McPherson for O’Donnell (90 mins).
Kildrum Tigers: Lynch; O’Donnell, McGinty, McLaughlin, Coll; Lloyd, Bovaird, Porter, Cassidy; Barr, Tourish. Subs: G.Crossan for Coll (58 mins), Doherty for Tourish (66 mins).
Referee: C. McLaughlin.
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