Bantry back in Beamish Cup final

April 11th, 2017 5:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Big win: The Bantry Bay Rovers team that won the their Beamish Cup semi-final last Sunday. (Photo: Colbert O'Sullivan)

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Bantry Bay Rovers 1

Castletown Celtic 0




PAUL Drummey’s perfectly executed free-kick was enough to earn Bantry Bay Rovers a first Beamish Cup final appearance in 20 years at Canon Crowley Park.

The Premier League club edged Division 2 side Castletown Celtic by the bare minimum in a semi-final high on effort but low on quality. 

Rovers won’t care one iota and rightfully so, capitalising on Paul Drummey’s superb strike to book their place in the West Cork League’s showpiece event against Drinagh Rangers which takes place – for the first time ever – at Turner’s Cross next month.

‘We are absolutely delighted to reach another Beamish Cup final having last played in it 20 years ago,’ admitted Bantry Bay Rovers manager Danny Peters.

‘To make it to this year’s final is extra-special considering the remarkable season our club is enjoying at both junior and schoolboys league level. I think introducing younger players and speeding up our play has made the difference this year. Hopefully, it can help us get over the line in the final.’

Bay Rovers’ Donal McGrath was in full agreement and looking forward to playing on Cork City’s home ground in the decider.

‘Turner’s Cross is a fantastic arena to play in and it will be an honour to be there,’ McGrath commented. 

‘Reaching the Beamish Cup final is an indication of the progress we have made over the past couple of years. We have come up from Division 2, Division 1 and are now fighting for our Premier Division lives. Drinagh are a fantastic club and favourites but we know, on our day, we can be a match for anyone.’

Happy to assume the underdogs tag, facing fellow Premier Division rivals Drinagh Rangers will not unduly worry a Bantry Bay Rovers side that were unfortunate to lose at Canon Crowley Park
earlier in the campaign.

‘We gave Drinagh a good game with a weakened team only to lose to an injury-time goal earlier in the season,’ Danny Peters commented. 

‘On our day and when we click, we can match any team. I wouldn’t be taking the outcome of the Beamish Cup final for granted and neither will Drinagh!’

Rovers were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Castletown penalty area with three minutes remaining of a scoreless first half. Paul Drummey curled a delightful effort in off the underside of the crossbar to hand Bay a 1-0 lead they would never relinquish.

A much-improved second period saw chances created at both ends with Castletown committing additional numbers to their attack while Bay were happy to sit deep and counter-attack at pace.

Celtic’s threat from set pieces was a feature of their run to the Beamish Cup semi-finals and John Connolly was called into action to repel a goal-bound header from a free-kick. Bay’s response was positive with Shane Drunmey denied a
certain goal at the opposite end by a terrific Gavin Aherne save.

Castletown’s attacking tandem of Kevin O’Donovan and Stephen Moore forced Bay Rovers into successive clearances and the Kealkil club were thankful for an effective offside trap as Celtic intensified their search for a leveller heading into the closing stages.

A dogged Bantry Bay Rovers were not to be denied however and will take on Drinagh Rangers in what will be a special occasion for two well-supported West Cork League clubs.

Bantry Bay Rovers: John Connolly, Daniel Murray, Paul Drummey, Martin Hurley, Joe Downey, David Daly, Brian O’Donovan, Shane Drummey, Eoghan McElhinney, Shane McSweeney, Gavin Johnson.

Subs: Ricky Peters, Ciarán McElhinney, Shane Murray, Matthew Barry, Seamus McHugh.

Castletown Celtic: Gavin O’Leary, Padraig O’Driscoll, Sean Buttimer, Fergal Kelleher, Gearoid O’Donovan, Kevin O’Donovan, Niall O’Halloran, Stephen Moore, Jack O’Callaghan, Ted Lordan, Billy O’Brien.

Subs: John O’Sullivan, James Berryman, Conor O’Neill, John Horgan, Kevin O’Neill.

Referee: Richie Collins.

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