Laune Rangers 3-8, Skellig Rangers/Valentia Young Islanders 1-13
Laune Rangers Development Team hosted Skellig Rangers/Valentia Young Islanders in the County League Division 9 Semi Final on Friday evening. The game was played as the shortened 13 per side game.
Skellig Rangers had a slight advantage of a breeze in the opening half, and stretched to a 0-5 to 0-1 lead after ten minutes, with Mikey O’Donnell scoring the Rangers’ point in that period. A Darragh Callan goal closed the gap before Mikey O’Donnell followed up with a goal of his own to give the home side a two point lead. After 15 minutes, Laune Rangers led by 2-1 to 0-5.
Laune Rangers, driven on by the midfield of Sean Twiss and Shogie O’Sullivan were in control of the second part of the half. A goal & point in quick succession from Mark Clifford as well as a Mikey O’Donnell point were met by two points from Skellig/Valentia to leave Laune Rangers leading by 5 at the break. Half Time score:- Laune Rangers 3-3, Skellig Rangers/Valentia Young Islanders 0-7.
The second half was more attritional as both sides were fully committed to their respective causes – Laune Rangers to hold their lead and the South Kerry side to claw back the deficit. With ten minutes played in the second half, Callum Moriarty (free) and Martin Fay had pointed for Rangers, but Skellig/Valentia had scored three in the same period. Three Skellig/Valentia points versus one from Laune Rangers - a Callum Moriarty free – left just two points between the sides at 3-6 to 0-13 with 10 minutes to play. The final stages were hotly contested, with a Skellig/Valentia player issued a red card for an off the ball strike, & Laune Rangers took a crucial 4 point lead through a well taken Martin Fay point as regulation time expired.
There was time for more action as a black card to Laune Rangers’ Cathal Crowley awarded the visitors a free and they moved quickly to take advantage of the brief parity in player numbers to catch Rangers for a late goal. Laune Rangers survived though, as the defence stood firm to hold on for the win. Final Score:- Laune Rangers 3-8, Skellig Rangers/Valentia Young Islanders 1-13.
It would be unfair to pick an overall standout player, as they all contributed to the win at some point in the game. Sean Twiss played well before his half time withdrawal and his replacement Callum Moriarty was an able replacement for him alongside their partner in the centre Shogie O’Sullivan. At the back, Barry Moriarty was excellent – especially late on when needed most. All forwards contributed to the team effort. Mikey O’Donnell led the charge in the first half along with Mark Clifford, while Martin Fay came into the game in the second half as well as substitute Oisin Flynn.
Laune Rangers play Renard in the final next week, but the date and venue has not been confirmed at time of writing.
Laune Rangers: Jack Foley, Barry Moriarty, James Byrne, Patrick Brennan, Daniel Evans, Cathal Crowley, Sean Twiss, Shogie O’Sullivan, James Treacy, Mikey O’Donnell (1-2), Darragh Callan(1-0), Martin Fay (0-2), Marc Clifford (1-1). Subs used: Oisin Flynn (0-1), Callum Moriarty (0-2f), Darragh Mangan, Matt Reinstierna Tiernach O'Shea.