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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.