DRINAGH Rangers boosted their own chances of PremierHiSpecCars.com Premier Division glory by dealing a significant blow to Dunmanway Town’s title hopes.
Ahead of last Sunday’s action, Drinagh and Dunmanway were the top two in the table, with Drinagh six points in front, but Dunmanway had two games in hand so their latest meeting had the potential to be crucial in this title race – and it’s Drinagh who have strengthened their position at the summit.
Two goals in four first-half minutes from Keith Jagoe and Barry O'Driscoll (H) saw the home side lead 2-0 at the break. Tom McQueen added to their tally after 65 minutes before Cathal Daly pulled a goal back for Dunmanway, but it was Drinagh who won 3-1 to move nine points ahead of their rivals, who do have those two games in hand.
Clonakilty Soccer Club took advantage of Dunmanway’s second league loss in a row – Clon beat them the previous weekend – to move into second place after a 3-0 win against Lyre Rovers. All three goals, an Iain O’Driscoll brace after Alan Murphy’s opener, came in the second half. Clonakilty are seven points behind Drinagh but have three games in hand.
In the Premier Division last Friday, bottom side Mizen AFC drew 1-1 with Ballydehob, Gerald O’Callaghan equalising for Mizen after Peter O'Driscoll’s opener.
Skibbereen are a team on the move in the OBrienWaterServices.com Championship. Their 3-0 derby win against Baltimore – the winner’s goals came from JP Reen (2) and Kevin O’Regan – on St Patrick’s Day sees them surge to second in the table, just one point behind Bunratty who have a game in hand. Leaders Bunratty were held to a 0-0 draw by third-place Castletown Celtic and the top of the table has become congested as Bunratty (32), Skibbereen (31) and Castletown (31) battle it out.
Beara United beat Drinagh Rangers B 2-1 to move to within four points of top spot, but they have played two games more than Bunratty. First-half goals from Ben O'Sullivan and Alan O'Donoghue gave the Beara men a 2-0 lead at the break before James O'Regan pulled a goal back for Drinagh in the second half. Elsewhere in the Championship Courtmacsherry beat Castlelack 3-2. John Whelton (2) and Bill Fleming scored for Courtmac while Brendan Harrington and Robert O’Mahony were on target for Castlelack.
Drinagh Rangers’ adventure in the Munster FA Women's Junior Cup came to an end on Sunday when they lost their round-two game away to Wilton, 4-0. Still, this Drinagh team has made West Cork League history as the first women’s team from the league to compete in this competition, and also win – they defeated Kilmallock United in the first round.
Elsewhere in the WCL Women’s 7s Tournament last weekend, Inter Kenmare beat Mizen AFC 2-0 and are now four points behind leaders Drinagh.
Drinagh Rangers need to make some room in their trophy cabinet after their U19s won the West Cork League U19 Cup final against Kilgoban Celtic last Friday. Matthew Murnane opened the scoring in the 60th minute for Drinagh and Owen Tobin doubled their lead 13 minutes later as Rangers won 2-0 to clinch the cup.
In the U19 league, leaders Bunratty United moved a step closer to glory after a convincing 6-2 win against second-place Sullane on Saturday. Martin Santandrea (2), Dylan Greene (2), Conor Brosnan and Adam Johnson all scored in an empathic Bunratty win, while Ciarán Lucey and Colin Murphy replied for Sullane, who are three points behind the leaders and have played one game more.
There were goals galore in Dunmanway Town’s 4-3 win against Ardfield. Dunmanway raced 3-0 in front thanks to efforts from Eoin Buckley, Gavin Dullea and Will Hennigan (penalty) before Cameron Pendlebury and Jack Enright struck twice in two minutes for Ardfield early in the second half. Eoin Buckley’s second goal, after 65 minutes, gave Dunmanway some breathing space, before Annraoi Creedon’s late goal for Ardfield set up a tense finish.