The derby day Letterkenny area final of the Brian McCormick Cup saw Bonagee Utd emerge victorious 1-0 in a keenly contested encounter at the Aura Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Both sides went into the game flying high in their respective divisions with Bonagee 2nd in the Premier and Rovers leading the way in League Two and it was the Premier outfit who started the game the quicker and aided by a strong wind came close through Aidan McLaughlin with a free kick before McLaughlin again forced home goalkeeper Blake Forkan into a save before Lee McMonagle tried his luck with the resultant header while Rovers had big claims for a penalty waved away by match referee Mick Lagan while Conor O'Donnell came closest for the home side in the early stages.
It was the visitors who took the lead on 21 minutes when Darren Hunters shot from outside the box took a slight deflection giving Forkan no chance.
Rovers responded with Jack Dwyer teeing up O'Donnell while Sergey Alcorn came close for Bonagee with a headed effort but in truth neither John Carr in the Bonagee goal or Rovers Blake Forkan had many saves to make in an intriguing opening half full of endeavour but lacking any real quality.
The second half started much as the first half had ended but it was Rovers who were on the front foot for most of the period and aided by a strong wind tried hard to get back on level terms but a stubborn, and well drilled Bonagee rearguard sniffed out any real threats with the nearest Rovers came were a couple of Jack Dwyer snapshots while Caolan McConnells late strike just whizzed over the bar.
Bonagee were happy to sit in and absorb any pressure and attack on the break but they saw the game out well to advance to a county area semi final with St. Catherines on Friday night as part of the Donegal Leagues 50th anniversary celebrations at Ballyare.
Letterkenny Rovers: Blake Forkan, Leon Doherty, Caolan McConnell, Eddy Moore, Oran Winston, Ronan Curran, Jack Dwyer, David O'Donnell, Conor O'Donnell, Patrick Gahir, Luke Parke
Subs used: Darragh Morrison, Dylan Doogan, James Kernan.
Bonagee Utd: John Carr, Evan McCroary. Peter Carr, Sergey Alcorn, Duncan Patterson, Taylor Russell, Darren Hunter, Eamon Cannon, Aaron Wasson, Aidan McLaughlin, Lee McMonagle.
Subs used: Jordan Gallagher, Codey Brogan
Date: Sunday 27th Feb 2022
Location: Aura main pitch