TROJANS spoiled the party for Park Bar who were forced to delay any planned title celebrations at Brandywell Stadium on Sunday as the Creggan men came out on top in a hugely competitive top of the table encounter.
Trojans striker, Darren McFadden netted all four goals as the superb 4-3 victory takes them level on points with long time leaders Park Bar as their challenge for the title continues, although they have played two games more than their rivals.
And Top of the Hill Celtic will take huge encouragement from that result as they too hope to usurp Park on the summit as they kept the heat on the leaders with victory over Brandywell Harps at the Showgrounds on Sunday.
Meanwhile, in the first round of the City Cabs Cup, Tristar defeated Campbell’s.
And the weather caused the postponement of the Lisahally versus Culmore and Don Bosco’s versus Phoenix games.
Results - Premier League: Park Bar 3, Trojans 4; Brandywell Harps 1, Top of the Hill 3; City Cabs Cup - Campbell’s 2, Tristar 5.
Park Bar 3
This game was a personal triumph for Trojans striker, Darren McFadden who scored all four of his sides goals.
However, it was Park Bar who started the better of the two teams and they deservedly took the lead when Darren McCready saw his shot from the edge of the box saved by Trojans keeper Conleth McCrudden but the ball fell into the path of Joe McCready and he made no mistake.
Trojans reacted well from this set-back and gradually played their way into the game. They drew level midway through the half when Stevie Johnston played in McFadden and he crashed the ball beyond keeper Corey Wilson.
Trojans had their tails up now and took the lead when McFadden sprang the off-side trap to score.
Park Bar had a couple of opportunities to equalise but squandered them and they were made to pay when a sublime Aaron Rogan through ball gave McFadden the run on goal and the big striker made no mistake to give Trojans a two goal lead at half-time.
As expected Park Bar came out of the traps flying in the second half and they pulled a goal back when fine build-up play ended with Darren Cassidy laying on a simple tap-in for Joe McCready.
Park Bar were now applying sustained pressure on the Trojans defence. With 20 minutes remaining they drew level when Darren McCready found space inside the box to shoot low past McCrudden.
It looked as if Park Bar might go on to win the game but McFadden had other ideas. He dispossessed a Park Bar defender on the edge of the box before firing past the advancing keeper to give Trojans the lead once again.
Park Bar threw everything at Trojans in the final minutes but resolute defending from Darryl McDermott, Jake Stitt and Cathal Connolly enabled them to see out the game and claim the three points which keeps the battle for the league title alive for a bit longer.
Brandywell Harps 1
Top of the Hill Celtic 3
The game was played in a very sporting manner and both teams tried to play passing football.
The game went from end to end and young Conan Doherty in the Harps goal was having a great game making save after save to keep this young Harps team in the game.
Ten minutes into the second half Harps took the lead as Sean McConnell drove the ball home from 18 yards.
Harps were comfortable at this stage but a mix-up in defence let Jay Blackburn in to equalise.
This spurred the Waterside men on and another mistake allowed Curran in on goal and he made no mistake to put his side 2-1 up.
Harps were now chasing an equaliser but were caught on the break as Curran got his second to kill the game off.