Finuge 5-8, Laune Rangers 1-12
After a seven week early season hiatus, Laune Rangers returned to competitive action on Saturday evening with a trip to Finuge in the County League Division Two. Both teams were desperate for the two league points as they propped up the table. The depleted Laune Rangers side were without a number of players, with Shane Daly, Mike Frank Russell, John Sheehan, & Liam Quirke among those absent through injury or J1 Summer Visa, while Pa Joy has also emigrated to the US, and Peter Crowley not given leave to play with the Championship just a week away.
Laune Rangers got off to a good start and were four points ahead after eight minutes as Kieran Doona, Patrick Daly, Kevin Flynn and John O’Shea (free) were on target. They could – & should – have been further ahead but they didn’t capitalize on the amount of possession they had had. Finuge punished their visitors when, after a pointed free, the home side scored a goal against the run of the play to tie the game up at 1-1 to 0-4 after 13 minutes.
By the 20th minute, Finuge had taken a stranglehold on the game. A pointed free was followed by a 2nd goal for the hosts, before Kieran Crowley conceded a penalty for hauling down Michael Conway inside the square. The penalty was dispatched by Stephen Power to put Finuge seven points ahead. Kevin Flynn and substitute Shane O’Connor pointed before the short whistle to leave the scores at Half Time:- Finuge: 3-2, Laune Rangers 0-4.
It got worse for Rangers at the start of the second half when a long ball was kicked towards Mike Conway at the edge of the square and the full forward got the decisive touch to the ball to put it in the back of the net – a fourth goal for Finuge putting them 10 points ahead. There was still ten between the sides in the 50th minute, after points from Patrick Daly (2) & Kieran Doona were cancelled out by three points from Finuge. Doona nullified another pointed free by the hosts before John Tyther scored a stunning goal with a finish that rattled the ball off the back frame of the goal.
The final minutes were hectic with tempers flaring. John Tyther pointed two frees but a fifth goal came for Finuge. Full Time score:- Finuge 5-8, Laune Rangers 1-12.
A disappointing night for Laune Rangers culminated in a heavy defeat, although the score definitely flattered the home side. A huge number of players are now absent for the Rangers, but it afforded two of the Minors a chance at game time. Patrick Daly and Jamie Clifford both started among the forwards, with Daly scoring three points, while Clifford showed well on his senior debut. The only other positive point for Rangers was the performance of John Tyther, who has become one of the team’s leaders at a young age, and the goal scored by the 20 year old could easily make any ‘Goal of the Season’ discussion.
The prospect of survival in Division Two becomes more difficult with every loss but the team have an immediate chance to bounce back with three more games to come in the next four weeks. However, the team continue to miss many crucial players, so home support could prove crucial.
Laune Rangers host St Michaels/Foilmore next Saturday, June 11th at 7pm in JP O’Sullivan Park.
Laune Rangers: Tony Lyons, Michael O’Sullivan, Kieran Crowley, Ronan Sayers, John Tyther (1-2f), Conall Kelly, David Costelloe, Maurice Foley (c), Daniel Macbeth, Patrick Daly (0-3, 1f), Kieran Doona (0-3), John O’Shea (0-1f), Jamie Clifford, Colm O’Shea, Kevin Flynn (0-2). Subs: Paul Larkin, Shane O’Connor (0-1), Gavin O’Shea, Cian Foley, David Coffey.