LIVERPOOL LEGENDS 2
DRINAGH RANGERS 2
(Drinagh won on penalties)
GER McCARTHY REPORTS
DRINAGH Rangers and a Liverpool Legends XI played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in front of a bumper attendance at Canon Crowley Park on Saturday.
Drinagh made all the early running with Mike Doolan, Robert O'Regan and Liam Curran all going close during a lively opening period.
Cork City manager John Caulfield lined out for the Anfield giants and brought the best out of James O'Regan at the opposite end before Jason McAteer was forced off early with an injury.
Rangers looked the more threatening in the final third and grabbed a deserved lead on the quarter hour when Mike Doolan's volley struck the crossbar only for the legendary Rangers striker to fire home the rebound.
The pace of the game was surprisingly quick for a pitch dotted with players well into their 40s with Dubliner Paul McNally keeping the Liverpool defence in check while Phil Babb and Ronnie Whelan patrolled the middle of the pitch.
Whelan brought the best out of Alan Shorten as Liverpool stepped up their search for an equaliser before former Wimbledon winger Paul McGee arrowed an effort over Drinagh's crossbar.
Phil Babb went even closer after 33 minutes with a quick turn and left footed attempt from 25 yards missing the target by inches.
Drinagh were forced to defend for long periods but should have grabbed a second goal minutes before the interval when Darragh Connolly ghosted in behind the Liverpool back four but his effort was repelled by James O'Regan.
The second period saw both teams utilise their substitutes’ bench and Liverpool's Paul McGee scorched another long range effort wide as the home side struggled to build on their 1-0 advantage.
McGee struck the crossbar after 50 minutes when his cross-come-shot deceived the Rangers defence as Liverpool's ability to retain possession and break from midfield saw the Anfield side enjoy a dominate period.
The pressure finally told on Drinagh's defence with the award of a penalty that Phil Babb confidently dispatched to make it 1-1.
The Reds' joy was short-lived however as Mike Doolan sprung the Liverpool offside trap and raced clear to net his second of the afternoon and restore Drinagh's lead.
Both sides missed chances during a scrappy closing period but Liverpool conjured up a late equaliser when John Caulfield teed up Paul McGee to fire home from the edge of the box and conclude an entertaining game 2-2.
An ensuing penalty shootout saw the West Cork League club emerge victorious but Drinagh Rangers football club were the big winners on an unforgettable day.
Liverpool Legends: James O'Regan, Phil Babb, Gary Gillespie, Jimmy Carter, Alan Kennedy, John Wark, Ronnie Whelan, Ray Houghton, Brian Barry, Jason McAteer, John Caulfield, Jason O'Brien, Mark Murphy, Alan Riordan, Robert Oldham, Paul McNally, Richie Parsons and Paul McGee.
Drinagh Rangers: Alan Shorten, JJ Hurley, David O'Regan, James Walsh, Vincent Collins, Robert O'Regan, Seamus Daly, Danny McQueen, Mike Doolan, Darragh Connolly, Liam Curran, Daniel O'Regan, Denis O'Driscoll, David Curran, Declan Deasy, Michael Hurley, Robert Jennings, Tim Daly, Eamonn Connolly, Liam Young, David Hall, Kevin McCarthy, Paul O'Driscoll, James Daly, John Cahalane, Jerry O'Mahony, Niall Duggan and Colman Daly.
Referee: Richie Collins.
Assistant referees: Shane O'Neill, Tim McDermott and Anthony McDermott.