DAY ONE: Friday June 24th
The four teams in Division One Group A converged on Killorglin on Friday, June 24th for the opening games in Féile 2016.
The first game up was between the hosts Laune Rangers and Tralee side Austin Stacks. Even though Rangers had the benefit of the breeze in the first half, it was Stacks that led at half time by 3-1 to 1-2. Laune Rangers were much better in the second half with Rory O’Connor & Callum Moriarty linking defence and attack well, but having struck the post twice they also conceded a 4th goal that ultimately proved the difference. Laune Rangers scores came from Matt Leslie (1-1), Gearóid Hassett (0-6) & Eoin Hassett (1-1). The Full Time score:- Laune Rangers 2-8, Austin Stacks 4-3.
Game Two was played between the two sides from outside the County – Cork’s Nemo Rangers and Galway’s St James. Nemo Rangers led at the break by 2-3 to 0-5 & even though St James would outscore their opponents by 8 scores to 7, Nemo’s goals would see them to a comfortable win. The Full Time Score:- St James 0-8, Nemo Rangers 4-3.
Game Three saw St James take the field once more to face Austin Stacks. Even though they played their second consecutive game, the Galway side grew into the game to lead by 1-0 to 0-2 at Half Time & would go on to win comfortably. Final score:- St James 1-8, Austin Stacks 0-4.
The Final game of the evening at JP O’Sullivan Park saw Laune Rangers & Nemo Rangers face off. An early goal gave Laune the perfect start, but Nemo dominated the rest of the half, and led at the break by 2-6 to 1-1. Nemo would maintain their lead through the second half to win on a Full Time Score:- Laune Rangers 2-3, Nemo Rangers 3-10. Scorers for Rangers:- Cian Naylor (1-0), Matt Leslie (1-1), Gearoid Hassett (0-1), Barry O’Connor (0-1).
DAY TWO: Saturday June 25th
The two defeats on Friday evening meant that Laune Rangers had the odds stacked against them for qualification to the Cup competition.
They came up against the team they hosted for the weekend, St James of Galway, in the final game of the group stage. Calum Russell struck first with an early Laune Rangers goal to put his side ahead, but St James responded almost immediately. The visitors lead by 1-2 to 1-1 at Half Time. St James were a much stronger side in the second half and went on to answer anything Rangers would ask of them to secure a comfortable win in the end, as goals from Mark Clifford and Eoin Hassett would not be enough for the hosts. Final Score:- Laune Rangers 3-3, St James 5-5. Scorers for Rangers: Calum Russell (1-0), Mark Clifford (1-0), Eoin Hassett (1-0), Gearoid Hassett (0-3).
The result left Rangers bottom of Division 1 Group A, and would face Dr Crokes – 3rd in Group B – in their Shield Quarter Final.
The Shield Quarter Final would prove a game too much for Rangers as it was all one way traffic in Fossa, unfortunately in the way of Dr Crokes. Rangers wouldn’t score until the stroke of Half Time with a Gearoid Hassett free the only response to Crokes’ 2-4. Eoin Hassett’s second half goal would be nullified by three Crokes points and the Full Time score was:- Laune Rangers 1-1, Dr Crokes 2-7.
Laune Rangers Féile Division One journey would end without a win, although that could have been different but for the tightest of defeats in Game One. The Hassett brothers Gearoid & Eoin were among the best servants to Laune Rangers, as was Sean Cleary, but special mention must be reserved for Rory O’Connor, who played a Captains role and drove on his team – especially in the latter stages.
Meanwhile, our friends from St James ended the Group Stage in 2nd place and qualified for the Cup Quarter Final, but were defeated comprehensively by a strong Castleknock outfit, who went on to win the Division One Boys Féile title.
Laune Rangers Féile Panel: Jake Reenstierna, Patrick Brennan, Shogie O’Sullivan, Matt Reenstierna, Niall Fenton Toms, Rory O’Connor (capt), Barry O’Connor, Callum Moriarty, Matthew Leslie, Mikey O’Donnell, Gearoid Hassett, Calum Russell, Eoin Hassett, Cian Naylor, Sean Cleary, Darragh Mangan, Dean Cahill, Mark Clifford, Martin Faye, Dara Callan, Daniel Evans, Cathal Crowley, Sean Twiss, James Byrne.