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Drinagh Rangers turn attention back to West Cork League after FAI Junior Cup exit

December 2nd, 2023 10:00 AM

By Ger McCarthy

The Drinagh Rangers team that bowed out of the FAI Junior Cup following a 3-1 defeat at home to Limerick club Askeaton-Kilcornan at Canon Crowley Park on Sunday.

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DRINAGH Rangers bowed out of the 2023 FAI Junior Cup following a fourth-round defeat to Askeaton-Kilcornan at Canon Crowley Park on Sunday.

The current West Cork League Premier Division champions hit a crossbar and a post before exiting the FAI Junior Cup in a 3-1 defeat.

Make no mistake, Askeaton-Kilcornan were the better side over the 90 minutes, moved the ball intelligently and took their chances when they arose. But Drinagh will be disappointed they took too long to settle into a tie that produced plenty of attractive approach play and four second-half goals.

‘Overall, we played well and showed a good fighting spirit,’ Drinagh Rangers manager Danny McQueen told The Southern Star.

‘The best team won on the day. Askeaton-Kilcornan are a good side, they were well set up and possessed plenty of pace. We have no complaints but had our chances. As the lads said in the dressing room afterwards, it is back to the bread and butter now against Bunratty United in the league next weekend’.

Having defeated Leeds (3-1), Mayfield (9-2) and Coachford AFC (3-1), the current West Cork League champions kicked off their fourth-round tie in decent form. It was the visiting Limerick Desmond League club that dominated the first half. Sean Whelan, Sam Duggan and Kenneth O’Donoghue all went close during a frantic opening quarter.

Jack Payne-Murphy kept Drinagh in the game with some important stops before the hosts finally broke from defence. A quick counter-attack released Eoin Hurley and the Rangers striker’s effort rebounded back off the crossbar after 22 minutes. Askeaton-Kilcornan responded with Sean Whelan denied by Payne Murphy to end a scoreless opening half.

A more open second period began with the visitors grabbing the lead after 49 minutes. Sean Whelan was sent scampering down the left wing following a superb one-touch passing move. The Limerick winger’s low cross was turned into Drinagh’s net by an unfortunate defender.

Barry O’Driscoll (H) walloped an effort inches wide in the tie’s next attack but Askeaton-Kilcornan continued to threaten and doubled their lead after 54 minutes.

Kenneth O’Donoghue’s free-kick was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by Jack Payne-Murphy but Sam Duggan reacted quickest to the rebound and made it 2-0.

Drinagh had little option but to attack and struck an upright before the hard-working Keith Jagoe halved the deficit with 20 minutes to go.

Any chance of a Rangers comeback was snuffed out when substitute Cathal Downes found the net after 81 minutes.

Three-one behind, the West Cork League club continued to press forward during the closing minutes. There was to be no fairytale comeback however, as Drinagh bowed out and Askeaton-Kilcornan progressed to round five.

‘Hopefully, these FAI Junior Cup experiences will benefit the lads,’ Danny McQueen added. ‘Playing different teams of varying standards was nice for the lads. We can only play one game at a time no matter what the competition. Next week it is Bunratty in the league. It is a bit of a cliché but that’s become our biggest game of the season now.’


Drinagh Rangers: J Payne-Murphy, G White, JJ Collins (captain), D O’Donovan, C O’Regan, D McCarthy, E Hurley, H Carey, B O’Driscoll (H), B O’Driscoll (T) K Jagoe.

Subs: S Calnan, B Hodnett, T Connolly, S Connolly, M Grace, R Oldham.

Askeaton-Kilcornan: Paudie Ivess, K O’Keefe, K Barry, J McCarthy, A Ryan (captain), R Kelly, S Whelan, S Duggan, K O’Donoghue, S Smith, P Ivess.

Subs: M Moane, N Barry, C Downes, D O’Connor, C O’Keefe, R Carrig.

Referee: C Clancy. 

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