Laune Rangers 3-5, Beaufort 0-10
Laune Rangers hosted Beaufort on Sunday afternoon in the final round of Mid Kerry League fixtures before the County Senior Football League begins on March 19th. Both sides had a handful of absentees, while the game marked the return of Laune Rangers’ Shane McSweeney from a year playing in Cavan.
Beaufort opened the scoring with a point from two time All Ireland Minor winner Mike Breen in the opening minute, but Rangers equalized with a well-executed Colm O’Shea free. An end to end opening quarter saw plenty of scoring chances created, as Fergal Hallissey (free) and Darragh Coffey pointed for Beaufort while Jack O’Connor scored an excellent point from distance for Rangers. Hallissey hit the crossbar for the visitors with a rasping shot & the rebound was cleared to leave Beaufort leading by 0-3 to 0-2 with 16 minutes played.
Beaufort wing back James O’Reilly got up field to point his side two ahead, but Rangers took the lead in the 24th minute. Michael O’Sullivan won a great turnover at left wing back and fed the ball through to Padraig Murphy, who in turn found David Costelloe & the corner forward kept his composure to stroke the ball from the ground past Beaufort and Mid Kerry goalkeeper Mike Moriarty. Rangers midfielder Shane Daly was then lost to injury while his opposite number Ronan Murphy suffered the same fate just minutes later. Neither player played any further part in the contest. Meanwhile, Rangers extended their lead with a second goal, as John Tyther lobbed the ball to the top corner of the net with a speculative effort from 30 yards. This saw Rangers take a four point lead into the break. Half Time Score:- Laune Rangers 2-2, Beaufort 0-4.
Laune Rangers began the second half as they had finished the first and, with virtually their first attack they nearly scored again as Shane Mangan hit the bottom of the post with a shot following some broken play around the Beaufort square. Rangers did not have to wait too long for the third goal however as John Tyther hit the net for the second time 5 minutes either side of the interval. This score put the hosts seven points ahead, but Beaufort came back into the game and scored four points unanswered through Liam Carey (2) & Fergal Hallissey (2 frees) to leave three between the sides with Rangers leading by 3-2 to 0-8 with eighteen minutes to play. Rangers could have stemmed the flow of Beaufort’s attack during this period but for a number of missed frees in the windy conditions.
Laune Rangers responded well to Beaufort’s flurry though, & scored three points unanswered themselves to double the lead – Colm O’Shea (free) and Jack O’Connor pointed before substitute goalkeeper Jason Browne split the posts with a 45. Rangers held Beaufort scoreless throughout this period in no small part to some excellent defending from Johnny Carey & Kieran Crowley – the latter with one eye-catching block down that stopped a sure score. Fergal Hallissey scored two further frees late on to bring his tally to five, but the final whistle was blown to see Rangers maintain their unbeaten start to the season. Full Time score:- Laune Rangers 3-5, Beaufort 0-10.
Laune Rangers: Tony Lyons, Neil O’Brien, Johnny Carey, Aidan Cox, Ronan Sayers, Kieran Crowley, Michael O’Sullivan, Shane Daly, Padraig Murphy, Shane McSweeney, Jack O’Connor (0-2), John Tyther (2-0), David Costelloe (1-0), Connor Clarke, Colm O’Shea (0-2). Subs used:- Shane Mangan, Colin O’Dwyer, Jason Browne (0-1).
Beaufort: Mike Moriarty, Michael J O’Connor, Ger Hartnett, Sean Fogarty, Cormac O’Connor, Shane O’Sullivan, James O’Reilly (0-1), Ronan Murphy, Sean Kelliher, Mike Breen (0-1), Liam Carey (0-2), Brendan Cronin, Niall O’Connor, Fergal Hallissey (0-5), Darragh Coffey (0-1). Subs: Danny Healy, Jonathan Kissane, Gary Coffey, Conor Breen, Padraig O’Sullivan.