BY GER McCARTHY
CLOUGHDUV Celtic and Clonakilty Town served up a contender for match of the season in the SuperValu West Cork League Masters Cup last week.
Clonakilty travelled to Fr. O’Driscoll Park for an eagerly anticipated Masters Cup first round tie against a Cloughduv side still reeling from a shock 3-2 league loss at home to Ardfield the Wednesday before.
Both sides contributed to a classic tie full of superb goals, standout individual displays and a late extra-time winner. Setting the tone, Dave McCarthy brought the best out of Celtic goalkeeper Brendan Coughlan in the opening attack before Cloughduv settled and hit the front after 18 minutes.
Martin McCarthy, Kevin Finn and Robbie Walsh wasted decent goal-scoring opportunities before the latter found the bottom corner of the net to edge the hosts 1-0 in front.
Seamus O’Brien and Michael Hurley’s committed defending helped Clonakilty gain a foothold in proceedings and Town drew level three minutes after falling behind. Noel Jordan sprung the Cloughduv offside trap and chipped in a fine equaliser. Clonakilty were dominating possession and territory when the award of a free-kick wide on the left saw Aidan McCarthy’s cross deceive Celtic’s defence and nestle in the back of the net.
A rip-roaring second half saw chances created at either end and Clonakilty looked set to hold on for victory until a dramatic, late twist. A Cloughduv counter-attack ended with Conor Minihane connecting with a diving header to make it 2-2 with less than three minutes remaining.
Extra-time saw both teams go close to a winner before Robbie Walsh netted his second of the evening to send Cloughduv into the quarter-finals and another home tie against cup holders Drinagh Rangers.
Castletown Celtic eased into the next round of this season’s Masters Cup courtesy of a 3-0 triumph at home to last year’s runners-up Bunratty United. Alan O’Neill netted twice with John Horgan also finding the net to setup a meeting with Castlelack.
Durrus issued a statement of intent following their 3-2 Masters Cup victory away to Bantry Bay Masters. Leading 2-1 at the break, the visitors edged a five-goal thriller thanks to Frankie Arundel, Dermot O’Donoghue and Kieran O’Donovan strikes while Paul Tessyman and Davitt Vaughan scored for Bay Masters.
Durrus will return to Kealkil in the quarter-finals and face Bantry Bay Seniors for a place in the last four.
Bandon Masters reward for overcoming Dunmanway Town is a Masters Cup quarter-final at home to Ardfield. Eddie Andepu’s solitary strike earned Bandon a 1-0 win over a previously undefeated Dunmanway and the Masters League newcomers will be favourites to make the last four despite Ardfield’s recent upturn in form.
Results, SuperValu West Cork Masters Cup (first round): Bandon Masters 1 Dunmanway Town 0, Bantry Bay Masters 2 Durrus 3, Castletown Celtic 3 Bunratty United 0, Cloughduv Celtic 3 Clonakilty Town 2 (aet).
SuperValu West Cork Masters Cup quarter-finals: Bandon Masters v Ardfield in the Convent grounds, Bandon, Bantry Bay Seniors v Durrus in Kealkil, Castlelack v Castletown Celtic in Bandon AFC’s grounds, Cloughduv Celtic v Drinagh Rangers in Fr O’Driscoll Park.