BY GER McCARTHY
AN opportunity to walk out on Cork City FC’s home ground and play in a Beamish Cup final is exactly the boost manager Danny Peters and Bantry Bay Rovers need to end their season on a positive note.
‘From the outset of the season, our main aim was to stay up in the West Cork League’s Premier Division,’ stated Peters.
‘We lost an awful lot of players to emigration and those going back to college at the beginning of the campaign which left us with little option but to blood a lot of young players, maybe before they were ready for West Cork League football.
‘Unfortunately, our relegation may only have been confirmed following a play-off loss to Ballydehob last week but in reality, occurred much earlier in the season.
‘Then we were playing matches with only ten available players and struggling to fulfil our fixtures with half an U18 team. Now we are free to concentrate on the cup final with Drinagh and can give it our best shot.’
Bantry Bay may have lost their top-flight status but head into the Beamish Cup final having registered one of the standout results of the season. Earlier this year, a full-strength Rovers travelled to Mohona and inflicted Dunmanway Town’s solitary defeat of the campaign.
‘We have always known that Bay Rovers could match any team in the Premier when we had our full team out on the pitch and so it proved in that great cup win over Dunmanway who went on to win the Premier Division,’ Peters said.
‘I believe that there is plenty to be positive about as there at a lot of talented players coming up through the ranks at Bantry Bay Rovers. There is a big incentive for the new fellas coming onto the team to get back up to the Premier Division and get playing at the highest level in West Cork.’
Both of Danny Peters’ parents passed away in recent months offering a timely perspective to Bay Rovers’ players and supporters ahead of one of the most important days in the club’s history.
‘To walk out on to the Turner’s Cross pitch will be fabulous for the players and supporters as it is the home of soccer in Cork,’ said Peters.
‘All the lads are up for it and cannot wait for day to come around. The whole place is absolutely buzzing thanks to the backbone of the club, our underage section, enjoying a highly successful West Cork Schoolboys League season.
‘Once I took over, my aim was to bring through as many young players as I could and give the all a chance. To be at Turner’s Cross will be special even though Drinagh Rangers are overwhelming favourites and rightly so considering their pedigree.
‘Hopefully, we can put in a performance and cause an upset. That would certainly make me smile and no doubt my parents would be smiling up in heaven too.’