Cockhill Celtic's shock 3-2 home defeat by Swilly Rovers last weekend has suddenly put the dominant Inishowen side under the microscope.
They appeared to be cruising towards yet another league 4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League title, but now the gap has been cut to six points.
And this weekend they take on second placed Letterkenny Rovers.
Should Rovers win then the champions' lead at the top will be only three points.
Letterkenny Rovers captain Darren McElwaine believes the title is still Cockhill Celtic’s ‘to lose’.
The League’s top two teams go head-to-head on Sunday at the Aura Leisure Centre (kick-off 2pm) with Rovers hoping to breathe new life into the title race.
The games comes after Cockhill suffered a shock defeat to Swilly Rovers on Sunday, going down 3-2 at the Charlie O’Donnell Sports Grounds.
While Cockhill lost to Swilly, Rovers’ 3-1 home win against Fanad means they enter Sunday’s meeting with a chance to now significantly close the gap.
“All it has done is give us a small chance,” experienced striker McElwaine says.
“We have a chance to open it up a bit. I’m sure Bonagee and Fanad will be looking at it too. It’s not often they’d be shouting for Rovers, but they will be this weekend.
“For me, the League is Cockhill’s to lose still. We’re at home, though, and we have to win this. Cockhill have a chance of two results because a win or a draw will do them, but we need the win.
“We’re looking forward to it. Games against them have always been tight and this will be no different – but we have to give it our all and see where we are on Monday morning.
Cockhill have been the picture of consistency in the USL in recent seasons. Champions in the last four seasons, the Inishowen side have led the way for the rest.
McElwaine says: “I’ve played in many combinations of Rovers teams in the last few years, but Cockhill have rarely changed; they have that same core of players.
“They probably haven’t had that many better players than we’ve had, but they’ve had the same backbone pretty much. That means a lot when games are tight and men will really dig in.
“They’re going to be hurt from Sunday’s defeat and will be coming all guns blazing this weekeend.”
TOP GOALSCORERS (League goals only)
Cathal Farren (Derry City Reserves) 8
Darren McElwaine (Letterkenny Rovers) 6
Mark Moran (Cockhill Celtic) 6
Aaron McCready (Finn Harps Reserves) 4
Laurence Toland (Swilly Rovers) 4
Aidan McLaughlin (Bonagee United) 3
Jimmy Bradley (Cockhill Celtic) 3
Gerard McLaughlin (Cockhill Celtic) 3
William O’Connor (Cockhill Celtic) 3
Max Karner (Derry City Reserves) 3
Stephen Duffy (Derry City Reserves) 3
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.