Laune Rangers 3-8, Rathmore 2-11
Laune Rangers hosted Rathmore in Round 8 of the County Senior Football League on a wet and dreary JP O’Sullivan Park on Sunday. Laune Rangers – without so many players from the 2015 panel – have struggled at times this year, and they suffered again in this game with Kieran Crowley, Mikey O’Sullivan, Kevin Flynn among those absent through injury. Rathmore were without Tom O’Sullivan, while the Kerry players from both sides were also unavailable. Laune Rangers started with no fewer than six U21s on the team, with Daniel Whittleton making his senior debut.
Rathmore got off to the ideal start when, on the first play of the game, they split the Rangers defence and John Moynihan found the net for a goal. Mark Reen would add two frees for Rathmore before Laune Rangers could get on the scoreboard as Colm O’Shea pointed a free in the 7th minute. Colm O’Shea and John Moynihan traded points to leave the visitors leading by 1-3 to 0-2 with a quarter played.
The second part of the half was dominated by the men in red. Mark Reen (2, 1 free), John Moynihan (2) and Cathal Murphy all pointed before Jamie Clifford got one back for Rangers late in the half. The East Kerry side could have been ahead by more, but Rangers defence and goalkeeper Tony Lyons cut out any danger. The sides went for the shelter of the dressing rooms with the score at Half Time:- Laune Rangers 0-3, Rathmore 1-8.
Colm O’Shea pointed a free for Laune Rangers at the beginning of the second half before the home side scored their first goal, when David Costelloe finished excellently to the top corner of Padraic McCarthy’s net. Any momentum gained from this goal was almost instantaneously wiped out though, as Rathmore won what was a debatable penalty, when Ronan Sayers was deemed to foul John Moynihan inside the square, having dispossessed him of the ball. To add insult to injury, Sayers was issued with a black card. Padraic McCarthy made his way upfield from the opposite goal to stake his claim to take the spot kick, but Mark Reen commandeered the ball and made no mistake with the shot to put his side seven points ahead once again. Reen and Kieran Doona exchanged points to leave Rathmore ahead by 2-9 to 1-5 with fifteen minutes to play.
Tony Lyons was equal to Rathmore’s next goal chance when a long ball aimed at Eoin Lawlor was met by the big full forward’s fist and directed towards goal but couldn’t get past the Rangers number 1. Mark Reen pointed for Rathmore while David Costelloe saw his shot at goal glance just over the bar, before Daniel Macbeth scored two goals in 60 seconds to leave Rangers trailing by the minimum with 5 minutes to go. Reen pointed again for Rathmore (giving him a tally of 1-8 on the day), but Rangers kept pressing. Macbeth pointed a tap-over free when Kieran Doona was hauled down in front of goal to let Rathmore ahead by just one point with regulation time expiring. There was time for one more Rangers chance though, and Conall Kelly – who dominated the middle of the park in the final 15 minutes – kicked a long range point on his left foot. This proved to be the final kick of the game and Laune Rangers saved a valuable league point. Final score:- Laune Rangers 3-8, Rathmore 2-11.
The potency of Rathmore’s duo John Moynihan and Mark Reen proved invaluable as they scored all but one of the visitors scores, and it was the Reen’s 1-8 that made him stand out for Rathmore on the day. Laune Rangers younger players grow in stature with every game, as Daniel Macbeth and John Tyther have become leaders on the field. However, it was the experience of Conall Kelly that proved the difference when it mattered most.
Laune Rangers: Tony Lyons, Ronan Sayers, John Sheehan, Paul Larkin, John Tyther, Aidan Cox, Daniel Whittleton, Maurice Foley, Daniel Macbeth (2-1), Shane O’Connor, Kieran Doona (0-1), David Costelloe (1-1), Conall Kelly (0-1), Colm O’Shea (0-3), Jamie Clifford (0-1). Subs: Pa Sheehan, Mark Healy.
Rathmore: Padraic McCarthy, Conor Jenkins, James O’Sullivan, Michael J Kelliher, TJ Friel, Cathal Murphy (0-1), Brian O’Leary, Tadhg Moynihan, Daniel O’Sullivan, Colm Kelly, Donncha McCarthy, Brian Moynihan, Mark Reen (1-8), Eoin Lawlor, John Moynihan (1-2). Subs: Cillian O’Connor, Tadhg Mahony.