Laune Rangers 1-9, St Marys 1-13
All Ireland Intermediate Club Champions St Marys made the 25 mile trip northeast to Killorglin on Saturday evening for Round 3 of the County Senior Football League. Both sides were without key players including the Kerry contingent, but St Marys were bolstered by the addition of Aidan Walsh, who lost out on the Kerry match day squad for Sunday’s trip to Croke Park.
St Marys got off to the better start, opening a two point lead through Daniel Daly (free) & Aidan Walsh, but John O’Shea halved the deficit with a point in the 6th minute. Paul O’Donoghue pointed for St Marys before the yellow card was produced to both John Tyther and Adam Quirke for a off the ball tussle. John Tyther dusted himself off quickly though, and minutes later was afforded a goal opportunity from the penalty spot, when John O’Shea was fouled when attempting to round Austin Constable in the Marys goal. Tyther made no mistake and put the ball just out of the reach of Constable for a goal. Rangers led by 1-1 to 0-3 after 15 minutes.
St Marys responded in the 2nd quarter with points from Paul O’Donoghue, Anthony Cournane and Daniel Daly (free) in a purple patch. Rangers stemmed the tide with Kieran Crowley & John Tyther in particular putting in big defensive effort. Tyther ventured forward to score an excellent point at the end of the half to put the minimum between the sides at the break. The score Half Time:- Laune Rangers 1-2, St Marys 0-6.
St Marys began the second half with blistering pace. Having put their first two attempts wide, points from Daniel Daly (2, 1 free) & Anthony Cournane gave them a four point lead before Aidan Walsh powered forward from midfield for a stunning goal. John Tyther & Adam Quirke had a consistent battle throughout, & the pair – both on caution – tested the patience of the referee with some hard hits exchanged, but Quirke was lucky to escape a second yellow card when he hauled down Tyther on route to goal. A free was deemed sufficient punishment & John O’Shea tapped it over. O’Shea added another free soon after to leave Laune Rangers trailing by 1-4 to 1-9 with 15 minutes to play.
Laune Rangers continued to produce chances to bring themselves back in the game, with the first goal chance saved by the legs of a Marys defender, while Kieran Doona chose to punch over for a point to leave Rangers with a four point deficit to chase in the final ten minutes. Daniel Daly pointed a free for St Marys before Tony Lyons pulled off a superb save from Sean Cournane at point blank range. The Caherciveen side closed out the game for the final minutes. Aidan Walsh (2) and Paul O’Donoghue added points for St Marys, while John Tyther pointed and John O’Shea added three frees from pressure created by the home side’s late rally. The Final score:- Laune Rangers 1-9, St Marys 1-13.
In all, Laune Rangers will be disappointed not to take something from the game, as they produced enough chances to steal at least a point. Tony Lyons didn’t disappoint when he was needed most and indeed almost stopped the Marys goal from going in. Kieran Doona is getting sharper with every game played and he, along with the returning Mike Frank Russell, will be valuable attacking options as the year progresses. However, best for Laune Rangers on the day was John Tyther whose contribution of 1-2 bolstered a solid defensive effort. The outstanding performance was that of Aidan Walsh of St Marys though. He took the field with a point to prove on Saturday evening having missed out on the Kerry squad for the NFL Semi Final, and scored 1-3 from midfield in a powerful display. Laune Rangers applauded St Marys off the field after the game to mark their title as All Ireland Intermediate Champions.
Laune Rangers: Tony Lyons, Ronan Sayers, Kieran Crowley, Paul Larkin, John Tyther (1-2), John Sheehan, Liam Quirke, Shane Daly, Padraig Murphy, David Costelloe, Daniel Macbeth, Colm O’Shea, John O’Shea (0-6, 5f), Conal Kelly, Kieran Doona (0-1). Subs used: Michael F Russell, Kevin Flynn, Westley Delaney.
St Marys: Austin Constable, Conor O’Shea, Brian Curran, Patrick Cournane, Conor Quirke, Darragh O’Sullivan, Daniel O’Sullivan, Niall O’Driscoll, Aidan Walsh (1-3), Adam Quirke, Daniel Daly (0-5, 4f), Keelan Moriarty, Paul O’Donoghue (0-3), Sean Cournane, Anthony Cournane (0-2). Subs used: Pa Cournane, Mark Quigley.