Lee Strand U-14 County Football League Semi-Final
Laune Rangers: 0-19
Laune Rangers came away with a hard fought victory against a dogged Kilcummin side on a beautiful evening for football on Wednesday evening last.
The game started at a high tempo and the visitors drew first blood winning a free right in front of the posts after some terrific build up play, the score was taken well by the lively Kilcummin centre forward who showed well and kept Laune Rangers captain Tiernan Clifford busy all game. The First half was keenly contested with both sets of backs being put under some sustained pressure from both sets of forwards through the use of sharp interplay and the long, quick ball tactic. No nonsense defending from both sides resulting in a large number of frees being conceded on both sides with Cathal Doyle capitalising with the first Laune Rangers point of the game. Fiachra Clifford was causing problems all half for the visitors with his appetite for work and tireless running being rewarded with 2 points while turning provider to tee up full forward Keelin Houlihan and Conor Flynn for well taken scores.
The Kilcummin side had their homework done from the sides previous encounter in the league and had been set out to play to their strengths around the middle with both the midfield pairing and centre back providing the platform for the majority of the visitors attacking opportunities, tenacious back play by Laune Rangers led by full back Darragh O ‘Sullivan and assisted on either side by his two corner backs along with Tiernan Clifford at number 6 playing a captains role, the defence were able to cope with the Kilcummin threat during the half. The midfield was an area where both sides were fighting for a foothold to win primary ball and both sets of players were starting to break even with broken ball being won around the middle by both sets of half forward lines.
The dependable boot of Cian Shea kept the score board ticking over with 2 points from frees and further well worked scores saw Patrick Carey and Cathal Doyle get their names on the score sheet to leave the home side entering the break at the half on a score of 0-9 to 0-3.
The home side remained unchanged for the second half and had to endure an early onslaught by a rejuvenated Kilcummin side who came out all guns blazing with direct play from the off and some vital ball being won around the middle of the field. Early points from Cathal Doyle and the wing forward Jesse McCormack ensured the home side kept the score boarding ticking over in the face of a sustained period of dominance by the visitors who saw their efforts produce 3 scores from frees.
The kilcummin side were beginning to find their rhythm and were making inroads towards the Laune Rangers goal with keeper Fionan Sullivan called into action on a few occasions. The Kilcummin attacks were being met with some resolute defending and some quality saves from the keeper coupled with good defensive organising saw the home sides dealing with any visitors attacks in an uncompromising fashion. In particular Jack Cox and Con Sheehan were giving their men no chance to settle and make use of the quality ball being supplied and some great clearances from the back lines allowed the forwards to capitalise and saw further scores from Fiachra Clifford and Keelin Houlihan.
The introduction of Jamie Clifford at centre forward provided a much needed injection of pace and his contribution was seen with 2 well taken points and a free after good forward movement from a Pierce Tyther through ball. A goal right at the end of the half by the visitors caught the home side napping but was a score deserving of the Kilcummin efforts throughout the second half where their heads never dropped and were a credit to their support and mentors.
The substitutions on the Killorglin side all played their part when entering the fray in particular Christian Fleming and Darragh Shea showing well for the ball and sticking to their task admirably and keeper Podge Ahern holding his own between the posts.
The number of frees in the game tells its story of how tight defensively this game was played, both sets of backs playing key roles in the end result but in the end scores win games and the Laune rangers fire power and hard graft from 1 to 20 on the night proved too much for the Kilcummin side with the game finishing on a score line of 0-19 to 1-7.
The Team now advance to a county league final next Wednesday against a Milltown/Castlemaine side looking for another crack of team after a recent league defeat.
Thank you to all who came out on the night, your support is appreciated.
Team: Fionan O Sullivan, Tadhg O Sullivan,Darragh O Sullivan,Con Sheehan,Jack Cox,Tiernan Clifford,Pierce Tyther,Cathal Doyle,Neil O Brien,Jessie McCormack,Conor Flynn,,Fiachra Clifford,Cian O Shea,Keelin Houlihan,,Patrick Carey. SUBS: Darragh O Shea, Cathal Joy, Jamie Brosnan, Ethan Costello, Podge Ahern, Jamie Clifford, Patrick Daly, Christian Fleming.