Mid-Kerry U-16 Championship Final by Michael O’Sullivan
Laune Rangers: 1-10
Congratulations to Laune Rangers U16′s on their fine victory in the Mid-Kerry championship final over near neighbours Milltown/ Castlemaine.
This team showed tremendous promise all season, and were unlucky earlier in the year when losing to John Mitchells in the Central Division final. However, they finally reaped their just rewards, and were deserving winners in a tough but entertaining final played in O’Sullivan Park, Killorglin.
These two teams had met earlier in the year in the County League and on that particular occasion Milltown /Castlemaine won the game quite convincingly after a very strong second half performance. As a result, we knew this was going to be a very difficult game and the team would have to perform to their full potential today if they were to finish the season as mid-kerry champions.
The game itself was very entertaining and while Laune Rangers always held the lead there was very little between the two teams until the final minutes when Laune Rangers scored a goal and a point, to finish the game on a final scoreline of 1-10 to 0-6
Laune Rangers were first to score today with a well taken point by John O’ Shea in the 5th minute. They then had an opportunity for a goal shortly after this when Colm O’ Mahony kicked a well-placed ball into the hands of Eric Dunlea, who was denied a goal by an excellent save from the Milltown/Castlemaine goalkeeper, the resulting ’45 being kicked over for another fine point from John O’ Shea. In the 14th minute Eric Dunlea got his name on the score-sheet after scoring a point from a well-worked move by the Laune Rangers half-forwards. By this stage however, Milltown/Castlemaine were settling into the game and were unlucky with a couple of efforts, before eventually scoring their first point. John O’ Shea responded with a point from a free and then followed this up with another point from play. Milltown/Castlemaine added one more point to end the first half on a scoreline of 0-5 to 0-2, in favour of Laune Rangers.
Milltown/Castlemaine started the stronger of the two teams after the break and within 5 minutes brought the margin back to two points. At this stage Miltown/Castlemaine were really applying the pressure but thanks to a fine defensive performance and a couple of scoring efforts by Milltown/Castlemaine which were wide of the mark, Laune Rangers managed to weather the storm. Daniel Macbeth hit back with a point for Laune Rangers, and we then had an exchange of scores, with Miltown/Castlemaine scoring two more points and Laune Rangers responding with points from Wesley Delaney and John O’ Shea. With 5 minutes remaining John O’ Shea added another point to give us a 4 point lead, and then Shane Mangan sealed the game with a well-taken goal in the dying minutes to leave the final score Laune Rangers 1-10 – 0-06 Milltown/Castlemaine
This win was very much down to a team effort and the teamwork, commitment, and support shown by every member of the team were the driving factors behind this performance.
Gary Naughton and his full back line were very solid throughout the whole game. The half-back line was as usual very strong and managed to thwart many an attacking movement by Milltown/Castlemaine while also contributing to a number of attacking efforts by Laune Rangers. Our midfield fully controlled the centre of the park, and Shane Daly, who was outstanding throughout the game, gave an exhibition in the art of high fielding. All of our forwards were very effective, with 4 of our 6 forwards managing to register on the scoresheet, while also chasing back to assist in defending when they had to. Our captain John O’ Shea was particularly outstanding in the forwards, scoring 7 of our 10 points, including a 45 metre free and a number of long range points from play.
We knew all season that if this team played to their full potential they were capable of winning the Mid-Kerry championship and huge credit must be given to the management team for the team’s performance today and indeed throughout the whole season. William Byrne, John O’ Sullivan, Tim Brosnan, and Tom Crowley have been working with this team since February, meeting with the players twice every week for coaching sessions, and organising and managing the team during the numerous games they played throughout the year, and the effort and commitment they have shown is hugely appreciated by the players, parents, and Club.
Team: Gary Naughton, Seamus O’ Sullivan, Ciaran Twiss, Eoin O’ Sullivan, Fionn O’ Shea, John Tyther, Kevin O’ Sullivan Midfield: Shane Daly, Daniel Macbeth, John O’ Shea, Wesley Delaney, Colm O’ Mahony, Timothy Foley, Shane Mangan, Niall O’ Shea. Substitutes: Niall O’ Shea, Ethan Diggin, Daniel Sheehan, Jack Smith, Gavin Riordan, George Evans, Daniel Whittleton.