Mid-Kerry U-14 League – Tuesday 14th August 2012 (by Mark Healy)
Laune Rangers: 3-22
Laune Rangers started their Mid Kerry campaign with a tough encounter against local rivals Milltown on Tuesday evening last on a fine evening for football but with soft underfoot conditions.
The visitors got their dream start with an early goal to swing the opening momentum in their favour after a fine through ball caught the home sides defence napping and began a period of play that saw the visitors grow in confidence, the home side responded well with a Patrick Daly free opening their account. The half forward line were busy from the whistle and Fiachra Clifford danced his way through for a well taken goal after some great work by Keelin Clifford at the edge of the square. The teams had both settled well after the initial stages and both sides began to trade attacking opportunities but the home side started to make inroads and convert their chances with greater accuracy and were rewarding during a sustained period of pressure with scores from Jesse McCormack, Neil O’Brien and Jamie Clifford all chipping in with well taken scores.
The home side were exerting their influence and winning alot of breaking ball as a result of the wet conditions and managed to convert these turn over’s into attacking opportunities building from the back through great interceptions across both defensive lines. The turnovers were starting to cost the Milltown side and some sharp passing and movement off the ball resulted in further score being tacked on by the Laune Rangers side including a goal from the industrious Jesse McCormack. The Milltown side did have their opportunities to in front of goal but some great work from the Keeper Podge Ahern managed to keep the Milltown attackers at bay and he was ably assisted by his full back John Francis O’Grady and corner backs who were sticking tight to their men.
The keenly contested first half ended with the home side ahead on a scoreline of 2-12 to 1-03.
The second half began with the visitors clearly buoyed from their half time in attacking mood and from the throw in forced the Keeper into another fine save after some good build up play which had caused confusion in the home sides defence. This early score provoked the Laune Rangers side into action and they began to use the possession that was being won by their midfield pairing to their advantage . Fiachra Clifford was causing problems around the 40 and added a further 1-1 to his tally this half using his pace to great effect , positional switches added a freshness to the home side and allowed more scoring opportunities to be created.
The Milltown side were sticking to their game plan and managed to tack on some points from play during the half but the Laune Rangers defence managed to stand tall but conceded frees which were easily converted and managed to keep the visitors in touch. The game changed after some great attacking movement saw unanswered scores from Laune Rangers from the boots of Neil O’Brien and Jesse McCormack saw the momentum swing firmly towards the home side who pushed on and kept the score board ticking over with further scores from Jamie Clifford. Substitution on the Laune Rangers side all came on and made their mark on the game with Cian O’Shea and Ethan Costello getting their names on the score sheet. The backs were getting on top of their men and started to create more opportunities which the forward were capitalising on but credit to the Milltown side who kept competitive to the end and were rewarded with a late goal which caught the home side napping.
Goals win games and the scoreline could have been a whole lot different if some of the first half chances had been converted but the fine goalkeeping display from Podge Ahern coupled with the performances of the Laune Rangers side as a whole in particular Jamie Clifford, Neil O’Brien and Cathal Doyle managed to see the home side through. The team now proceed to play Beaufort in the next round on Sunday coming.
Thank you to all who came out and supported the team.
Team: Podge Ahern, Dylan Costello, John Francis O’Grady , Con Sheehan, Pearce Tyther , Tiernan Clifford, Jack Cox , Neil O’Brien, Cathal Doyle, Jesse McCormack, Jamie Clifford, Fiachra Clifford, Patrick Carey, Keelin Houlihan, Patrick Daly SUBS: Cian O’Shea, Ethan Costello, Darragh Shea, Cathal Joy, Christian Fleming,