Laune Rangers: 1-08
A Semi-Final meeting with Cromane was what was at stake when Laune Rangers hosted Keel in the Mid-Kerry Championship on Saturday last. It was the home team that triumphed, securing their spot in a St. Stephen’s Day showdown with their nearest rivals, Cromane.
A lackluster first half made way for a close fought, entertaining second half which saw Laune Rangers emerge victorious on a score line of Laune Rangers 1-08 – 0-08 Keel.
Laune Rangers opened the scoring with points from Pa Joy and Colin O’Dwyer in the opening 3 minutes of the game. Keel replied with two Gary Sayers points to level the game at two points a piece with seven minutes played. A deadlock ensued for the next 24 minutes as neither side could get points on the scoreboard. Both sides had numerous opportunities but neither side could manage to find the posts. A final minute Liam Sheehan free was what separated the teams at the short whistle. Half-Time score: Keel 0-03 – 0-02 Laune Rangers.
Liam Sheehan opened the second half scoring with a point in the opening minute, giving Keel a two point advantage. This lead didn’t last long however as Laune Rangers, Kieran Doona, struck for the game’s only goal. Keel’s Michael Evans did well to stop a Pa Joy shot on goal but it fell nicely to the home side and Doona made no mistake in slotting it passed Evans in the Keel goal giving Rangers the lead for the first time since the opening minutes of the game. A well taken Gary Sayers effort saw the game level once more in the 3rd minute of the half. Laune Rangers went infront again soon after when Mike Frank Russell put over another free. Both sides swapped points in the minutes that followed with Mike Frank Russell converting a free and a superbly taken 45’ by Liam Sheehan for Keel. In the 21st minute, Sheehan had a similar 45’ chance but the resulting shot dropped short and was cleared by Rangers’ Tom McGillycuddy. When Shane McSweeney was fouled, Mike Frank Russell made no mistake, giving his team a two point advantage. A mistake in the resulting kick-out saw Rangers stage another quick attack, finishing in a Shane McSweeney fisted point, to put the goal between the sides with 22 minutes on the clock. Keel had a chance for a goal in the 26th minute of the half when a nice ball was send across the goal mouth. Thomas Ladden attempted to send the ball towards the Laune Rangers net but Keel had to settle for a point as the ball rose over the crossbar. It was a nervous final few minutes as Keel went in search of further scores and Laune Rangers fought hard to hold on to their lead. Liam Hassett put three points between the sides once more with a well taken point after some quick thinking from corner back, Cormac Johnston. A Gary Sayers pointed free was too little too late for the visitors as Rangers’ Tom McGillycuddy secured the home side’s win with an injury time effort to leave the final score; 1-08 to 0-08 in Laune Rangers favour.
Laune Rangers now progress to a Semi-Final meeting with neighbours Cromane on St. Stephen’s Day.
Laune Rangers: Tony Lyons, Kieran Crowley, Peter Crowley, Cormac Johnston, Pa Sheehan, John Sheehan, Jeremy O’Callaghan, Tom McGillycuddy, Shane McSweeney, Maurice Foley, Liam Hassett, Pa Joy, Mike Frank Russell, Geoffrey Mahony, Colin O’Dwyer. SUBS: Kieran Doona, Ryan Keane, Shane O’Connor
Keel: Michael Evans, Aaron Cahillane, Emmet Ashe, Bart Murphy, James Foley, Gary Nagle, James Nagle, Thomas Ladden, Maurice Moriarty, Martin Burke, Gary Sayers, Ronan Sayers, Terry O’Sullivan, Liam Sheehan, Jason Foley.