BY GER McCARTHY
THREE SuperValu West Cork Masters League titles were decided last week with Cloughduv Celtic claiming the region’s top prize.
Celtic won their fifth Masters League championship in seven years following an epic battle with Drinagh Rangers. Castletownkenneigh played host to the winner-take-all decider in which John Paul O’Mahony fired narrowly wide before Cloughduv goalkeeper Brendan Coughlan denied Drinagh at the opposite end.
Dave Curran proved equally impressive in goal for Rangers as the Canon Crowley Park side enjoyed their best spell, topped off by an opening goal after 16 minutes. Eamonn Connolly raced into the Celtic penalty area and looped a cross into the path of Adrian O’Driscoll. The Drinagh midfielder unleashed a first-time volley into the bottom corner to edge Rangers 1-0 in front.
John Paul O’Mahony, Robbie Walsh and Kevin Finn all went close as a dominant Cloughduv pressed hard for an equaliser. Their cause wasn’t helped by going down to ten men following a red card offence but Celtic kept pushing and conjured up a deserved equaliser when Robbie Walsh converted a penalty seven minutes from full time.
It ended 1-1 and extra-time saw both teams playing with ten men following a Drinagh Rangers red card shortly before the final whistle. Chances were squandered at both ends and the prospect of penalties loomed large before Cloughduv snatched victory right at the death. Barry Cullinane sent a diving header into the net to win the 2017 SuperValu Masters League title for an ecstatic Cloughduv Celtic.
Two other Masters trophies were handed out last Wednesday evening with Clonakilty Town putting the disappointment of missing out on a shot at the league title by overcoming Bantry Bay Masters to win the SuperValu Masters Bowl at Mohona. Town got off to the best possible start with Aidan McCarthy breaking the deadlock and the Darrara-based club looked set for victory once Sam Kingston doubled his side’s advantage. Declan Swayne and Declan Barron came close to equalising and the Kealkil side were rewarded for their improved second-half display when Danny Driscoll made it 2-1 with 10 minutes to go. Bantry Bay Masters poured forward in search of a leveller but Clonakilty defended solidly and confirmed their victory when Kevin Kingston rounded off the scoring in the final minute.
On the same evening, Canon Crowley Park was the venue for this year’s SuperValu Masters Shield decider between Bunratty United and Castletown Celtic. An evenly-fought encounter saw Celtic open the scoring on the quarter-hour mark when Sean Coughlan evaded the Bunratty defence and found the net.
Colm Cleary made it 1-1 from the penalty spot after 45 minutes and no further scoring meant penalties were required to decide the outcome. Theo Cullinane was Castletown Celtic’s hero, saving two penalties in 4-2 shootout triumph.
SuperValu West Cork Masters League final: Cloughduv Celtic 1 Drinagh Rangers 1 (aet).
SuperValu West Cork Masters Bowl final: Bantry Bay Masters 1 Clonakilty Town 3.
SuperValu West Cork Masters Shield final: Bunratty United 1 Castletown Celtic 1 (aet, Castletown won on penalties)