Crunch USL game as Cockhill battle Rovers

Cockhil won the title beating Letterkenny in a Play Off last season

There is just one game this Sunday in the Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League – and it’s a crunch clash at the summit of the table.

Cockhill Celtic and Letterkenny Rovers are neck-and-neck on 34 points ahead of their meeting at the Charlie O’Donnell Sports Grounds. Cockhill, the champions, enter the weekend with a game in hand on their rivals.
“They’re all big games now,” Cockhill player-manager Gavin Cullen said.

“This is what we’re used to and what we want.
“We’ll try to push on. We have five tough games to go. There will be twists and turns yet.
“The season has been very stop-start and that doesn’t help players or teams and it definitely doesn’t help momentum at all. You don’t see the best in players and it’s frustrating. “Hopefully now we’ll have a good run of games.
“It’s hard to keep the focus. We trained four times since our last game and that’s difficult for amateur players.”

Cockhill have regained a hold of things since the Christmas break, before which Rovers looked on course having won eight-from-eight.
Cockhill, though, have had some worrying injuries of late and Cullen remains anxious regarding personnel ahead of a big joust with Rovers.

However, the Cockhill boss is quite content to be in what appears a position of slight-strength.
He said: “It’s good to be there. It’s what we set out to do./ We’re making it difficult but we’re still there or thereabouts.”

On Saturday night, Cockhill joined Letterkenny at the top on points with a 2-0 away win at a much-improved Bonagee United.

Cullen said: “Saturday was always going to be difficult. We were down to the bare bones and we had so many players missing. The boys who went out there really put in a shift and we’re delighted to get the three points.
“We controlled the game without being great. We limited them in chances and in that sense it was okay. In terms of creating, we weren’t great. Bonagee were whole-hearted and competed for everything.
“The second goal was a relief. We really needed it.”

Cockhill and Letterkenny could only be separated by a play-off last season. The wire is in view again with the two protagonists inseparable – could they go all the way and beyond again?