A rather lack-lustre game played on Friday evening in Milltown saw the home side host Laune Rangers in the opening round game of the O'Sullivan Cup. The winners would secure a second round meeting with Glenbeigh/Glencar with the winners of same going on to meet Cromane in the semi-final.
Milltown/Castlemaine dominated the first half leading 1-07 to 0-03 at the short whistle. Laune Rangers performed better in the second half holding their opponents to just two second half points but fell just short in the end. Milltown/Castlemaine's dominance in the opening half was enough to give them a one point victory at the death, winning 1-09 to 0-11.
Milltown/Castlemaine opened the game with six points before the visitors got off the mark. Jerome Flynn registered the game's first score in the opening minute which he quickly followed up with a pointed free shortly after. Jamie O'Shea scored the home-side's third point in the 7th minute despite being under ferocious pressure from the Laune Rangers defence. Two further O'Shea frees in the 14th and 18th minutes of the half saw the score stand at 0-05 to 0-00.
A long range effort from Jack McCarthy added to the Milltown/Castlemaine tally in the 19th minute. Laune Rangers got their opening score through a well taken Daniel Macbeth point in the 20th minute of the half which was quickly followed by a point from David Costello who swept through the Milltown/Castlemaine defence. Milltown/Castlemaine's full forward Jonathan O'Sullivan added his name to the scoresheet in the 22nd minute to let the score 0-07 to 0-02 in MIlltown/Castlemaine's favour. The last action of the half saw Jack McCarthy field the Rangers kick-out, McCarthy found Jamie O'Shea who calmly slotted the ball passed the Laune Rangers keeper, Jason Browne, for the game's only goal. Score at the short whistle: Milltown/Castlemaine 1-07 to 0-03 Laune Rangers.
Laune Rangers claimed the opening score of the second half with Jamie Clifford slotting one over for the visitors in the opening minute. A Kieran Doona free in the 7th minute closed Milltown/Castlemaine's lead to 5 points. Patrick Daly pointed for the visitors in the 11th minute when Laune Rangers dispossessed their counterparts and broke downfield. Doona and Daly added to their tallies in the 14th and 15th minutes to let just two points between the sides, 1-07 to 0-08, mid-way through the second half.
Both sides notched up a number of wides in the closing minutes before Jerome Flynn and Ciaran Doona exchanged frees with 6 minutes remaining and it was 1-08 to 0-09. Another Laune Rangers free from Patrick Daly saw the minimum between the sides with 30 minutes of the second half played. Milltown/Castlemaine's final point from Jack McCarthy was enough to see the home side safe and advance to the next round as a final point from Laune Rangers' David Costello was a case of too little too late as referee Mike Moriarty blew the final whistle shortly after. Final score in Milltown: Milltown/Castlemaine 1-09 to 0-11 Laune Rangers.
Milltown/Castlemaine: Cormac Leane, Jimmy Murphy, Stephen Roche, Ronan Casey, Cathal O'Connor, Alan Looney, Seamus Dowd, Donal Dennehy, Brendan Delaney, Jerome Flynn (0-3, 2f), Jack McCarthy (0-2), Padraig O'Brien, John McAuliffe, Jonathan O'Sullivan (0-1), Jamie O'Shea(1-3,2f). SUBS: Eoin O'Mahoney, Colin McKenna, Ciaran O'Connor, Teddie O'Sullivan, Dara O'Connor.
Laune Rangers: Jason Browne, Tadhg Curran, Cormac Johnston, George Evans, Aidan Cox, Ronan Sayers, Gavin O'Shea, Daniel Macbeth (0-1), Michael O'Sullivan, Jamie Clifford (0-1), David Costello (0-2), Paul Browne, Declan Cawley, Ciaran Doona (0-3-2f), Patrick Daly (0-4,2f). SUBS: Colm O'Mahony, John Francis O'Grady, Garry Flynn, Bob Foley