Laune Rangers 1-14, Cromane 2-10
Laune Rangers overcame their parish rivals on Sunday morning as the tail end of Storm Ewan made playing conditions very difficult in JP O’Sullivan Park, Killorglin. Laune Rangers were without a number of first team regulars, while the 11th hour NFL suspension issued to Donnchadh Walsh meant that Cromane’s star man bolstered his club by lining out in midfield. There was also divided allegiances in one house in the parish as Costelloe brothers David and Ian made their way to separate dressing rooms before the game – Ian having transferred to Cromane in the close season.
Cromane had the better of the opening exchanges, and took the lead in the 3rd minute with an excellent Darren Houlihan free. Colm O’Shea responded with a well taken free of his own for Rangers before Donnchadh Walsh pointed to give Cromane the lead, while Darren Houlihan (twice) and Colm O’Shea continued to show their poise in stormy conditions to point frees from distance. With a quarter played, Cromane led by 0-4 to 0-2.
Donnchadh Walsh and Darren Houlihan (free) increased the visitors’ lead to four points before Rangers began to put a run of play together. Shane Mangan and Colm O’Shea (free) added points before the home side took the lead with a goal from David Costelloe, as the forward nestled the ball to the bottom corner of the net with a well taken finish. The next score of the game could certainly be filed under ‘Spectacular’ as a double goal chance for Rangers saw two shots at goal blocked down and, as the loose ball hung in the air, Eamon Carey volleyed it over his head for a point that went very close to dropping under the bar. Mike Houlihan responded with a point for Cromane before Colm O’Shea (free) and David Costelloe added the final points of the half for Laune Rangers. The teams made their way to the shelter of the dressing rooms with the score at Half Time:- Laune Rangers 1-7, Cromane 0-7.
Two early Colm O’Shea frees were cancelled out by Paul Patrick O’Sullivan & Liam Walsh respectively, before a 41st minute penalty gave Cromane a chance to level the game. Paul Patrick O’Sullivan made no mistake to tie up the game at 1-9 a piece with a quarter to play.
Laune Rangers did not take long to regain the lead, as substitute & debutant Connor Clarke kicked a great point following a clever side-step. John Tyther & Jack O’Connor pointed soon after to put three between the sides. Cromane didn’t give in though, and Micheal O’Shaughnessy reduced the gap with a point, before Cromane found themselves in front as Lee Carey – another former Ranger who made the off-season move – used his first touch to smash the ball to the roof of the net & put his new club ahead by 2-10 to 1-12.
Cromane’s indiscipline ultimately cost them in the end though, as not alone did they concede frees, but conceded metres with it, bringing a 56th minute free within the range of Colm O’Shea. O’Shea was given two bites of that particular cherry as his first kick was called back while the referee was addressing an injury and, with his second attempt, O’Shea split the posts with excellent accuracy to level the scores once more. The clock had just rolled past the 60 minute mark and into the first seconds of injury time, as another free was awarded to Rangers. Colm O’Shea made no mistake to give his side a lead that they would not relinquish. Cromane had a final opportunity to level the game with a free of their own, but chose to play it short, & the ultimate shot at goal by Liam Walsh sailed right of the posts and wide. Referee Mike Moriarty blew the final whistle & Laune Rangers held on for their second win of the Mid Kerry League. Final Score:- Laune Rangers 1-14, Cromane 2-10.
In all, Laune Rangers may count themselves fortunate to hold out for the win in this game, but with a number of Senior players absent, it gave game time to more of the squad, including a debut for Down native Connor Clarke, and return appearances for Colin O’Dwyer who has returned from Australia, and Ryan Keane who missed the entire 2016 season through injury. In the opening two games of the season, 26 players have played minutes – not a bad statistic with both games ending in victory.
Laune Rangers:- Jason Browne, Neil O’Brien, Kieran Crowley, Pierce Tyther, Ryan Keane, John Tyther (0-1), Daniel Whittleton, John Francis O’Grady, Padraig Murphy, Gavin O’Shea, Jack O’Connor (0-1), David Costelloe (1-1), Eamon Carey (0-1), Colm O’Shea (0-8f), Shane Mangan (0-1). Subs:- Connor Clarke (0-1), Colin O’Dwyer, Cathal Doyle.
Cromane:- Paudie McCarthy, Liam Casey, Eoghan Walsh, Ian Costelloe, Brendan Foley, Liam Teahan, Shane Ahern, Liam Walsh (0-1), Donnchadh Walsh (0-2), Darren Houlihan (0-4f), Paul Patrick O'Sullivan 1-1 (1pen, 1f) Seán Teahan, Mikey Houlihan (0-1), Emmet Casey, Cian O'Keeffe. Subs: Micheal Shaughnessy (0-1), Danny O'Connor, Ben Bradley, Lee Carey (1-0).