Beaufort carried their flurry before the whistle into the second half & with the first play after throw in, a long pass into the square caused some defensive mix-up & Padraig Coffey tapped the ball to a gaping net. Laune Rangers settled down again though, and persistant pressure on the Beaufort defense brought with it a number of fouls and resulting frees. The game was again tied up by the 40th minute when Cian O’Shea (3) and Daire Cleary pointed frees to put the score at 0-13 to 1-10. A glittering seven minute spell followed for Rangers as they scored 3 goals in succession to put them in command. Daragh O’Connor finished the first goal before Shane Doona and Cian O’Shea (free) added points. Fiachra Clifford was brought down inside the square by Beaufort goalkeeper David O’Shea and was awarded a penalty, which was duly dispatched by centre back Patrick Carey. A Daragh O’Connor point further stretched the lead before two pieces of brilliance led to Rangers’ third goal – Cian O’Shea with a great turnover and pass inside to Fiachra Clifford who turned his marker, rounded the goalkeeper and found the corner of the net.
Laune Rangers were now ahead by eleven points (3-15 to 1-10) with 8 minutes left on the clock, & not many people would have argued that Rangers had the win secured. Nobody told this to Beaufort however, and a non-stop onslaught of the Rangers goal ensued. The following five minutes saw the advantage almost wiped out, as goals from Padraig Cronin and Padraig Coffey were supplemented by points from Jonathan Kissane (free), Jason Coffey & Dylan O’Sullivan to reduce the gap to just two points. There was nearly two minutes of injury time played when Rangers’ Cian O’Shea slotted a free to put three between them, but there was time for one more Beaufort attack. Beaufort won a free 20 metres out from goal, and the Laune Rangers defensive bus was well and truly parked in front of Padraig Ahern’s goal. The Ciarán Kennedy effort towards the net was deflected over the bar and the referee’s whistle sounded to give Laune Rangers the victory and Mid Kerry title. Full Time score: Laune Rangers 3-16, Beaufort 3-14.
Beaufort came very close to claiming a draw, due mainly to the midfield expoits of Ciarán Kennedy and Jonathan Kissane, who dominated the latter stages and time and again set up their full forward Padraig Coffey. Coffey’s pace and accuracy saw him score 2-5 to push his side on until the end. Daragh O’Connor put in a big effort in the game, while Cian O’Shea had an unerring record on rightsided frees & his work rate proved invaluable. However, Fiachra Clifford stood out as the one who was able to turn defence into attack in a flash and his scores were all a joy to behold. Laune Rangers captain Padraig Ahern was on hand to accept the trophy for his team from Mid Kerry Bord na nOg Chairman Padraig Barton.
Laune Rangers: Padraig Ahern, Oisin Daly, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Connor Murphy, Liam Croke, Patrick Carey (1-0 pen), Sean Arthurs, Darragh O’Sullivan (0-1), Eoin O’Sullivan, Cian O’Shea (0-6f), Fiachra Clifford (1-2), Daragh O’Connor (1-2), Mark O’Connor (0-1), Eoin Evans, Daire Cleary (0-3, 2f). Subs used: Shane Doona (0-1), David Mangan.
Beaufort: David O’Shea, Kieran O’Sullivan, Ian McGillicuddy, Rory Clifford, Michael Healy, Keelan Cahill, Liam Curran, Ciaran Kennedy (0-3, 2f), Jonathan Kissane (0-2f), Padraig Cronin (1-1), Dylan O’Sullivan (0-1), William Joy, Jason Coffey (0-1), Padraig Coffey (2-5, 4f), Eoin O’Hagan (0-1). Subs used: Liam O’Connor.