Laune Rangers Blue 1-15, Austin Stacks 0-18
Huge excitement and drama were provided to all that attended the Central Region Minor Division 1 game between Laune Rangers Blue Team and Austin Stacks in JP O’Sullivan Park on Monday evening, as the sides could not be separated at the final whistle with the scores finishing level. Rangers had to make do without a few regulars including their county players Eoghan Hassett & Ryan Diggin for the game, and made a number of positional switches also. Austin Stacks had the brighter start as they outscored their hosts by 0-4 to 0-2 in the first quarter –Darragh O’Grady and Cillian Buckley pointing for Rangers.
Stacks, playing with the breeze in the first half, extended their lead after the water break. Darragh O’Grady nullified a Stacks point with one for Rangers before the visitors kicked four in succession. Another Stacks point was sandwiched between points by John Burke and David Crowley for Rangers to see the visitors go in at the break five ahead, although it may have been more but for a great last ditch block by full back Eoin Lynch to deny a certain goal. Half Time Score:-Laune Rangers Blue 0-5, Austin Stacks 0-10.
Laune Rangers were much improved from the start of the second half. An Oisín Birmingham point was followed by a goal for Rangers scored by Jack O’Sullivan to reduce the deficit to the minimum. However, Austin Stacks responded by pointing three in succession, before Darragh O’Grady scored an excellent point from a 45 followed by John Burke from play. Another couple of points followed for Stacks but John Burke, Jack O’Sullivan (free) and Darragh O’Grady pointed to leave just one between the sides again. However, Laune Rangers were reduced to 14 when substitute Joe Cronin Langham received two cards in close succession –yellow and black –to receive his marching orders. Austin Stacks pointed the resulting free to leave the Tralee side leading by 0-16 to 1-11 at the second water break.
Rangers upped the tempo in the final quarter, and played like the team with an extra man rather than the opposite. A pointed free by Jack O’Sullivan was cancelled out by Stacks, but Jack Lynch and O’Sullivan (free) levelled the game with points as injury time approached. There was almost five minutes of additional time played when Cillian Foley scored what most thought was the winning point. However, another three minutes was added as Austin Stacks peppered the Rangers goal –Adam Carey pulling off a great save in the process –as the visitors ultimately pointed the leveller deep in the 38th minute of the second half to see the spoils shared. Full Time Score:-Laune Rangers Blue 1-15, Austin Stacks 0-18.
Laune Rangers Blue:-Adam Carey, Cathal O’Callaghan, Eoin Lynch, Tim Mangan, Joseph O’Neill, Tom Whittleton, Oisín Birmingham (0-1), Darragh O’Grady (0-4, 1f), Aona O’Shea, John Burke (0-3), Cillian Foley (0-1), Jack O’Sullivan (1-3, 3f), David Crowley (0-1), Cillian Buckley (0-1), Darragh Evans.Subs:-Killian Spillane for Buckley, Joseph Cronin Langham for O’Neill, Eoghan Joy for Evans, Jack Lynch (0-1) for Crowley.