Laune Rangers and St Brendans Board had the honour of beginning the 2014 County Senior Football Championship this evening as they faced off in JP O’Sullivan Park in Killorglin. The home side got off to a brighter start as Mike Frank Russell slotted a free in the opening minute & followed it up with a super 45 against a significant breeze. Kieran Hurley got his side’s opener on the 8th minute before Pa Joy burned his marker and split the posts for Rangers. The evergreen Russell added another free to put the score at Laune Rangers 0-4 to St Brendans 0-1 after a quarter of the game.
Brendan’s found their range in the second quarter though as they were winning the battle in midfield, and after Kieran Hurley pointed for his side, Darragh Carmody slotted 4 frees in succession to give the visitors the lead. Michael Griffin scored two long range points for Brendans but Mike Frank and Shane McSweeney clawed points back for Rangers in injury time to leave the score at the break; Laune Rangers 0-6, St Brendans 0-8.
Laune Rangers had the benefit of the breeze at their backs in the second half and made a dream start, when Pa Joy won a ball near the right hand corner, beat his man and picked out Colm O’Shea at the edge of the square, who in turn rolled the ball into the net to put the hosts in front. Minutes later, Joy himself was through on goal and almost had the ball in the net again only for a fine save from Nicholas O’Sullivan in goal for Brendans to push it over the bar. Peter Crowley took over the 45 kicking duties in the second half for Rangers and split the posts with his first effort to put Rangers 3 in front before Hurley responded for the Brendans side with another point. Pa Joy had another goal chance slide across the goal but stayed in play, and the Brendan’s effort at clearing put the ball out for a 45. Peter Crowley again stepped up & again floated the ball over the bar with ease. Joy added his third point of the game then to put Laune Rangers ahead with a quarter remaining, 1-10 to 0-9.
Brendans reduced the gap to three through a Darragh Carmody free before, on the 50th minute, Rory Horgan hauled down Ranger’s Colm O’Shea at the edge of the large rectangle & was duly shown the black card. Russell slotted the resulting free to regain the four point margin. The score of the game then came from minor player John Tyther, who came up the field from half back to score from over 50 yards. Mike Frank added a long range effort –his first from play – before Rangers other veteran John Sheehan got in on the act with a well taken point of his own. Darragh Carmody kicked his sixth free of the evening for St Brendans, while Rangers other minor player Daniel Macbeth got his name on the scoresheet in injury time. The final score of the game came from the Brendan’s centre half forward Alan O’Donoghue to make the final score; Laune Rangers 1-15 to St Brendans 0-12.
Laune Rangers big players shone through in the game. Peter Crowley was in fine form, while mercurial Mike Frank Russell showed he is still worth the admission fee alone. Minors John Tyther & Daniel Macbeth both played well, while Pa Joy was dangerous every time he touched the ball. Darragh Carmody’s frees kept St Brendans in touch throughout the game, while Jack Barry & John Dowling put in solid displays for their side.
Laune Rangers Team: Tony Lyons, Kieran Crowley, Johnny Carey (c), Keith Sheehan, Peter Crowley (0-2f), John Sheehan (0-1), John Tyther (0-1), Padraig Murphy, Shane Daly, Daniel Macbeth (0-1), Shane McSweeney, Colm O’Shea (1-0), Michael F Russell (0-6, 5f), Geoffrey O’Mahony, Pa Joy (0-3). Subs Ryan Keane, Chris Riordan, Shane O’Connor, Michael O’Sullivan.
St Brendans Team: Nicholas O’Sullivan (Ardfert), Sean Moloney (John Mitchells), Lawrence Bastible (John Mitchells), Rory Horgan (Ardfert), Luke Mulligan (St Pats), Brendan Poff (St Pats), Michael Brennan (Churchill), Jack Barry (Na Gaeil), David Griffin (Ardfert), John Dowling (Ardfert), Alan O’Donoghue (John Mitchells) (0-1), Liam O’Sullivan (c) (St Pats), Darragh Carmody (Na Gaeil) (0-6f), Michael Griffin (Na Gaeil) (0-2), Kieran Hurley (St Pats) (0-3). Subs: Fionan Horgan (Ardfert), Paul McMahon (St Pats).