No fairytale ending but display just the job for part-timers
THEY may be a Cinderella ensemble of West Cork electricians, carpenters, blocklayers, tarmac contractors and one garda, but they came within a whisker yesterday of a famous giant-killing of Premiership aristocrats Liverpool.
Dunmanway Town FC lost their pre-season friendly to a Liverpool reserve XI 1-0, but were unlucky not to have earned a draw with a gutsy, skilful performance against the mighty Merseysiders.
It was an achievement underlined by the contrast between the personal fortunes of the players involved.
Stephen Darby, Spanish youth star Daniel Pacheco (who scored yesterday's winner), reserve team skipper Steven Irwin and Hungarian striker Krisztian Nemeth are regarded as the young pretenders at Anfield -- and the next stage in Rafael Benitez's drive to end Liverpool's long wait for a league title.
If any of the four break through to the Liverpool senior side, they can expect minimum weekly contracts of €35,000 per week -- almost the equivalent to nine months' salary for many Dunmanway players.
The contrast with Dunmanway Town's playing panel couldn't be more stark, and as the Liverpool stars jetted back to Anfield last night for final preparations for the new season, the part-timers of Dunmanway began to return to the reality of getting back to their day jobs.