Laune Rangers 2-12, Austin Stacks 2-7
Laune Rangers hosted Austin Stacks on Saturday afternoon in Round 1 of the Central Region Under 16 competition. Conditions were far from ideal at JP O’Sullivan Park as a cloth of drizzle blew across the field aided by a strong breeze.
Austin Stacks took an early lead scoring three points in the opening 5 minutes but Laune Rangers then took control of the remainder of the opening quarter. Points from Jack Evans and Gabriel Griffin were followed up by a Roan Moriarty goal – the full forward tapping the ball in after his initial attempt to punch the high ball to the net – and Rangers led by 1-2 to 0-3 with 16 minutes played.
Rangers continued in fine vein of form and scored 4 more points unanswered through Ronan O’Shea (free), Gabriel Griffin, Shane Doona & Roan Moriarty, with Griffin’s score catching the eye in particular in bad conditions. Stacks kept their nerve though, and scored a goal and a point late in the half to halve their deficit. The teams departed for the dressing rooms with the score at Half Time:- Laune Rangers 1-8, Austin Stacks 1-4.
Austin Stacks began the second half with tremendous drive and scored a point with the opening play. The remainder of the third quarter saw Stacks lay siege to the Rangers defence, beginning with a shot at goal that was stopped on the line by a tremendous dive from corner back Cormac Doyle. Doyle continued to put in a huge shift at the back to stop Stacks from building momentum, aided by some great work by Rory O’Connor, David Mangan, & Gabriel Griffin. Shane Doona pointed a free for Rangers in the 43rd minute. Stacks finally broke down the Rangers defence a minute late though, and scored a goal to reduce the gap between the sides to the minimum. With 15 minutes to play, Laune Rangers led Austin Stacks by 1-9 to 2-5.
Austin Stacks missed a free kick in the 44th minute that would have tied up the game, but that was as close as they would come to getting anything from the game. Laune Rangers regained control of the game again, and Jack Evans kicked a fine point to double the lead. Shane Doona added a pointed free, following a great run by Gearoid Hassett leading to the foul. Doona scored Rangers’ second goal with an excellent finish from the edge of the square. A 49th minute David Mangan point extended the Rangers lead to seven points and, apart from two late Stacks frees, Rangers could close the game out. Full Time Score:- Laune Rangers 2-12, Austin Stacks 2-7.
Laune Rangers were impressive both in attack and defence. Shane Doona was dangerous throughout while Cormac Doyle was immense at the back. The midfield duo of David Mangan and Gabriel Griffin linked backs and forwards excellently and both chipped in with scores, with Griffin in particular putting in an excellent display having sustained an injury in a Minor game last week.
Laune Rangers: Ronan Fitzpatrick, Cormac Doyle, Evan Madden, Timmy O’Shea, Rory O’Connor (0-1), James Hurley, Ronan O’Shea (0-1), David Mangan (0-1), Gabriel Griffin (0-2), Gearoid Hassett, Shane Doona (1-3), Conor Burke, Jack Evans (0-3), Roan Moriarty (1-1), Sean Cleary. Subs: Stephen Sealey, Stephen O’Sullivan.