Laune Rangers 0-13, Finuge 0-13
Laune Rangers began life in Division Three of the County Senior Football League on Sunday as they were held to a draw by Finuge – another of the sides relegated from the second tier of the League last year. Laune Rangers were without a number of players on the day, as interim Kerry captain Peter Crowley was unavailable for selection, midfielders Maurice Foley and Shane Daly were ruled out with injuries, and full back Johnny Carey was suspended following a red card in the final round of last year’s League.
The visitors got off to the better start and took the lead through a Ricky Heffernan free after two minutes. Rangers’ Shane McSweeney saw his shot at goal flash wide left of the posts following a great run, before Finuge added to their lead with a Colin Sheehy point. Jack O’Connor got Rangers on the board with a 9th minute point, and nearly added a goal two minutes later, but his shot was closed down by Finuge goalkeeper Gary Hogan. Points were traded between Rangers’ Colm O’Shea and Finuge’s Ricky Heffernan (free) to leave Finuge leading by 0-3 to 0-2 after 15 minutes.
Finuge’s centre back Declan McCarthy made a great run up field to get through on goal, but Shane McSweeney dispossessed him at the vital moment to spill the ball, and McCarthy’s instinctive volley was saved excellently by Tony Lyons in the Rangers goal. Rangers’ Connor Clarke and Finuge’s Pat Corridan exchanged excellent points from distance before frees were traded between Colm O’Shea and Ricky Heffernan. Finuge’s goalkeeper Gary Hogan scored a well taken 45 before it was again cancelled out by an O’Shea free. Jack O’Connor levelled the scores as regulation time in the half expired, and James Flaherty and Colm O’Shea (free) pointed for their respective sides in injury time to see the sides head for dressing rooms with the scores all square. Half Time score:- Laune Rangers 0-7, Finuge 0-7.
Laune Rangers handed a Senior debut to Patrick Carey at Half Time. The beginning of the second half was marred by an unsavoury incident that saw red cards handed out to Laune Rangers’ Shane McSweeney and Finuge’s Ricky Heffernan, and when calm was eventually restored, the visitors got themselves in the lead with points from Maurice Corridan (free) & Michael Conway. David Costelloe pointed for Rangers before Finuge full forward Conway saw his shot at goal flash over the bar, and with 15 minutes to play, Finuge led by 0-10 to 0-8.
A 48th minute excellent Pat Corridan point put Finuge ahead by three, before Rangers came close to drawing level as an excellent move up field by Kieran Crowley, experienced substitute John Sheehan & debuting substitute Patrick Carey found Shane Mangan in front of goal, but excellent work from Gary Hogan stopped Mangan from getting his shot away. Colm O’Shea held his nerve to point two difficult frees in the windy conditions to reduce the gap to the minimum with 9 minutes to play.
Connor Clarke levelled the game up with what was the score of the game in the 55th minute, as he shot from the left flank with the outside of his boot to split the posts for a wonderful point. Pat Corridan edged Finuge ahead again before Colm O’Shea tied the scores up once more. Connor Clarke pointed with another super effort in the first minute of injury time to put Rangers ahead, but Maurice Corridan held his nerve to point a free with the final kick of the game to see the game finish in a stalemate. Full Time Score:- Laune Rangers 0-13, Finuge 0-13.
Both sides would have had hopes of winning this game, but a draw was the fair result in the end. Colm O’Shea and Maurice Corridan showed great nerve in scoring excellent frees for their respective sides, while both goalkeepers pulled off excellent saves to deny the umpires from raising the green flag. Pat Corridan also stood out for Finuge, while Connor Clarke’s three points for Rangers were all of the highest standard. Elsewhere, Patrick Carey looked comfortable at the back in his debut, while Neil O’Brien improves with every Senior performance.
Laune Rangers: Tony Lyons, Neil O’Brien, Kieran Crowley, Aidan Cox, Ronan Sayers, Michael O’Sullivan, John Tyther, Shane McSweeney, Padraig Murphy, Connor Clarke (0-3), Jack O’Connor (0-2), David Costelloe (0-1), Colin O’Dwyer, Shane Mangan, Colm O’Shea (0-7). Subs: Patrick Carey, John Sheehan.
Finuge: Gary Hogan (0-1), Tom Foley, Gerard Stackpoole, Jeremy McKenna, Darragh Shanahan, Declan McCarthy, Brian McAuliffe, Pat Corridan (0-3), Maurice Corridan (0-2), Colin Sheehy (0-1), Shane Conway, Ricky Heffernan (0-3), Raymond Galvin, Michael Conway (0-2), James Flaherty (0-1). Subs: Stephen Power, Conor O’Keeffe, John McCarthy, Conor Fitzmaurice.