A BRAND new West Cork League season kicked off last weekend with Bunratty United and Bantry Bay Rover registering Parkway Hotel-Maybury Coaches Cup victories.
The tournament was introduced for the first time last year and proved a big success by allowing competing clubs an opportunity to play a minimum of three games and gain much-needed match sharpness in preparation for the new campaign.
This seasonís format remains the same as 2014 with sixteen clubs split into four groups and each participant playing one another once. Each group winner and runner-up progress to the quarter-final (knockout) stages taking place later in the campaign.
Bunratty United got the defence of a trophy they won in style last season off to the best possible start with victory at home to local rivals Ballydehob last Saturday. Eddie Goggin and Darragh O’Callaghan scored in either half to cement a 2-0 Group 3 win that also includes Spartak Mossgrove and Crookstown.
Spartak, the WCL’s latest arrival, are pencilled in to take the field for the first time against Crookstown and it will be interesting to monitor their progress in the early weeks of the new campaign.
Group 2 contains Drinagh Rangers and Clonakilty AFCís ëBí teams along with Courtmacsherry and Bantry Bay Rovers. The Kealkil club travelled to Courtmac last Sunday and registered an impressive 8-2 victory thanks to a David Power hat-trick as well as additional Graeme OíLeary (2), David Daly (2) and Ricky Peters strikes. Conor OíRegan and Mark Crowley replied for Courtmacsherry.
Clonakilty AFC will face fellow Premier League rivals Skibbereen in their Group 4 opener. Two additional premier sides make up the most competitive looking opening group with Togher Celtic and Mizen AFC set to battle it out alongside Clon and Skibb for a place in the knockout stages.
Defending WCL Premier League champions Drinagh Rangers will be expected to qualify from a group containing Dunmanway Town B, Durrus and Aultagh Celtic.
Saturday, August 15th – Parkway Hotel-Maybury Coaches Cup – Group 3: Bunratty United 2, Ballydehob 0; Sunday 16th, Group 2: Courtmacsherry 2, Bantry Bay Rovers 8.
Full 2015 Parkway Hotel-Maybury Coaches Cup draw – Group 1: Drinagh Rangers, Dunmanway Town B, Durrus and Aultagh Celtic; Group 2: Drinagh Rangers B, Clonakilty AFC B, Courtmacsherry and Bantry Bay Rovers; Group 3: Spartak Mossgrove, Crookstown, Bunratty United and Ballydehob; Group 4: Skibbereen, Clonakilty AFC, Togher Celtic and Mizen.