West Cork League 2
Limerick DL 3
GER McCARTHY REPORTS
A BRAVE West Cork League performance wasn’t enough to prevent a narrow Oscar Traynor Trophy loss to the Limerick District League at The Farm in Bishopstown.
Unable to secure a West Cork pitch for their knockout Oscar Traynor tie, the WCL moved the fixture to Bishopstown instead of being forced to travel to Limerick. Twice Togher Celtic’s Johnny Kelly handed West Cork the lead until two second-half strikes earned Limerick victory.
Even in defeat, West Cork showed that they belong at this level, their goalkeeper, back four and midfield producing superb performances while up front Barry O’Driscoll (H) and Johnny Kelly showed why they are a match for any defence in the province.
Limerick should have opened the scoring inside the second minute when Kieran O’Connell played in Colin Daly but the visiting striker dragged his shot wide. Despite a nervous start, West Cork demonstrated their attacking threat by breaking the deadlock inside seven minutes. Johnny Kelly capitalised on a referee’s decision to play advantage and slipped the ball past Johnny Mulready.
West Cork’s joy was short-lived as Limerick went down the opposite end of the pitch and Shane Clarke headed home an equaliser just 60 seconds after his team had fallen behind.
An entertaining first half that continued to produce chances and West Cork retook the lead courtesy of another well-worked opening. Johnny Kelly found the net with a confident finish to make it 2-1 on the quarter hour.
The visitors immediately upped the tempo in search of a second equaliser and twice came within inches of levelling with Kieran O’Connell heading over an open goal and Conor Kavanagh’s free-kick clipping an upright.
A first half in which West Cork defended diligently and stretched their opponents on the counter-attack saw Johnny Kelly and Barry O’Driscoll (H) bring the best out of Johnny Mulready prior to Limerick’s Evan Patterson cutting in from the wing and sending a low shot narrowly wide.
Despite those chances, West Cork were fortunate to still be in front heading into the second period with Limerick District having one shot cleared off the line and a couple of other attempts scrambled away.
The visitors pressure told two minutes after the restart however, as Shane Clarke notched his second of the afternoon, converting a debatable penalty following a slip by a West Cork defender that led to the award of the spot-kick.
That effort preceded a dominant Limerick spell in which West Cork’s defence was repeatedly stretched before District hit the front. Darragh Rainsford got on the end of a flowing move and gave Brian Corcoran no chance to make it 3-2 after 77 minutes.
With little option but to commit additional numbers forward, West Cork were unfortunate not to make it 3-3 when Keith Jagoe found the net only to have his attempt ruled out for offside. John Daly was denied an injury-time equaliser by a diving Johnny Mulready but Limerick District did enough to see our frantic closing period and book their place in the next round of the Oscar Traynor Trophy.
West Cork League: Brian Corcoran (Riverside Athletic), John Daly (Riverside Athletic), Tiernán O’Driscoll (Riverside Athletic), JJ Collins (captain, Drinagh Rangers), Barry O’Driscoll (T), Dan O’Halloran (Crookstown), Sean Crowley (Castletown Celtic), Padraig Horan (Clonakilty AFC), Johnny Kelly (Togher Celtic), Barry O’Driscoll (H) (Drinagh Rangers), Keith Jagoe (Drinagh Rangers).
Subs: Rob Oldham (Drinagh Rangers), Paul Hickey (Drinagh Rangers), Dave O’Brien (Togher Celtic), Jack O’Callaghan (Castletown Celtic).
Limerick District League: Johnny Mulready, Danny O’Neill, Edward O’Donovan, Thomas Clarke (captain), Dermot Fitzgerald, Conor Kavanagh, Darragh Rainsford, Kieran O’Connell, Shane Clarke, Colin Daly, Evan Patterson.
Subs: Darragh Hughes, Aidan Hurley, Shane Dillon, Keith Mawdsley, Gary Neville.
Referee: Paul McDermott (WCL).