STEVEN O’Donovan’s late match-winner has moved Dunmanway Town three points clear of their nearest rivals in the PremierHiSpecCars.com Premier Division title race.
As Dunmanway Town beat Mizen AFC 2-1 away last Sunday, second-placed Drinagh Rangers were held to a dramatic 3-3 draw against Togher Celtic, though Clonakilty Soccer Club kept their name in the conversation with an important win against Ballydehob.
While Keith White nudged Dunmanway into a 1-0 half-time lead against bottom-of-the-table Mizen, Gerald O’Callaghan equalised for the home side after 72 minutes. Just when it looked like the league leaders would drop points, up popped Steven O’Donovan with an 85th-minute winner. A good day for Dunmanway became even better when Drinagh were held to a draw and now there are three points between the top two.
Drinagh had led 2-0 away to Togher at one stage of the first half after an own goal and a Barry O’Driscoll (H) effort saw them take control, but David Mawe pulled one back for Togher before the break. Fifteen minutes into the second half Kevin Cotter levelled, 2-2, and ten minutes later Luke Hurley handed Togher the lead. There was late drama, however, when Ciarán O’Regan rescued a draw for Drinagh with a last-minute pile-driver.
Clonakilty Soccer Club are four points behind Dunmanway but have a game in hand, so they are right in the title hunt as well. Their challenge was helped by a 2-1 win against Ballydehob. Eoin Hartnett and Iain O’Driscoll struck for first-half goals. Sean Minihane pulled a goal back for Ballydehob in the 89th minute, but it was too little, too late.
Kilgoban Celtic sit in fourth place and could yet have a say in the destination of the title, but they were held to a 0-0 draw against Spartak Mossgrove last Sunday, so missed the chance to put some pressure on the leading teams.
There was a huge win at the other end of the table for Lyre Rovers who had been bottom heading into last weekend’s action. Winning for just the second time in nine league matches, Lyre defeated Riverside Athletic 3-2 and now join them on seven points, just ahead of Mizen AFC.
Goals from Brian Walsh, Gearoid Barry and Sean White saw Lyre surge 3-0 ahead before Brian Murphy and David Curtin both scored inside the final three minutes to set up a nervous finish.
OBrienWaterServices.com Championship leaders Castletown Celtic needed an 87th-minute goal from Kevin Dullea to rescue a 2-2 draw away to Courtmacsherry last Sunday.
Darragh Holland had given Courtmac a 14th-minute lead before Matthew Draper replied for Castletown. Holland, again, was on target in the 55th minute but just when it looked like Castletown would suffer their second loss of the league campaign, Dullea earned them a share of the spoils.
With Bunratty and Kilbrittain Rovers both picking up three points last weekend, it cuts Castletown’s lead at the top to two and four points respectively, with the chasing clubs having games in hand.
Bunratty United were awarded an away win against Dunmanway Town B, while Kilbrittain Rovers leapt over Beara United and into third place after they beat the Beara men 4-2 away. All six goals came in the second half, with Anthony Casey (2), Alan Burke and Luke O’Riordan on target for Kilbrittain while Brian Collins and Dean Murphy netted for Beara.
Skibbereen could be an outside bet to push their way into the title conversation and they sit in fifth after a 3-1 derby win against Baltimore. Dan Mac Eoin had given Baltimore a 1-0 half-time lead before Jamie O’Driscoll scored a terrific second-half hat-trick for Skibb.
Bottom club Castlelack lost 3-0 at home to Drinagh Rangers B, who had goals from Jack O’Sullivan, Eamon Connolly and Cian O’Neill.
Kilgoban Celtic lead the way in the WCL U19 League, helped by their 4-3 win against title rivals Sullane last Saturday. The leaders needed to save a 90th-minute Sullane penalty to secure the three points on offer. The winner’s goals came from James Desmond, Dara McCarthy, Alex Young and an own goal, while Ciarán Lucey (2) and Dan Kelly were on target for Sullane.
Conor Brosnan hit a hat trick as Bunratty United defeated Dunmanway Town 3-0, while Owen Tobin scored four times as Drinagh Rangers beat Castlelack 8-0. Tom McQueen (2), Sean Calnan and Damien Fernandez also scored for Drinagh.
The WCL fixtures for the weekend ahead are as follows:
Saturday, January 22nd – WCL U19 League: 11.30am, Castlelack v Dunmanway Town; 2.30pm, Bunratty United v Ardfield; 2.30pm, Sullane v Drinagh Rangers.
Sunday, January 23rd – PremierHiSpecCars.com Premier Division: 2.30pm, Drinagh Rangers v Spartak Mossgrove; 11am, Kilgoban Celtic v Mizen AFC. OBrienWaterServices.com Championship: 11am, Castletown Celtic v Kilbrittain Rovers; 11am, Drinagh Rangers B v Bunratty United. WCL Womens 7s Tournament: 12.30pm, Aultagh Celtic v Mizen AFC; 1.45pm, Drinagh Rangers B v Drinagh Rangers; 3pm, Dunmanway Town v Beara United. West Cork League Premier Division Cup Round 1: 11am, Riverside Athletic v Togher Celtic; 2.30pm, Lyre Rovers v Dunmanway Town. WCL Championship Cup Round 1: 11am, Skibbereen v Castlelack; 11am, Aultagh Celtic v Dunmanway Town B; 2.30pm, Baltimore v Beara United.