Austin Stacks: 1-22, Laune Rangers: 1-09
Played on Saturday evening last in Connolly Park, Tralee, Austin Stacks ran out easy winners in the end. Beating a depleted Laune Rangers team who were missing a number of regulars due to a school tour.
Laune Rangers registered the games’ first score with an opening minute point from full forward Keelin Houlihan who had linked well with Eoin Evans in the corner. Austin Stack replied immediately with a point of their own from Gearoid Fitzgerald. The game’s first goal came in the 3rd minute with Gabriel Griffin finding the net for the visitors to take the lead 1-01 to 0-01. Fiachra Clifford added another point for Laune Rangers in the 4th minute to push their lead out to four points by the fourth minute.
Austin Stacks found another gear at this stage and came back into the game registering six unanswered scores, including a goal of their own, in the following 10 minutes. Shane Walsh put one over in the 5th minute to put the goal between the sides once more. Straight after Captain Walsh linked well with Gearoid Fitzgerald before passing off to Michael Linnane who slotted over another point. Austin Stacks’ goal came in the 6th minute when Fitzgerald turned his marker and linked with his corner counterpart Michael Slattery who made no mistake in slotting the ball passed Padraig Ahern in the Laune Rangers goal and Austin Stacks led by 1 point.
Gearoid Fitzgerald had his goal shot stopped by Ahern, who pulled off a fine save, shortly after to deny him a goal of his own. A free from Austin Stacks’ Michael Slattery in the 11th minute extended the home side’s lead to 2 points. Further points from Michael Linnane and Harry O’Callaghan in the 12th and 13th minutes left Austin Stacks leading 1-06 to 1-02.
The sides swapped frees in the minutes that followed with Donagh McKivergan pointing from the homeside and Cian O’Shea pointing for Laune Rangers. The game stood at 1-07 to 1-03 in Austin Stacks favour mid-way through the opening half.
Donagh McKivergan added his second of the afternoon shortly after to extend the homeside’s lead some more. Laune Rangers’ keeper Ahern pulled off another save soon after before full forward Keelin Houlihan countered for the visitors and closed the gap somewhat. Michael Slattery popped up for another point for Austin Stacks in the 23rd minute before Donagh McKivergan added another in the 25th minute to ensure the home side lead by 6 with 5 minutes of the opening half to play. A great piece of fielding from Gearoid Fitzgerald saw him rewarded with another well taken score for Austin Stacks’ last of the opening half. Two final points from the visitors, a free from Cian O’Shea and a well worked point again from O’Shea who partnered well with Daire Cleary and Eoin Evans to leave the half time score: Austin Stacks: 1-11 to 1-06: Laune Rangers.
Austin Stacks hit a purple patch at the start of the second half, coupled with some loose marking from Laune Rangers, which saw Austin Stacks continue to extend their lead. Four early frees from the boot of Donagh McKivergan in the 1st, 2nd, 4th & 7th minutes saw the homeside take a commanding leading of 1-15 to 1-06. Laune Rangers’ midfielder Fiachra Clifford registered their first score of the half with a point from a free in the 11th minute.
Austin Stacks continued to push ahead and added further points from Michael Slattery & Gearoid Sheehan in the 13th and 14th minutes to let the score mid-way through the second half, Austin Stacks 1-17 to 1-07 Laune Rangers. A good steal by Austin Stacks saw substitute James Quigley add his name to the scoresheet with a well taken point in the 16th minute of the half.
Padraig Ahern in the Laune Rangers goal pulled off another fine save to ensure Austin Stacks lead wasn’t extended some more. Donagh McKivergan extended his tally in the 19th minute with another point. Laune Rangers’ Daire Cleary pointed a free in the 21st minute to let the score 1-19 to 1-08 in the homeside’s favour with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Austin Stacks continued to empty their bench and substitute Cian Talbot popped up for his first point in the 23rd minute. The sides swapped points in the final minutes of the game, a point from Gearoid Sheehan for Austin Stacks in the 26th minute was quickly followed by a Darragh O’Sullivan effort but the result was inevitable at this stage with Austin Stacks leading 1-21 to 1-09 Laune Rangers. Austin Stack’s substitute Alan Dore got the game’s final score (to the surprise of the home supporters!) to let the game at the full-time whistle, Austin Stacks 1-22 to 1-09 Laune Rangers.
Laune Rangers: Padraig Ahern, Cormac Doyle, Patrick Carey, Darragh O’Shea, Eoin Clifford, Darragh O’Sullivan, (0-1) Gabriel Griffin (1-0), Eoin O’Sullivan, Fiachra Clifford (0-2), Cian O’Shea (0-3), Daire Cleary (0-1), Darragh O’Connor, Jack Evans, Keelin Houlihan (0-2), Eoin Evans. Subs: Kevin Fitzpatrick.
Austin Stacks: Robbie Murphy, Shane Kelliher, Dylan Casey, Donagh McMahon, Conor Lowe, Ciaran O’Reilly, Tomas Sheehy, David Fitzmaurice, Shane Walsh (0-1), Gearoid Sheehan (0-2), Harry O’Callaghan (0-1), Michael Linnane (0-2), Gearoid Fitzgerald (0-2), Donagh McKivergan (0-8), Michael Slattery (1-3). Subs: David Oba, Dean Scanlon, Jack McGrath, James Quigley (0-1), Garry Clifford, Alan Dore (0-1), Odhran Liston, Cian Talbot (0-1), Sean Quilter.