On a sunny Festival Sunday, Laune Rangers travelled to the outskirts of Tralee & Blennerville to face St Pats in the County League Division Two. Shane McSweeney opened the scoring & put Rangers ahead with a fisted effort in the 4th minute, after both sides had kicked wides in the opening exchanges. Brendan Poff scored two points for the home side before Colm O’Shea finished off a fine move & hit the back of the net to put Laune Rangers back into the lead. Poff responded with another point but the St Pats net was bulged again after John O’Shea kicked a super goal following a great run from wide on the right. St Pats full forward and captain Andy Byrne pointed for his side to make the score at the quarter mark: St Pats 0-4, Laune Rangers 2-1. The second quarter was dominated by the Killorglin side. Shane McSweeney finished off a fine move created by himself by fisting the ball over the bar, while John Tyther and Colm O’Shea added points shortly after. St Pats pointed a free through Kieran Hurley, but the visitors then closed out the half with a flurry. Pa Joy (on as a blood sub for John Tyther) scored a point, which was quickly followed up by another McSweeney point after some good work from Colm O’Shea. Brendan Poff managed a point for Pats but Daniel Macbeth & McSweeney again pointed to leave Rangers in a dominant position at half time. The score at the break: St Pats 0-6, Laune Rangers 2-8.
The second half was not a high scoring affair. Andy Byrne pointed for St Pats, but that was quickly cancelled out by Shane McSweeney. Willie Hurley hit the net for Pats & this was quickly followed up by a Kieran Hurley free to close the gap, but again this proved to be a false dawn as McSweeney smashed the ball to the net for a super goal and John Sheehan pointed. Another Kieran Hurley free brought the score to 3-10 to 1-9 in favour of Rangers with a quarter of the game to go. The final 15 minutes were starved of scores. 11 minutes after that Hurley free, Gary Savage kicked the games next & indeed St Pats final score. Rangers were not finished however, and substitute Pa Joy tapped over a point before Colm O’Shea was hauled down by goalkeeper Paudi Bailey inside the area. Mike Frank Russell stepped up but, in an absolute anomaly he blasted the ball over the bar for the game’s final score. The Full Time score: St Pats 1-10, Laune Rangers 3-12.
Overall, Rangers can be happy with their performance. All six starting forwards scored (8 scorers in all), & all 3 goals had fluency and solid teamwork in their build up. All six backs showed well while Podge Murphy and Maurice Foley linked well. The stand out performance once again though came from centre forward Shane McSweeney, who scored 1-5 from play & was the constant danger to St Pats throughout. This is the third game in succession in which McSweeney has scored 5 points or more from play. Laune Rangers now move on to 8 League points and push ever closer to safety in Division Two with just two games to go.
Laune Rangers Team:- Jason Browne, Kieran Crowley, Johnny Carey (c), Tommy O’Callaghan, Ryan Keane, John Sheehan (0-1), Chris Riordan, Padraig Murphy, Maurice Foley, Daniel Macbeth (0-1), Shane McSweeney (1-5), John Tyther (0-1), John O’Shea (1-0), Colm O’Shea (1-1), Michael F Russell (0-1). Subs Pa Joy (0-2), Michael O’Sullivan, Shane O’Connor. St Pats Blennerville:- Paudi Bailey, Killian Quirke, Paul McMahon, Eric Teahan, Luke Mulligan, Jeffrey Foley, Sean Dowling, Liam Poff, Michael O’Sullivan, David Kerins, Kieran Hurley (0-3f), Brendan Poff (0-4), Gary Savage (0-1), Andy Byrne (c) (0-2), Willie Hurley (1-0). Subs Anton O’Callaghan, Brendain Savage, Sean Hayes, Brandon Boyle.