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2018 Minor Match Reports

County Minor Football League Division One Final:- Laune Rangers vs Austin Stacks. 19/05/2018

posted 20 May 2018, 08:12 by Laune Rangers   [ updated 20 May 2018, 09:50 ]

Laune Rangers are County Minor Division 1 Champions

Rangers bridge a 20 year gap to take Division 1 Minor honours to Launeside


Laune Rangers 3-11, Austin Stacks 2-10

For the first time since 1998, the title of County Minor Division 1 Champions will rest on the banks of the Laune following the Rangers’ defeat of Austin Stacks at Austin Stack Park, Tralee on Saturday evening.

Stacks scored two early points through Michael Slattery and Seán Quilter (free) but Rangers soon settled into the game and found themselves ahead when Gearóid Hassett outpaced his marker along the goal line and fist-passed the ball across the square for Eoin Evans to palm it into the net. Rangers kicked on from there and by the 15th minute, they led by 1-4 to 0-3 as Dáire Cleary (2, 1 free), Daragh O’Connor and Gearoid Hassett scored while Michael Slattery pointed a free at the other end.

Mark O’Connor & Roan Moriarty pointed frees for Rangers – the latter a fantastic effort from the 45m line – while Gearoid Hassett added another point to increase Rangers’ lead to seven points. However, Stacks came back at Rangers before the end of the half and scored two goals through Gearoid Fitzgerald and Conor Myers to leave the minimum between the sides at the break. Half Time Score:- Laune Rangers 1-7, Austin Stacks 2-3.

Austin Stacks edged the third quarter, beginning with the equalizing score by Michael Slattery early in the half. Mark O’Connor (free) and Gearoid Hassett saw points nullified by Stacks’ Gearoid Fitzgerald and Michael O’Gara respectively, while Fitzgerald added another point to give the Rockies the lead by 2-7 to 1-9 with a quarter to play.

Daniel O’Rourke doubled Austin Stacks’ lead in the 52nd minute, but Roan Moriarty brought the gap back to the minimum with a well taken free. Laune Rangers turned the game back in their favour in the 54th minute when a piece of magic by Gearoid Hassett saw him turn and beat his marker and set towards goal. The young forward showed great poise as he passed the ball across the square for Shane Doona to palm the ball home and give Rangers a two point lead. Roan Moriarty kicked a super point to increase the lead to three but it was soon cancelled out by Stacks’ Slattery to leave tensions at the maximum as four minutes of additional time were announced at the end of the game.

Laune Rangers decided against flooding their defence and holding on to what they had, and instead went looking for a decisive score. That score came in the 63rd minute when, after Daragh O’Connor & James Hurley linked up well on the right flank, an outstanding 40 yard pass by Eoin Clifford took half a dozen defenders out of the reckoning and put Gearoid Hassett in on goal. There was only one thing on Hassett’s mind and he made no mistake by slamming the ball into the net to ensure the win. There was time for Stacks to go on one more attack & Gearoid Fitzgerald’s shot at goal went over the bar for a point. The final whistle was blown, cuing jubilant scenes by the Rangers supporters, who travelled to Tralee in large numbers on the evening. Full Time Score:- Laune Rangers 3-11, Austin Stacks 2-10.

Having played the entire campaign without Conor Murphy, and losing Eoin O’Sullivan to a broken collarbone just days before the Semi Final win against Dr Crokes, the winning of this County Minor League title was a huge achievement. There were heroic performances from one end of the field to the other with every player playing out of their skins. David Mangan was a colossus at centre back, as Eoin Clifford stepped into the role of wing back with a superb performance. Daragh O’Connor led by example at both wing back and wing forward, while Dáire Cleary did well under extra defensive supervision throughout. Two players in particular stood out on the day though. Roan Moriarty – having missed five months through injury with only 45 minutes game time of the previous week’s Semi Final under his belt – put in a phenomenal effort at midfield, scoring three great points and conducting traffic in the middle third of the field. The other huge performance was that of Gearoid Hassett who was given the official Man of the Match award. He scored 1-3 on the day including the winning goal, while he also played a direct role in another 2-4 – being fouled for four of the sides successful frees and the final pass across the square for both Eoin Evans' & Shane Doona’s goals.

Special mention must be given to the management. James Sheehan was manager of the last Rangers team to win this competition in 1998 and he had his charges in fantastic shape, playing a great brand of football to win this title. John Sheehan & Tim Cronin have been with this group of players since Under 14 level while Jerry O’Brien and Nigel Corkery all put in huge efforts to help this team succeed.

Team captain Daragh O’Connor put it best in the final words of his speech: “To everyone that thinks Laune Rangers are gone… this is to tell ye that we’re still here!” Watch Daragh's full acceptance speech here

Laune Rangers:- Jack Evans, Seán Cleary, Seán Arthurs, Evan Madden, Daragh O’Connor (capt) (0-1), David Mangan, Eoin Clifford, Roan Moriarty (0-3, 2f), Kevin Fitzpatrick, Ronan O’Shea, Dáire Cleary (0-2, 1f), Shane Doona (1-0), Mark O’Connor (0-2f), Eoin Evans (1-0), Gearóid Hassett (1-3). Subs: Gabriel Griffin for E Evans, James Hurley for R O’Shea, Matthew Leslie for M O’Connor; Oisin Daly, Rory O’Connor, Conor Burke, Conor Murphy, Eoin O’Sullivan.

Austin Stacks:- Ben Quilter, James Quigley, Donagh McMahon (j-capt), Eoghan Carroll, Dara Barry Walsh, Dylan Casey (j-capt), Adam Curran, Michael O’Gara (0-1), Seán Quilter (0-1), Seán Carmody, Daniel O’Rourke (0-1), Dean Scanlon, Conor Myers (1-0), Michael Slattery (0-4, 2f), Gearóid Fitzgerald (1-3). Subs: David Couchman for Carmody, Gearóid Sheehan for Scanlon, Luke Chester for Quigley; David Oba, Jack McGrath, Tom O’Farrell, Craig Teahan, Niall Fitzmaurice, Joe Looby, Danny Draghici, David Burke, Charlie Curran, Kaito Ikeuchi, Padraic Linnane.
Laune Rangers management team celebrate the win; Daragh O'Connor accepts the trophy from Competition sponsor Peter Keane of Keane's Supervalu Killorglin



County Minor Football League Division One Semi Final:- Dr Crokes vs Laune Rangers. 11/05/2018

posted 11 May 2018, 17:26 by Laune Rangers


Dr Crokes 1-13, Laune Rangers 3-13

Laune Rangers will contest the County Minor League Division 1 Final following defeat of Dr Crokes in a thrilling Semi Final in Lewis Road on Friday evening. Injury to Eoin O’Sullivan in the days leading up to the game was a big blow to Rangers, although they welcomed back Roan Moriarty for his first game of the 2018 season following a long spell on the sidelines with injury.

In a proverbial ‘game of two halves’, Rangers found it difficult to get going in the first half as the home side capitalized on every opportunity. Laune Rangers did get the first two scores of the game as David Mangan – fresh from his starting role with the Kerry Minors the previous Tuesday evening – struck an excellent 45 before Dáire Cleary pointed from a tight angle. Crokes got on the board with a point but it was nullified by a well struck Mark O’Connor free, although Crokes found themselves in the lead with an 11th minute goal. Roan Moriarty pointed to see the sides level at 0-4 to 1-1 with 15 minutes played.

The second quarter of the game was completely dominated by the home side, as Crokes were unerring in their shooting. They scored ten unanswered points, but Rangers gelled again before the break as Eoin Clifford & Evan Madden got the final scores of the period to give the visitors some confidence heading for the dressing rooms. Half Time Scores:- Dr Crokes 1-11, Laune Rangers 0-6.

Laune Rangers took the field in the second half with a lot of work to do, but set about it in an impressive manner. Dáire Cleary slotted a point in the first minute of the half, but Crokes responded with one of their own. Ronan O’Shea pointed for Rangers before Daragh O’Connor finished a fine team move by rattling the net for a much needed goal. Mark O’Connor pointed a free soon after to leave just three between the sides. Dr Crokes scored what turned out to be their final point of the game before Dáire Cleary cancelled it out with a free. With 15 minutes to play, Crokes led by 1-13 to 1-10.

Rangers had completed the comeback in the 47th minute as Gearóid Hassett got on the end of a dropping free kick to knock the ball into the net, while Dáire Cleary put Rangers ahead with an excellent point. Eoin Clifford saw a shot saved by the Crokes keeper following a great team move, but Rangers were on the ascendancy by this point. Gearoid Hassett scored his second goal, while points were added by Ronan O’Shea and Matthew Leslie late on to see Rangers home. Final Score:- Dr Crokes 1-13, Laune Rangers 3-13.

Following a disappointing first half, the display shown by Rangers after the restart was stunning at both ends of the field. The defence stepped up their game in the second half, with Sean Arthurs & David Mangan leading their charges. Kevin Fitzpatrick put in another big shift alongside Roan Moriarty who will have enjoyed his return to the field following a five month layoff.

Laune Rangers will play Austin Stacks in the County Minor League Division 1 Final. Details of the Final not yet confirmed. Laune Rangers:- Jack Evans, Rory O’Connor, Sean Arthurs, Evan Madden (0-1), Gabriel Griffin, David Mangan (0-1 45’), James Hurley, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Roan Moriarty (0-1), Ronan O’Shea (0-2), Shane Doona, Daragh O’Connor (1-0), Mark O’Connor (0-2f), Dáire Cleary (0-4, 1f), Eoin Evans. Subs: Eoin Clifford (0-1), Gearoid Hassett (2-0), Sean Cleary, Oisin Daly, Matthew Leslie (0-1), Conor Burke.

County Minor Football League Division One Round 5:- Laune Rangers vs Cordal/Scartaglin. 20/04/2018

posted 20 Apr 2018, 15:36 by Laune Rangers   [ updated 21 Apr 2018, 04:20 ]

Minors qualify for County Division 1 Semi Finals


Laune Rangers 6-13, Cordal/Scartaglin 1-4

Laune Rangers will compete in the Semi Finals of the County Minor League Division 1 following victory over Cordal/Scartaglin in the final round of fixtures on Friday evening.

The deluge of rain that fell earlier in the week was long forgotten as JP O’Sullivan Park was instead soaked in glorious sunshine but despite the beautiful conditions, it took some time before the deadlock would be broken at the start of the game – Cordal/Scart pointed a free in the eighth minute for the game’s first score. However, Laune Rangers soon found their rhythm, and points by Mark O’Connor, Dáire Cleary (free) and Daragh O’Connor were followed by a super goal by Cleary to leave Rangers ahead by 1-3 to 0-1 with 17 minutes played.

Shane Doona added a well taken point for Rangers before Rangers scored their second goal – Mark O’Connor applying the finish after some great team play in the lead-up. Dáire Cleary pointed a free for Rangers but it was cancelled out by a pointed free by the opposition. However, Daragh O’Connor pointed the last point of the half to give Laune Rangers a 10 point lead at the break. However, Cordal/Scart found themselves down to thirteen players with two separate red card offences in quick succession late in additional time. Half Time Score:- Laune Rangers 2-6, Cordal/Scartaglin 0-2.

With a 10 point lead and two player advantage, Laune Rangers were unstoppable in the second half, but conceded the first score of the period – a fine point taken by Cordal/Scart. Dáire Cleary replied with a pointed free before Rangers netted their third goal in the 38th minute – Shane Doona running on to an excellent Gearoid Hassett pass & finishing excellently to the bottom corner. Evan Madden got upfield from corner back and kicked a sweet point from a narrow angle, while Shane Doona and Daragh O’Connor added excellent points soon after to leave Rangers ahead by 3-10 to 0-2 with a quarter to play.

Gearóid Hassett netted Rangers’ fourth & fifth goals, which were scored either side of a goal at the other end for the visitors, and Shane Doona scored his second goal in the 54th minute. Mark O’Connor, Kevin Fitzpatrick & Shane Doona added points before the end for Rangers, while Cordal/Scart pointed the last score of the game. Full Time Score:- Laune Rangers 6-13, Cordal/Scartaglin 1-3.

Laune Rangers progress to the Semi Finals of the County Minor League Division 1 and will play Dr Crokes in the Semi Final – full Details of the fixture yet to be confirmed.

Laune Rangers:- Jack Evans, Rory O’Connor, Seán Arthurs, Evan Madden (0-1), Gabriel Griffin, David Mangan, James Hurley, Eoin O’Sullivan, Kevin Fitzpatrick (0-1), Ronan O’Shea, Dáire Cleary (1-3), Daragh O’Connor (0-3), Mark O’Connor (1-2), Eoin Evans, Shane Doona (2-3). Subs: Gearóid Hassett (2-0) for E Evans, Eoin Clifford for O’Shea, Oisín Daly for R O’Connor, Matthew Leslie for Cleary, Conor Burke for D O’Connor, Seán Cleary for Hurley.

County Minor Football League Division One Round 4:- Laune Rangers vs Killarney Legion. 13/04/2018

posted 13 Apr 2018, 16:41 by Laune Rangers   [ updated 13 Apr 2018, 16:48 ]

Laune Rangers Minor Team that faced Killarney Legion in the County League - three players missing from photo!

Rangers Minors defeat Legion in County League


Laune Rangers 5-12, Killarney Legion 1-10

Laune Rangers remain in the hunt for a Semi Final spot in the County Minor League Division One following victory over Killarney Legion in JP O’Sullivan Park on Friday evening.

After both sides had missed early chances, Rangers scored the first point of the game through Eoin Clifford, before two quickfire goals had the hosts ahead by seven points after just five minutes – Ronan O’Shea & Shane Doona both tapping in from close range following good work at the edge of the square on both occasions by Eoin Evans. Legion replied with two points (1 free) before Rangers scored their third goal of the game – Dáire Cleary collecting a nice Kevin Fitzpatrick pass before setting off on a 40 yard run and finishing to the net. A pointed free by Legion saw Laune Rangers leading by 3-1 to 0-3 with a quarter played.

Shane Doona added two excellent points & Legion responded with a point of their own before Rangers fourth goal of the game – Gabriel Griffin getting forward to finish following an excellent piece of skill to offload the ball by Dáire Cleary. Legion began to put some good play together late in the first half, and scored three points to Rangers’ one (through Ronan O’Shea) but these scores were cancelled out by a fifth Laune Rangers goal – Daragh O’Connor striking to the net this time. Legion added a late point to leave Laune Rangers heading in at the break with a sizable lead. Half Time Score:- Laune Rangers 5-4, Killarney Legion 0-8.

Laune Rangers introduced Eoin O’Sullivan for his first appearance of the season into a midfield that had already been doing very well in the first half, and his presence was felt immediately with the winning of the throw in that fed the ball upfield for a Dáire Cleary point with the first play of the second half. Mark O’Connor pointed an excellent free from a difficult angle but, following an extended period of play in the middle third of the field, Legion got downfield to score a goal of their own. Following a relative dry spell in scoring by the home team, Dáire Cleary pointed a free to see Rangers lead by 5-7 to 1-8 with a quarter to play.

Legion added two further points in the final quarter, as Rangers introduced substitutes who all contributed and brought fresh impetus in the latter stages. Matthew Leslie looked very comfortable making the step up to Minor football and scored three points, while Dáire Cleary also added a brace to his tally. Full Time Score:- Laune Rangers 5-12, Killarney Legion 1-10.

Kerry Minor David Mangan was leading figure throughout the game at centre back while behind him, Sean Arthurs put in a solid shift at full back aided by his corners Evan Madden and Rory O’Connor. Older O’Connor brother and team captain Daragh O’Connor put in a great shift while his fellow Senior team member Dáire Cleary was exceptional once again, and the return of Eoin O’Sullivan adds greatly to the team.

Laune Rangers face Cordal/Scartaglin in the final round of the League & is a rematch of the County U16 Division 1 Final of two years ago. Rangers currently occupy one of the Semi Final places but will in all likelihood need a result from the last game to progress. The game takes place on Friday evening next, April 20th at JP O’Sullivan Park, Killorglin.

Laune Rangers Team:- Jack Evans, Rory O’Connor, Sean Arthurs, Evan Madden, James Hurley, David Mangan, Gabriel Griffin (1-0), Kevin Fitzpatrick, Daragh O’Connor (1-0), Ronan O’Shea (1-1), Dáire Cleary (1-4, 1f), Eoin Clifford (0-1), Mark O’Connor (0-1f), Eoin Evans, Shane Doona (1-2). Subs: Eoin O’Sullivan, Seán Cleary, Matthew Leslie (0-3), Conor Burke, Oisín Daly.


County Minor Football League Division One Round 3:- Dr Crokes vs Laune Rangers. 19/03/2018

posted 19 Mar 2018, 12:28 by Laune Rangers

Minors defeated by Dr Crokes


Dr Crokes 1-13, Laune Rangers 3-5

On a bitterly cold day in Lewis Road, Killarney, Laune Rangers fell to defeat to Dr Crokes in the County Minor League Division One.

It took until the fifth minute for the game’s first score, as Shane Doona tapped in a rebounding ball after his own shot had been stopped at first by the Crokes goalkeeper but from that point, Dr Crokes got on the ascendancy maintaining pressure on the Rangers goal. Laune Rangers goalkeeper Jack Evans was tested on multiple occasions but wasn’t found wanting, pulling off two big saves and showed safe hands under the high ball. Dr Crokes managed to get a point on the board in the 9th minute, but Rangers responded well and, following a fantastic pass from David Mangan, Dáire Cleary ended a 40 yard solo run with an excellent finish to the net. Cleary added to this a couple of minutes later with a well taken point following some great defending and a long pass from Sean Arthurs. However, Dr Crokes came back into the game and scored three unanswered points (1 free) to leave Rangers leading by 2-1 to 0-4 with 18 minutes played.

Mark O’Connor added good point for Rangers from a tight angle, but Crokes finished the first half the stronger, and added on two pointed frees to see the sides head for the relative warmth of the dressing rooms with the Half Time Score:- Dr Crokes 0-6, Laune Rangers 2-2.

Gabriel Griffin pointed for Rangers to cancel out an earlier Crokes point, but the home side went on to kick five points unanswered (2 from frees) to lead by 0-12 to 2-3 with a quarter to play.

Dr Crokes struck a hammer blow to Rangers in the 50th minute when they struck for goal to double their lead, but Rangers took over on the attack for the remainder of the game. Rangers got a goal back in the 56th minute when two substitutes linked up as Gearoid Hassett passed the ball across the square to Eoin Evans who palmed it to the net, but a black card to Laune Rangers captain Daragh O’Connor for pulling a defender to the ground saw Rangers lose a talisman. Dr Crokes went downfield to point again and put four between the sides heading into stoppage time. Rangers were unable to find the net in additional time, with Dáire Cleary pointing two frees, the second in attempt at goal. Full Time Score:- Dr Crokes 1-13, Laune Rangers 3-5.

Best for Crokes were Michael Lenihan and Harry Potts. For Rangers, the players with senior experience – Dáire Cleary & Sean Arthurs especially – showed great leadership, while David Mangan stood out for his team on the day.

Laune Rangers:- Jack Evans, Oisín Daly, Sean Arthurs, Evan Madden, Rory O’Connor, David Mangan, James Hurley, Daragh O’Connor (capt), Kevin Fitzpatrick, Gabriel Griffin (0-1), Dáire Cleary (1-3, 2f), Ronan O’Shea, Shane Doona (1-0), Eoin Clifford, Mark O’Connor (0-1). Subs:- Gearóid Hassett for O’Shea, Sean Cleary for Daly, Matthew Leslie for R O’Connor, Eoin Evans (1-0) for Griffin, Oisin Daly for D O’Connor (bc).

County Minor Football League Division One Round 3:- Laune Rangers vs Kilgarvan/Tousist. 10/03/2018

posted 10 Mar 2018, 13:11 by Laune Rangers   [ updated 10 Mar 2018, 13:30 ]

Minors win in County Minor Division 1

They defeat Kilgarvan/Tousist at home for first League points of season

Laune Rangers 5-14, Kilgarvan/Tousist 3-14

Laune Rangers picked up their first win of the season against Kilgarvan/Tousist on Saturday afternoon in the County Minor League Division One at JP O’Sullivan Park.

Playing into a stiff breeze in the first half, Laune Rangers got off to a solid start and were three points to the good after six minutes – Dáire Cleary, Daragh O’Connor and Kevin Fitzpatrick notching the scores. However, the visitors grew into the game and made full use of the breeze at their backs, scoring five points and a well taken goal during the first quarter. A solitary Dáire Cleary free was added for Rangers in the same period to see Kilgarvan/Tousist lead by 1-5 to 0-4 after 15 minutes.

The visitors increased their lead to six points by the 20th minute as Shane Doona added a point for Rangers, before Laune Rangers got back into the game with their first goal – James Hurley with some great work out of defence, linking up with Mark O’Connor who in turn fed the ball across the square to Ronan O’Shea to tap it in to the net. Kilgarvan/Tousist wasted no time in striking the net again themselves with another cool finish, while Laune Rangers outscored the South Kerry side by 0-3 to 0-2 in the remainder in the half (Dáire Cleary, Shane Doona & Eoin Clifford for Rangers) to see the sides head for the dressing rooms at the break with the Half Time Score:- Laune Rangers 1-9, Kilgarvan/Tousist 2-10.

The visitors kicked the first point of the second half, but Rangers reduced the gap to two points with their second goal – Dáire Cleary’s shot ricocheting off the opposition goalkeeper only for Eoin Clifford to tap in the rebound. Cleary cancelled out a pointed free for the visitors with a point of his own from play. Kilgarvan/Tousist scored their third goal in the 42nd minute and added a point soon after to lead by 3-13 to 2-10 with fifteen minutes to play.

Although they were six points behind, Rangers still had the breeze at their backs and refused to let their heads drop. Dáire Cleary and Shane Doona (free) pointed before the home side scored their third goal – Ronan O’Shea applying a cool finish. Following another point for the visitors, Rangers scored their fourth goal from the penalty spot – substitute Gearóid Hassett hauled down in the square and Dáire Cleary dispatching the spot kick to the net to give Laune Rangers the lead. Daragh O’Connor & Ronan O’Shea added points to leave a goal between the sides, but Kilgarvan/Tousist were unable to get the ball to the opposite end of the field due to the work rate of the Rangers middle eight. A great interception by Rory O’Connor won possession back before the home side worked forward and found Shane Doona who finished off a fine performance with a fifth goal for Rangers to ensure the win. Final Score:- Laune Rangers 5-14, Kilgarvan/Tousist 3-14.

2017 All Ireland Minor winner Donal O’Sullivan was simply immense for Kilgarvan/Tousist and showed form that would give any Senior defender in the county nightmares. However, Rangers showed great team spirit and outscored the visitors by 2-4 to 0-1 in the final quarter. Sean Arthurs, & James Hurley provided physicality at the back, while Dáire Cleary, Ronan O’Shea and Shane Doona were lethal at the front (combining for 4-10). However, the O’Connor brothers Rory & Daragh linked up well time and again with big brother Daragh in particular standing out for Rangers.

Laune Rangers Team:- Jack Evans, Oisín Daly, Sean Arthurs, Evan Madden, Rory O’Connor, David Mangan, James Hurley, Daragh O’Connor(0-2), Kevin Fitzpatrick (0-1), Ronan O’Shea (2-1), Dáire Cleary (1-6, 1p 2f), Gabriel Griffin, Mark O’Connor, Eoin Clifford (1-0), Shane Doona (1-3, 1f). Subs: Gearoid Hassett for Griffin, Matthew Leslie for O’Connor; Sean Cleary.

County Minor Football League Division One Round 1:- Austin Stacks vs Laune Rangers. 17/02/2018

posted 17 Feb 2018, 12:43 by Laune Rangers   [ updated 17 Feb 2018, 17:46 ]

Stacks take the spoils in Minor opener

Under-strength Laune Rangers side unable to capitalize on multiple goal chances

Austin Stacks 2-12, Laune Rangers 1-8

The 2018 Minor season got underway on Saturday as Laune Rangers faced Austin Stacks in the opening round of the County Minor League Division One, which was played on the ‘Nun’s Field’ in Connelly Park, Tralee. Laune Rangers were without a number of key players, with Eoin O’Sullivan & Eoin Evans absent through basketball commitments while injuries to Roan Moriarty & Conor Murphy have sidelined the pair.

Austin Stacks were much closer to full strength, and got off to a great start. Michael Slattery pointed twice (one free) inside the first 90 seconds, and Dylan Casey got upfield to notch a third point for the home side a few minutes later. Pointed frees from Mark O’Connor and Dáire Cleary got Rangers into the game but an Eoghan Carroll point for Stacks was soon followed by a goal for the hosts – a long ball towards the edge of the square finding Michael Slattery who punched the ball past Jack Evans and into the net. A well taken Sean Quilter free gave Stacks a 1-5 to 0-2 lead with a quarter played.

Rangers began to put some play together in the second quarter, with David Mangan driving forward from centre back & Mark O’Connor showing well in the inside forward line. Dáire Cleary pointed twice (1 free) while Sean Quilter added a good score from distance to see the sides head for the dressing rooms with the score at Half Time:- Austin Stacks 1-6, Laune Rangers 0-4.

Stacks began the second half like they did the first &, after Ronan O’Shea had blasted over the bar for Rangers in a shot that could have squeezed under the bar in the opening minute of the half, the home side added points from David Couchman, Conor Myers and Dean Scanlon to stretch their lead to eight points. However, Austin Stacks saw a second man black carded when Luke Chester was sent to the sideline (Adam Curran having seen black in the first half). This coincided with a resurgence by Rangers and Oisin Daly struck the crossbar with an excellent shot that had David Oba beaten. Michael Slattery & Dáire Cleary exchanged frees before Cleary added another from play to leave Rangers trailing by 1-10 to 0-7 with a quarter to play.

Laune Rangers kept the pressure on the Stacks defence for the final quarter, but luck refused to shine on the Killorglin men. Mark O’Connor pointed a free but Seán Quilter replied with a point at the other end for the Rockies before Ronan O’Shea shot millimetres wide of the post. Oisín Daly shot for goal a minute later but it snuck wide by the smallest of margins yet again. Stacks introduced Gearoid Fitzgerald with 8 minutes to play, and he kicked a great point within a minute of coming on. After Mark O’Connor saw another shot go wide, Rangers finally hit the net in the 55th minute as a high ball into the square found Ronan O’Shea who knocked the ball into the net. However, Stacks got upfield and – against the run of play – another high ball into the square caused confusion to both backs and forwards, before Gearoid Fitzgerald used his physical advantage over Rangers goalkeeper Jack Evans to keep him at arm’s length and use his free hand to punch the ball home from a yard out. This took the wind out of the sails of Rangers and would prove to be the final score of the game. A late second yellow card for Stacks’ Daniel O’Rourke saw the forward dismissed, but it had no effect on the final result. Full Time Score:- Austin Stacks 2-12, Laune Rangers 1-8.

The seven point gap between the sides did no justice to Rangers on the day, who were without a regular full-back, full forward and both midfielders among others. Those who filled in the positions grew into the game and excelled at times. Rangers had five missed goal chances in the second half that – had any two of them been converted – may have seen a different outcome in the game.

Best for both sides were Sean Quilter for Stacks and Rangers’ David Mangan.

Austin Stacks:- David Oba, Luke Chester, Donagh McMahon, Jack McGrath, Dara Barry Walsh, Dylan Casey (0-1), Eoghan Carroll (0-1), David Couchman (0-1), Sean Carmody, Sean Quilter (0-3, 1f), Daniel O’Rourke, Dean Scanlon (0-1), Conor Myers (0-1), Michael Slattery (1-3, 2f), Adam Curran. Subs used: Gearoid Sheehan for Curran (bc), Craig Teahan for Chester (bc), Gearoid Fitzgerald (1-1) for Myers.

Laune Rangers:- Jack Evans, Evan Madden, Sean Arthurs, Oisín Daly, Rory O’Connor, David Mangan, James Hurley, Daragh O’Connor, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Ronan O’Shea (1-1), Dáire Cleary (0-5, 3f), Gabriel Griffin, Shane Doona, Eoin Clifford, Mark O’Connor (0-2f). Sub used: Sean Cleary for Griffin.

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