Laune Rangers Ladies took on Southern Gaels on Easter Sunday in a sun-soaked JP O’Sullivan Park. Rangers made better use of the extra space up front in this 13 a side game, and had themselves 0-8 to 0-1 ahead after ten minutes – Sarah Houlihan (0-4), Johanna O’Callaghan, Bernie Breen, Patrice Dennehy & Sarah Clifford finishing some fine team play. Gaels fought back though and found the net for a goal in the 11th minute. They followed this up with three quick points, with a solitary Patrice Dennehy point in response for Rangers reducing the deficit for Gaels to just 3 points after 15 minutes. Rangers drove on again though and after Bernie Breen had hit the crossbar for the home side, Sarah Houlihan scored Rangers first goal of the afternoon & followed it up with two more points before the break – one from a free – while Gaels followed up four points with a late goal to put just one point between the sides at Half Time; Laune Rangers 1-11, Southern Gaels 2-7. Laune Rangers could have been further ahead but for the woodwork, which twice saved the Gaels in the first period.
It took just 35 seconds after the resumption for Rangers to find the net again – Sarah Houlihan’s long solo run beat defender after defender and she finished superbly to the net. She and Patrice Dennehy added points to further stretch the lead before Amy Foley finished well for Rangers third goal to put 9 points between the sides. Gaels had a chance to reduce this deficit when they won a penalty ten minutes into the half, but Kerry goalkeeper Edel Murphy dived to her right and saved well. A southern Gaels point followed but Sarah Houlihan completed her hat-trick for Rangers fourth goal to give Rangers a 4-13 to 2-8 lead with 12 minutes to play. After they hit the crossbar themselves, Gaels managed to score their third goal to stay somewhat in touch but Rangers were able to kick on from there to close out the game. Another three Sarah Houlihan points (2 frees) were added to by Bernie Breen & Cliona Coffey with excellent points. Full Time; Laune Rangers 4-18, Southern Gaels 3-10.
On another day, 3-10 may have been enough to win a game for Gaels, but having County players Edel Murphy, Bernie Breen, Emma Sherwood, Patrice Dennehy & Sarah Houlihan at their disposal made all the difference for Rangers. A great team performance was capped by a scoring masterclass by Sarah Houlihan, who finished with an individual tally of 3-10.
Laune Rangers Team: Edel Murphy, Maura O’Sullivan, Amanda Long, Maryann Doherty, Amy Foley (1-0), Sarah Clifford (0-1), Bernie Breen (0-2), Johanna O’Callaghan (0-1), Sinead O’Connor, Emma Sherwood, Meadhbh Johnston, Sarah Houlihan (3-10), Patrice Dennehy (0-3). Subs used: Cliona Coffey, Katie Roche.