Laune Rangers made their second trip of 2015 to Fr Breen Park, Kenmare in order to face Kenmare District in Round 3 of the County Senior Football Championship. Having lost in the County League to two of the four contributing teams this year – Kenmare in Round 2 & Templenoe just last week – the home side were considerable favourites entering the game. They were however without the Crowley brothers Gavin & Brian who were absent following the death of their mother Bernie last Monday, and a minute’s silence was observed in her memory before the game.
Laune Rangers took the lead in the first minute with a well taken Mike Frank Russell free but once Kenmare settled into the game, the home side were able to take control with the aid of a strong breeze and led by 0-4 to 0-2 on the quarter mark – Paul O’Connor with a 45 & two frees and Killian Spillane pointing for Kenmare, while Shane McSweeney managed to point excellently into the breeze for Rangers. Kenmare may have been further ahead but for a fantastic double save by Rangers’ goalkeeper Tony Lyons from Kevin O’Sullivan. Kenmare District then pushed on in the 2nd quarter and had a six point lead by half time – the Laune Rangers backs finding it hard to hold the dynamic forward line, and the referee’s whistle was blown in the home side’s favour time and again. Paul O’Connor slotted three of these frees, while Stephen O’Brien and midfielder Flor O’Sullivan both pointed well taken points. Meanwhile, Rangers could only muster a solitary point from Kieran Doona in response, but could have halved the deficit just before the break when Pa Joy saw his shot at goal saved by Kenmare ‘keeper Kieran Fitzgibbon. Some uncharacteristic missed frees from Mike Frank Russell also left the visitors with a lot to do in the 2nd half. The sides went in at Half Time on a score line of:- Kenmare District 0-9, Laune Rangers 0-3.
It unfortunately did not improve for Laune Rangers in the second half. A Mike Frank Russell free was sandwiched in between two frees fro Paul O’Connor before Rangers lost Ronan Sayers to a black card I the 39th minute. This seemed to give impetus to Kenmare to go for the jugular and by the time Laune Rangers registered their next score – a Russell free – in the 48th minute, the hosts had found the net twice as well as tagging on three more points to take a 2-14 to 0-5 lead – the goals coming from Paul O’Connor and Adrian Spillane with the points coming from an O’Connor (2) and Mark Crowley. The contest was now over with a quarter to play, but Mike Frank Russell slotted another two frees to take his tally to 4 before his afternoon came to an end. Kevin O’Sullivan sympathetically fisted the ball over the bar when he was through on goal, but Stephen O’Brien did not take the same approach, and added Kenmare’s third goal in the 56th minute. Meanwhile, Kieran Doona had assumed free taking responsibility for Rangers and added a brace, while Pa Joy also pointed from play before the final whistle. The Full Time score:- Kenmare District 3-15, Laune Rangers 0-9.
Laune Rangers has traditionally produced big championship performances & torn up the form book in the process. This did not happen on Sunday, and an increasingly disappointing year has added another low point. Peter Crowley carried an injury into the game and was hampered with it throughout, although he did have a number of possessions that showcased his potential class. Kieran Doona looked dangerous in the inside forward line on what was his first Senior start in a couple of years.
Kenmare looked hugely impressive on the day. The midfield pairing of Flor O’Sullivan & Adrian Spillane dominated, with the latter scoring a goal for the second consecutive week against the same team. However, the forward line as superb. Killian Spillane was a menace at corner forward and forced numerous fouls on him to prevent a score. Paul O’Connor was unerring on his home pitch, and his nine frees were the main factor in his sides win, while his goal spelled the beginning of the end for Laune Rangers.
Kenmare now progress to the County SFC Quarter Final against West Kerry – the side defeated by Laune Rangers in Round 1 – and it will take a very strong side to defeat them this year. Laune Rangers now look to the final Round of County League & their narrow hopes of surviving relegation to Division Three. The Mid Kerry Championship can now also begin in earnest, as both Mid Kerry and Milltown/Castlemaine were knocked out of the Championship in the losers round.
Kenmare District: Kieran Fitzgibbon (Ken), Dara Crowley (Ken), John Spillane (Tem), Tommy O’Sullivan (Ken), Dara O’Shea (Ken), Tadhg Morley (Tem-capt), Mark Crowley (Ken) (0-1), Flor O’Sullivan (Tou) (0-1), Adrian Spillane (Tem) (1-0), Sean O’Shea (Ken), Stephen O’Brien (Ken) (1-1), Kevin O’Sullivan (Ken) (0-1), Killian Spillane (Tem) (0-1), Teddy Doyle (Tem), Paul O’Connor (Ken) (1-10, 9f). Subs used: Kieran O’Neill (Tem), Patrick Clifford (Tem), Sean O’Leary (Ken), Danny Cahalane (Tem), Mike T O’Sullivan (Tou).
Laune Rangers: Tony Lyons, Keith Sheehan, Michael O’Sullivan, Johnny Carey, Kieran Crowley, Peter Crowley, Chris Riordan, John Sheehan, Maurice Foley, Ronan Sayers, Shane McSweeney (capt) (0-1), John Tyther, Kieran Doona (0-3, 2f), Pa Joy (0-1), Michael F Russell (0-4f). Subs used: David Costello, Ryan Keane, John O’Shea, Shane O’Connor(bc rep), Colm O’Shea, Gavin O’Shea.