Castleisland Desmonds 2-11, Laune Rangers 3-9
Round Two of the Under 16 Central League took place on Monday evening, & Laune Rangers travelled to Castleisland to play Desmonds in Division One. Laune Rangers got off to a flying start as points from Mark O’Connor & Roan Moriarty put them ahead after three minutes, with Dylan Fitzgerald providing an energetic outlet at midfield. Desmonds found their feet soon though, and their physical advantage in some areas began to tell as they hit four unanswered points to lead by 0-4 to 0-2 after 17 minutes.
Laune Rangers tightened up defensively in the middle part of the first half and through the work rate of the back lines under immense physical pressure – Liam Croke & James Hurley in particular – the Killorglin side regained the lead with 3 consecutive points of their own through Roan Moriarty, Daragh O’Connor and Mark O’Connor. Desmonds finished the half stronger though, and they tagged on three points to go into the break with the lead. Half Time score:- Castleisland Desmonds 0-7, Laune Rangers 0-5.
Laune Rangers got off to the perfect start to the second half when Mark O’Connor reacted quickest to a rebounding shot initially saved by the Desmonds goalkeeper, & the corner forward cleverly reached his arm out to punch the ball to the net. Shane Doona added an excellent point shortly after but the hosts managed to cancel out both scores within two minutes – an initial point followed up with a goal from close range to put the home side ahead once again. The Laune Rangers defence solidified again, with the full back line of Oisin Daly, Conor Murphy and Evan Madden all making up for individual height & weight deficit against their respective markers through sheer hard work. This provided a platform for attack and a great move through the hands worked the ball forward as Eoin O’Sullivan, Daragh O’Connor & Roan Moriarty put Dáire Cleary through on goal, but he was hauled to the ground by the Desmonds netminder. The penalty was duly awarded, and Roan Moriarty made no mistake in nestling the ball to the bottom corner of goal. A pointed free from Desmonds followed, but Rangers were in for their third goal soon after. Roan Moriarty excellently finished his shot to the top corner following good link play with Daragh O’Connor & Dáire Cleary. With a quarter to play, Rangers led by three points: 3-6 to 1-9.
A 54th minute Desmonds goal followed an earlier point to put the lead back in the hands of the home side, but Rangers again responded well and superb points from Daragh O’Connor, Dáire Cleary & Shane Doona put Laune Rangers ahead by two points with 3 minutes to play – the latter point coming in no small part as a result of some great work outfield from Roan Moriarty (now playing midfield), Eoin O’Sullivan & substitute Eoin Evans.
Desmonds reduced the gap to the minimum with a 58th minute point, & the run in was a 15 man defensive effort. Dáire Cleary, Daragh O’Connor & co turned their attention to defending and their relentless effort in tracking back proved vital. A late goal chance for Desmonds went wide & Laune Rangers held out to win by a single point & claim their first win of the season. Final score:- Castleisland Desmonds 2-11, Laune Rangers 3-9.
Laune Rangers: Ronan Fitzpatrick, Oisin Daly, Conor Murphy, Evan Madden, Liam Croke, Sean Arthurs, James Hurley, Dylan Fitzgerald, Eoin O’Sullivan, Ronan O’Shea, Dáire Cleary (0-1), Daragh O’Connor (0-2), Mark O’Connor (1-2), Roan Moriarty (2-2), Shane Doona (0-2). Subs used: Timmy O’Shea, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Eoin Evans, Gabriel Griffin, Eoin Clifford.