DRINAGH Rangers’ bid to shatter Waterford Crystal’s Munster Junior Cup dreams came to a heartbreaking end last Saturday afternoon.
The only West Cork League team to make it through to the last 32 of the competition went down 5-4 to the home side in a thrilling encounter that went to extra-time before Waterford Crystal clinched a place in the last 16 with a stunning last-gasp winner.
With the score tied 4-4, Waterford Crystal snatched the win with an acrobatic overhead kick from the edge of the box, just minutes after Drinagh’s Adrian O’Driscoll hit the bar.
Drinagh, second in the WCL Premier Division, got off to the worst possible start and found themselves two goals behind after 30 minutes – but Barry O’Driscoll (T) scored direct from a free to leave the score 2-1 to Waterford at the break.
JJ Collins missed the first half due to an exam so Drinagh had to shuffle the pack, moving Jamie Walsh to centre back but when Collins came on (for Tomás Connolly), it allowed Walsh to move back into central midfield and that definitely turned the game in the second half.
Six minutes into the second period, Barry O’Driscoll (H) levelled the game, 2-2, and a few minutes later a stunning strike by Gavin Beamish edged Drinagh 3-2 ahead.
By the 61st minute, the home side had tied the match at 3-3 and they crept 4-3 in front after 76 minutes. There was still time for more drama when Jamie Walsh scored an 88th minute header to make it 4-4 and send this cup classic to extra-time.
Waterford Crystal grabbed the late, late winner to break Drinagh hearts – but Rangers can be extremely proud of their performance.
Drinagh Rangers: Liam Cahalane, JJ Hurley, Jamie Walsh, Barry O’Driscoll (T), Paul Hickey, Gearoid White, Rob O’Regan, Keith Jagoe, Tomas Connolly, Barry O’Driscoll (H), Gavin Beamish. Subs used: Darren Beamish, JJ Collins, Adrian O’Driscoll, Steven Crowley.