THE all-conquering Drinagh Rangers team that swept their way to a fantastic clean sweep in the 2017/18 West Cork League season needs to make more room in their trophy cabinet.
The reigning WCL Premier Division champions have been selected as the 2018 Celtic Ross West Cork Sports Team of the Year following a season that saw them win all five competitions they competed in.
Dominant Drinagh won the Premier Division title, Premier Division Cup, Beamish Cup, Micheál Cronin Cup and the Maybury Coaches-Parkway Hotel Cup in a dream season.
They will add the West Cork Sports Team of the Year award to their bulging trophy cabinet after they receive their latest piece of silverware at the gala awards night on Saturday, January 19th, at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery.
‘This is a fantastic honour for the club,’ said joint-manager Don Hurley, who along with Declan Deasy masterminded the clean sweep of trophies.
‘It was a fantastic year for sport in West Cork and to think that we have been chosen for this award, considering the quality of teams in all different sports, is fantastic. We’re thrilled with that, absolutely delighted.
‘It shows that we have a great bunch of lads and we have huge commitment from the players, the backroom staff and all the people in the club that keep it going each year.
‘We had an outstanding season and this really adds to it now; it’s the icing on the cake.’
Hurley admits it was a dream season, as the trophies flowed and momentum grew.
‘You’d never imagine that you win would win everything,’ he admitted.
‘At the start of the season, our aim would always be to win the league, and any cup competitions that we get going in are a bonus. Our aim is the league, the best team in West Cork wins the Premier Division and that’s what we target. It’s great to win cups, especially the Beamish Cup, and we beat a good Lyre team in last season’s final.
‘We were lucky to go on a winning run last season that took us all the way in every competition. We worked hard and trained hard all through the season, we kept the team together, and things fell for us last season.’
Hurley points to the competitiveness of this season’s Premier Division title race to highlight the strength of the West Cork League. Five teams are separated by just two points, with Drinagh (19) trailing behind Dunmanway Town (21), Ballydehob (20) and Togher Celtic (20), and on the same points as Lyre (19).
Seven draws early in this season’s campaign slowed Drinagh down but they’ve picked up the pace and are back in the hunt, as Hurley explains.
‘We are in a position where if we win our five games, we win the league,’ he said, ‘But Dunmanway, Ballydehob, Lyre, Togher, they are all very good teams and that shows the quality of this league.
‘We didn’t start well after last year, it took us a few weeks to get going, but teams have improved too from last season. Ballydehob, Dunmanway Town are excellent, Togher are very strong, Lyre have been very good the past two seasons. There is very little between all the teams.’
Winning the West Cork Sports Team of the Year award is a timely boost ahead of the business end of this season.
• For details on tickets to the gala banquet and overnight accommodation please contact Lisa in the Celtic Ross Hotel directly on 023- 8848722 or [email protected]