Spa Killarney 0-13, Laune Rangers 0-15
Laune Rangers travelled to a rain soaked Tullig, Killarney on Sunday afternoon as the Killorglin men faced Spa in Round 6 of the County Senior Football League. With the home side now under the tutelage of Laune Rangers legendary player and former manager Joe Shannon, they would have had an in depth knowledge of the Laune Rangers squad. That being said, the 2016 Laune Rangers team differs greatly from last year, with the further loss through injury of last week’s midfield duo Maurice Foley and Conall Kelly adding to Rangers worries, while Patrick Daly was also unable to start. Mark Healy, Aidan Cox and Paul Larkin came into the team in their place.
Spa had more of the early play and were ahead by 0-6 to 0-4 after fifteen minutes – Mike ‘Stam’ O’Donoghue with 4 (1 free), Michael Foley & Evan Cronin scoring for Spa while Aidan Cox, Kieran Doona, Shane O’Connor and Colm O’Shea (free) kicked Rangers’ scores. However, Laune Rangers were much better in the second quarter, and used the wind at their backs to their advantage as Daniel Macbeth and Mark Healy began to gain superiority at midfield & their supporting cast picked up more breaks than their opposition. Colm O’Shea punished Spa’s indiscipline with three successful frees – the latter brought back after a goal chance was spurned during the 5 second advantage period – while Kieran Doona added another point from play. Two frees from O’Donoghue, meanwhile, meant that the teams were level heading for the shelter of the dressing room at the break. Half Time score:- Spa Killarney 0-8, Laune Rangers 0-8.
Laune Rangers flew out of the traps on the restart, and had a three point lead in as many minutes with super scores from Kieran Doona, Kevin Flynn (free), & Colm O’Shea. Mike O’Donoghue added a free for Spa, before Kevin Flynn (2, 1 free) and David Costelloe pointed to leave Laune Rangers ahead by 0-14 to 0-9 with a quarter remaining, as the Killorglin side was putting some excellent play together with excellent handling in poor conditions.
Tony Lyons’ experience proved crucial for the second half as he denied Spa the quick comeback with a save as the ball squirmed about the danger area. Spa reduced the deficit to three points with points from Mike Foley and another free from Stam, but John Tyther got up field for his now customary point. Lyons saved again for Rangers – this time from Dan O’Donoghue – to leave Rangers ahead by four with five minutes to play. Stam also kicked three consecutive wides from distance during this period, but this could be credited to the defensive effort from Rangers to force the marksman to attempt the difficult shots.
Lyons pulled off another save in the Rangers goal before Stam slotted two frees for Spa as normal time expired to cut the Rangers lead to two points, and the Killorglin men were forced to drop players back to help out the defence. Frustration got the better of some of the Spa players as late hits on Rangers players raised tensions as injury time continued into its sixth minute, and the final act for referee John Ross would be to send off Shane Cronin. Laune Rangers held on for a vital win. Full Time score:- Spa Killarney 0-13, Laune Rangers 0-15.
Spa’s reliance on Mike ‘Stam’ O’Donoghue began to show as the game developed, but they could hardly be blamed with his previous record against the same opposition. For the second consecutive game against Laune Rangers, Stam finished with ten points, with 7 frees helping his tally on the day. All Ireland Minor winners Michael Foley, Dan O’Donoghue and Evan Cronin also looked dangerous for the home side.
Laune Rangers put in an excellent team display, and it is fair to say that no-one played badly in the circumstances. Tony Lyons’ three saves proved crucial. Mark Healy came into the starting team at late notice and put in a big performance, while John Tyther continues to be a crucial cog in the Rangers machine. However it was the forwards who deserve special mention on the day. David Costelloe showed well and won his individual battle, while Kevin Flynn showed his class with super points. Kieran Doona and Colm O’Shea were excellent at centre and full forward, winning and distributing ball to set up scores, and won vital ball at the back late on to secure the win.
Spa Killarney: James Devane, Conor Kearney, David Spillane, Eoin Fitzgerald, Shane Cronin, Matt Moynihan, Ciarán Spillane, Andrew Fitzgerald, Dan O’Donoghue, Michael Foley (0-2), Michael ‘Stam’ O’Donoghue (0-10, 7f), Mike McCarthy, Cormac Cronin, Shane Lynch, Evan Cronin (0-1). Subs: Shane Fenton, Jamie Spillane, Aidan Mulvaney.
Laune Rangers: Tony Lyons, Michael O’Sullivan, Kieran Crowley, Paul Larkin, Aidan Cox (0-1), John Sheehan, Ronan Sayers, Mark Healy, Daniel Macbeth, Shane O’Connor (0-1), Kieran Doona (0-3), David Costelloe (0-1), John Tyther (0-1), Colm O’Shea (0-5, 4f), Kevin Flynn (0-3, 2f). Subs used:Patrick Daly, Padraig Murphy, Eric Dunlea