Saturday 3rd September 2022, 5pm
The curtain rose on the new Ulster Senior League season at Leckview Park on Saturday evening and it was Bonagee Utd who struck late to defeat Letterkenny Rovers 3-2 in the opening group game of the Donegal News League Cup.
Credit must be given to both sides who treated the healthy attendance to a cracking game despite the atrocious overhead weather conditions which saw heavy showers for much of the duration.
The game exploded into life in a frenetic opening spell with Rovers going ahead on three minutes when Gabriel Aduaka pounced on a defensive mixup to easily score.
Bonagee fought back well and after Rian Akpetinyi denied them with a goal line clearance, they levelled on 12 minutes when Dean Larkin's looping header from a Micheal Doherty free kick found its way past debut boy Mark Anthony McGinley in the Rovers goal.
Bonagee then took the lead on 17 minutes when Doherty turned goalscorer when his well executed left footed curling effort gave McGinley no chance.
Both teams were attacking at every opportunity with Adrian Delap and Aduaka going closest for Rovers while Bonagee driven on by the impressive Stephen Black couldn't find that elusive fourth goal of the evening which would have seen them comfortable at the break.
That looked to have come back to haunt them when Rovers equalised in. 47 minutes when Shane Porter( making his return to the club) rose highest to head back a free kick across goal and Aduaka fired home low to the bottom corner.
As time went on one sensed that both sides would have been content with a share of the spoils but it was the visitors who secured the win on 85 minutes when Black slipped Micheal Doherty through and he made no mistake when slipping the ball home.
Rovers then were reduced to ten men for the dying stages when Johnny Robb saw red having picked up his second caution of the evening.
These sides will meet again next weekend back at Leckview Park in the FAI Intermediate Cup.
Photos: Donagh McMorrow