Drinagh Rangers U19s finish season on high with cup win

September 7th, 2020 8:30 AM

By Ger McCarthy

The Drinagh Rangers squad that won the 2020 West Cork League U19 Cup final by defeating Bunratty United 2-1 after extra-time.

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DRINAGH Rangers denied Bunratty United a West Cork U19 League and Cup double by annexing the U19 Cup trophy in Skibbereen.

The Canon Crowley Park club inflicted league champions Bunratty’s solitary defeat of an otherwise perfect season to claim the U19 Cup after extra-time at the Baltimore Road. It proved a profitable day for Drinagh’s underage academy with the club’s U14s also picking up the West Cork Schoolboys League U14 Cup.

A superb U19 final saw United break the deadlock after 15 minutes. A defensive mix-up presented Darragh O’Shea with a scoring opportunity and the Bunratty player duly obliged. It was a 1-0 lead the Schull side retained until the interval.

Mark Grace made an impact off the bench by scoring Drinagh’s equaliser to force an end-to-end encounter into extra-time. But United were reduced to ten players following Keith O’Driscoll’s dismissal for a second yellow card offence ten minutes before the final whistle.

Battling bravely throughout extra-time, Bunratty looked set to hold out. The sceptre of penalties loomed large heading into the final minute of the second period when Rangers forced a corner. The Schull club’s inability to clear Robbie McQueen’s delivery resulted in an unfortunate own goal. It was the last kick of the game and an ecstatic Drinagh Rangers claimed the U19 Cup with a 2-1 victory.

‘We felt a bit hard done by in the U19 League this season,’ Drinagh U19 manager Danny McQueen admitted.

‘We drew with Bunratty, drew with Dunmanway and were narrowly beaten by Togher. The squad just kept going and it is always nice to win something. Bunratty won the league and were probably the best U19 team all season but we came out on top (in the cup final) which is great for the players.’

Despite the defeat, Bunratty ended the season as worthy West Cork League U19 League champions. Manager TJ O’Donovan couldn’t have been prouder of his squad’s efforts.

‘It has been between us and Togher Celtic all the way through from U14 to U19 and Togher always seemed to get the better of us when it came to finals,’ O’Donovan admitted.

‘This time around, it was our turn to come out on top in the league for a change. Today’s cup final was the only game Bunratty has lost all season. You couldn’t ask for more from the players. It bodes well for next season where all but three of this year’s squad will be eligible for the U19 grade. Everyone is looking forward to getting going once again.’

Drinagh Rangers: Jack P Murphy, Jack Coveney, Christy Wilson, David Whelton, Conor McCarthy, Robbie McQueen, Cillian Fitzpatrick, Sean Calnan, James O’Neill, Jobe Forsythe and Darragh Coakley. Subs: Eoghan Cooke, Mark Grace, Gearoid McCarthy, James McCarthy and Shane O’Sullivan.

Bunratty United: Jamie O’Brien, Milan Vearncombe, Mark Brosnan, Jake Coughlan, Ciaran McCarthy, Isaac Solomon, James O’Regan, Keith O’Driscoll, Killian O’Sullivan, Ronan Goudling and Darragh O’Shea. Subs: Conor Brosnan, Darragh Bowen, Ryan McSweeney and Luka Bowen.

Referee: Tim McDermott.

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