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‘If we win this title, it will be the best the club has ever won,’ says Drinagh manager Danny McQueen

May 31st, 2024 6:00 AM

By Ger McCarthy

‘If we win this title, it will be the best the club has ever won,’ says Drinagh manager Danny McQueen Image
Drinagh Rangers' Tom McQueen fires the ball past Dunmanway Town's goalkeeper Kevin Murray for his side's third goal. (Photos: Paddy Feen)

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DRINAGH Rangers have set up a winner-takes-all match up with Clonakilty Soccer Club for the West Cork League Premier Division thanks to three second-half goals against Dunmanway Town at Canon Crowley Park on Sunday.

All roads lead to Darrara for this Sunday’s Premier Division title-decider. Newly-crowned Beamish Cup winners and league leaders Clonakilty Soccer Club will host last year’s champions Drinagh Rangers in a winner takes all match of what’s been a long West Cork League season.

Last Sunday’s 3-0 win over Dunmanway was hard-earned thanks to Town’s determined efforts. Now, another three points will give Drinagh Rangers the Premier Division trophy at the expense of the club they lost the Beamish Cup final to.

‘We should have won by more but, at the same time, we could have been two down at half-time,’ Drinagh manager Danny McQueen admitted to The Southern Star.

‘Games at this time of the year, you don’t know what could happen. Look, from very early on, Drinagh has been 12 or 15 points behind (Clonakilty Soccer Club) all year. That’s why I believe, if we go on to win this Premier Division, it will be the best league (title) the club has ever won.

‘Clonakilty are going for a treble after winning their Premier Cup semi-final earlier today. They will be all out next Sunday. Going on our Beamish Cup final, this has all the makings of another great game.’

Drinagh Rangers' Eoin Hurley goes past Dunmanway Town's Cullan Barry.


The permutations were simple for the defending Premier Division champions ahead of kick-off against last year’s runners-up, Dunmanway. A Rangers victory would keep the Canon Crowley Park side within touching distance of leaders Clonakilty Soccer Club. Any other result would confirm a first-ever West Cork League Premier Division title for the town of Clonakilty.

Unsurprisingly, Drinagh made all the early running with Robbie McQueen, Eoin Hurley and Barry O’Driscoll (H) prominent. The pattern of an engaging first half saw the hosts dominate possession while Town sat deep, looking to counter-attack whenever possible. Some of Drinagh’s approach play was of the highest order. All that was lacking was a finish as Barry O’Driscoll (H) , Tom McQueen and Keith Jagoe all went close.

Scoreless after 20 minutes, Dunmanway had a rare sight of goal after Eoin Buckley was fouled on the edge of the box. Cullan Barry couldn’t convert the resulting free kick but that attempt only served to embolden the visitors.

Barry forced Jack Payne Murphy into a point-blank stop and the Drinagh goalkeeper denied Eoin Buckley with an even better save shortly after. Keith Jagoe headed over from six yards and Robbie McQueen’s goal-bound attempt was hacked clear by Kevin Murray during a dominant Drinagh spell.

Dunmanway Town's Eoin Buckley tries to get around Drinagh Rangers' Keith Jagoe during the WCL Premier Division tie at Drinagh on Sunday.


Next, Town’s Eoin Buckley went agonisingly close to an opener on the stroke of half time. The young Town striker burst into the box but dragged his effort wide with only Payne Murphy to beat. Keith Jagoe went even closer, forcing a save and then blazing the rebound over the crossbar.

Changing ends tied at 0-0, Drinagh’s patience was rewarded with a terrific third-quarter press. The goal the hosts had been threatening arrived after 53 minutes. Dunmanway’s defensive resolve was finally broken when Barry O’Driscoll  (H) reacted to a rebounded shot and calmly found the net from 12 yards.

Rangers were guilty of poor finishing prior to Robbie McQueen doubling his side’s advantage just shy of the hour mark. Town’s inability to clear another cross into their penalty area saw McQueen control the ball before placing a delicate left-footed shot past Kevin Murray. Tom McQueen made sure of the points and a resounding 3-0 win.

Dunmanway Town: Kevin Murray, Ray Jennings, Cian Collins, Aidan O’Donovan (captain), Ian Bryan, Gavin Dullea, Nathan O’Donovan, Eoin Buckley, Cullan Barry, Jack Crowley, Mikey Kelly.

Subs: Mark Shanahan, Noel O’Donovan.

Drinagh Rangers: Jack Payne Murphy, Gearoid White, JJ Collins (captain), Daniel McCarthy, Barry O’Driscoll (T), Harry Carey, Robbie McQueen, Tom McQueen, Keith Jagoe, Barry O’Driscoll (H), Eoin Hurley.

Subs: Tomás Connolly, Sean Calnan, Mark Grace, Paddy Taylor.

Referee: Tim McDermott.


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