BY KIERAN McCARTHY
PATIENCE is the key for Dunmanway Town in Sunday’s mygaff.ie Cup final, insists manager John Buckley.
The club is bidding for its third cup title, having previously won the Beamish Cup (now called the mygaff.ie Cup) back in 2003 and 2004, and while they will be favourites to end their 11-year wait for cup glory, Buckley knows that it won’t be easy against a resolute Crookstown team.
While Crookstown were relegated from the West Cork League Premier Division this season, they beat Dunmanway twice in the league, while they also knocked them out of last year’s mygaff.ie Cup at the semi-final stage (2 – 1), so Dunmanway know the challenge that lies ahead of them on Sunday.
‘We had a weakened team out last year because of a GAA match and they beat us. The two times we met them in the league this year they beat us on both occasions, even though they got relegated – I can’t fathom how that happened,’ Buckley said.
‘They are a tough team, are very defensively strong, have a good back line, especially Dermot Desmond and Martin McCarthy, who are two very experienced players. Their goalkeeper, Dean Knight, also seems to keep out every shot that we throw at him.’
Looking ahead to Sunday’s cup final, Buckley said: ‘We know that Crookstown will be tough again and will be defensively strong so we need to be patient, not panic and wait for the chances to come along to break them down. If we can play good soccer then we should get the rewards.’
Dunmanway Town have shown good form in this cup run, with wins against Lyre Rovers (4 – 1), Skibbereen (2 – 0), Ballydehob (3 – 1) and, in the semi-final, Togher Celtic (3 – 2).
A team with a blend of youth and experience, Dunmanway’s centre halves, brothers Denis and Vincent Healy, both featured in the club’s previous two Beamish Cup successes, with Vincent (man-of-the-match that day) scoring the winner in the 2 -1 win against Gurrane in the 2004 decider.
Midfielder Timmy O’Donovan, who adds steel and strength to midfield, also played in both cup finals – the win over Gurrane and the 2 – 1 victory against Timoleague in the 2003 triumph, Dunmanway’s first Beamish Cup title.
‘Playing in a cup final means a lot to some of the older lads who are still playing and who were there 11 years ago when we last won the Beamish Cup. It would be a nice way to sign off for some of the lads who are maybe in their last year or second-last year,’ Buckley said.
Youth has been given its fling also with goalkeeper Tom Murphy one of the best in the West Cork League, Eoin Lavers already one of the top midfielders in the league, while Barry O’Donovan, Stephen O’Donovan and Mark Quinn all add pace, power and guile to a well-balanced team that likes to keep the ball on the ground.
Johnny Kelly and Jerry McCarthy have been banging in the goals also for Dunmanway, while their defence was the second best in the Premier Division this season, conceding only 21 goals in 16 games – bettered only by league champions Drinagh Rangers (17 conceded).
Victory this Sunday, however, would not only be a fantastic end to this campaign but it would also help build momentum for next season.
‘It’s been three years since we won the league and before that we haven’t won much silverware, bar a Premier Cup, and it’s 11 years since our last Beamish Cup win, so we definitely need to win a trophy, but we need to be at our best on Sunday,’ Buckley stressed.