A 91st minute goal from new signing Glen Bovaird salvaged a point for Rathmullan Celtic against Gweedore Celtic at the Flagpole Field, Rathmullan on Sunday. League leaders Rathmullan got off to a perfect start with an early goal from Eamonn Sheridan, but the concession of two sloppy goals left them pressing for an equaliser at the death.
Bovaird, who was playing his first game for the club since joining from Kildrum Tigers last week, snatched a late equaliser to pick up what could be a very vital point at the end of the season. Rathmullan came into the game in a confident mood afterwinning away at St Catherine’s last week, and they got of to an excellent start scoring after just four minutes.
David Miller showed good skill to get the ball to Eamonn Sheridan and the veteran striker turned superbly and fired low to the net past the dive of Michael McKelvey.
Sheridan should have scored a second in the 24th minute, after Aaron McClafferty put him through but McKelvey was out quickly to block his shot.Gweedore were struggling to get the ball into the Rathmullan half, but against the run of play, they equalised in the 34th minute. Colin Ferry crossed the ball in from the left, and the ball came to Jamie Boyle. The midfielder produced a thunderous left-footed shot which squirmed off the body of Rathmullan goalkeeper, Iain Strain and the ball trickled over the line.
Rathmullan regrouped and pushed to regain the lead. Paddy Sheridan’s cross almost found the net but rebounded off the crossbar, while Niall Doherty and Shay Coyle also had chances.
Cathal Campbell played an important role in the final five minutes of the half, as he first cleared off the line from a Coyle header, and minutes later, he was in the right position again to stop a Kieran Gorman header from crossing the line.
Gweedore survived the onslaught and they managed to subdue Rathmullan in the second half.
Paddy Patton and Paddy Sheridan’s Rathmullan team grew frustrated and the nearest they came to scoring was Ryan Connolly’s free-kick which was comfortably stopped by McKelvey. The visitors were not being overworked at the back but the were not troubling Rathmullan either.
Yet in the 72nd minute, they took the lead in a fortuitous fashion. Gorman tried to play it out from the back to Patton, but his casual pass was intercepted by Tommy Diver. He unselfishly picked out his strike partner Ferry, who cooly slotted the ball past Strain.
The goal unsettled the Rathmullan defence and five minutes later, they almost allowed Gweedore in for a third. Strain’s clearance hit Gorman, and the ball fell into the path of Ferry. However, just as the Gweedore man was about to pull the trigger, Gorman managed to poke the ball away from him with a well-timed tackle.
Barry Mooney came on for Rathmullan and he brought fresh impetus to the team. The midfielder shot wide in the 75th minute, and six minutes later, his piledriver flew over the crossbar. Rathmullan pushed Coyle into attack and the big defender started to cause problems for Gweedore. He had a good opportunity in the 87th minute, but shot wide from a decent position.
Hughie ‘Rua’ Gallagher’s Gweedore looked comfortable in defence but in the 91st minute they were breached for the second time. Strain lauched a free kick towards the box and David McGee rose well to win the bar. However, the ball fell to the feet of Bovaird. The midfielder shot and Eamonn Sheridan tried to get a touch to his effort. Sheridan failed to connect with the ball but his presence was enough to deceive McKelvey and the ball rolled into the net. Rathmullan went in search of an unlikely winner, but referee Paddy Duffy blew the final whistle. Although it was not the result the seasiders wanted, they are still one point ahead of Glenea Utd at the top of the divison with a game in hand.
The Game At A Glance
Cathal Campbell gave a tenacious display and stopped Rathmullan creating from the midfield. He also made two vital clearances of the line in the closing minutes of the first half, when Gweedore were under the cosh.
Gweedore’s second goal shocked the home team and their supporters. Rathmullan looked in a good position to get all three points, but Ferry’s strike upset them and they were satisified to pick up a draw in the end.
Paddy Duffy had a good game in charge and allowed the game to develop into an exciting spectacle
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