There was an emphatic win for Rovers under-19s today beating Letterkenny 7-2 at the Showgrounds in the Enda McGuill Cup.
Rovers are now through to the quarter-finals of the competition with the win.
After a level first half most of the goals in the game came in the second with the Bit o’Red putting six past the visitors to cruise through.
Gary Boylan scored the first two goals with Gary Armstrong also bagging a double along with goals from Paul Doyle, Martin Walsh and Gary Anderson.
There was a few changes to the team with Jack Burke, Mark Hannon, Marin Walsh and Ryan McCarrick all coming into the team in place of Adam Chambers, Oisin Connolly, Darren Kilcawley and Liam Flatley.
After a couple of early half-chances for Letterkenny the first attempt from Rovers came on five minutes from Gary Armstrong. He hit a shot with power from just outside the box that missed the target.
After 11 minutes the first goal came. A corner from the right fell to Gary Boylan on the far side of the box. He first shot on his left which he saw blocked but the ball came back to him. He then hit the ball unstoppably on his right low into the net.
Another corner on 19 minutes seen Rovers go close again when Gary Armstrong’s delivery to the far post went to Ross Taheny but as he ran towards the ball he was unable to get a strong touch to put the ball towards goal.
Ryan McCarrick had his first opportunity on 23 minutes created by Ryan McManus. He put the forward away down the right edge of the box but he mis-hit the shot and it went well wide at the near post.
Five minutes after Letterkenny came up with an equaliser. Gavin McDaid got the ball inside the penalty area and he hit the ball right into the corner of the net to score.
With 33 minutes gone Doyle put in a cross to pick out Armstrong in the centre, he hit the shot first time but the keeper was able to get hold of it. Two minutes later another cross from the left was cleared but it fell in front of Ryan O’Donoghue, he struck the ball well but into the side-netting.
The chances continued to flow and Ryan McManus got a shot away just inside the box that came off the crossbar before going over. Letterkenny held on to keep the game level at the break.
Rovers came out of the traps well in the second period and a corner on 47 led to a goal. Again it came to Boylan on the opposite side. He first came infield before going back onto this right and then smashed the ball from the right edge of the box high into the net with a slight touch off the near post.
Two minutes after again Rovers produced the spectacular to score again this time with a fine solo effort from Gary Armstrong. He dropped deep to get possession in the middle of the pitch and with a good first touch got away from his man. He ran towards the box, dummied away from a defender and struck with ball beautifully past the keeper’s left side.
Armstrong nearly had another on 54 minutes. Excellent play on the wing by Paul Doyle as he ran down the left and put over a cross to find the Sligo forward. Armstrong still had two players to get around before shooting but when he did he put it right at the keeper.
Ryan McManus had two chances in two minutes on 63 and 64 minutes. First he worked room well to have a shot but the keeper saved well and after that he met a Gary Armstrong corner but again the keeper prevented the goal.
With 65 minutes played the fourth goal arrived. Armstrong did well after drifting out to the left and played the ball across. Doyle attacked it at the near post and flicked the ball in first time. He has now scored in Rovers last three games.
The scoring continued on 69 minutes and again was as the result of a delivery from Armstrong. He crossed over the Walsh on the far side and the Mayo winger guided the ball in at close range.
Shortly after McManus went close to getting his goal. Again he rose above all others from a corner but this time sent his header the wrong side of the post.
The impressive Boylan came close to his third with 73 minutes played when he struck a well-hit effort that looked destined for the net until a defender got something in the way and kept it out.
Sub Darren Kilcawley should have got himself a goal when he found space inside the box but couldn’t force the keeper into a save.
Letterkenny got one back on 78 minutes with a corner from the right wing dropping a few yards from goal and getting poked in.
But Rovers got a sixth one minute after. O’Donoghue got forward down the right and put the ball dangerously across the box and with almost his first touch of the game Gary Anderson put the ball home.
Mark Hannon had two opportunities to add another in the final 10 minutes but on both occasions he lifted the ball over the bar.
The final goal of the game was scored on 89 minutes. Armstrong was again too good for the opposition. He rounded the keeper inside the box, very calmly beat another defender and again in no hurry tucked the ball into the net.
Rovers will go into the Christmas break in good spirits with this win in a nine-goal thriller.
There will also be a quarter-final to look forward to in the Enda McGuill Cup.
Team: Burke, O'Donoghue, Donelon, Taheny (Kennoy 67), Boylan, McManus, Hannon, Armstrong, Walsh (Kilcawley), McCarrick (Carney 62), Doyle (Anderson 71)