Chris Collins’ hat-trick fires Clonakilty Town to cup glory

September 21st, 2020 12:30 PM

By Ger McCarthy

The Clonakilty Town squad that defeated Dunmanway Town 5-2 in the Parkway Hotel – Maybury Cup final at Castletownkenneigh.

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CLONAKILTY Town brought the curtain down on the 2019-20 West Cork League season with victory over Dunmanway Town in the Parkway Hotel – Maybury Cup final.

In a repeat of this year’s Beamish Cup final at Turner’s Cross, Clonakilty Town gained revenge for their loss to Dunmanway Town by overcoming the cup winners 5-2.

Barry O’Donovan and Johnny Kelly found the net for the Mohona club but a Chris Collins hat-trick plus an Alan Ward brace earned Clonakilty a merited victory.

It was a positive end, in what has been one of the longest campaign’s in WCL history, for a Clonakilty club that amalgamated (AFC and Town) over a year ago. That decision proved a profitable one, as manager John ‘Mousey’ Leahy’s pre-season prediction of a top-four finish and cup success came true.

Considering their disappointment at the outcome of this year’s Beamish Cup decider, finishing off the 2019-20 campaign with silverware bodes well for the club’s future. ‘It is great for the lads and great for the club,’ Leahy said.

‘As I said to you before the start of the season, to finish in the top four and win a cup would have been brilliant. Now that we have the cup in our hands it is a great ending to the season for us.’

Clonakilty’s 5-2 defeat of Dunmanway was made all the more impressive considering the eventual winners were short a host of first-team regulars. The availability of additional personnel has made a huge difference and was one of the main reasons Clonakilty AFC and Town agreed to come together.

‘Unfortunately, we were down five players today for a number of different reasons,’ Leahy admitted.

‘That made the win even more special. I think we used the right system today and everyone was outstanding. Everyone played their part. ‘It possibly might not have worked seven or eight years ago but amalgamating the clubs has definitely worked this season. I think both Clon AFC and Clon Town (if they were still separate) would have struggled for numbers coming out of Covid. Look, we are a nice tight group now and we all get on. That’s what it is all about.

‘Next season? I think it is going to one of the toughest Premier Divisions for years. My aim for Clonakilty Town is, hopefully, a top two finish and a serious crack off of the Beamish Cup.’

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