Milltown/Castlemaine 2-11, Laune Rangers B 2-12
After a six year wait, Laune Rangers have recaptured the Mid Kerry Junior League title with victory over Milltown/Castlemaine in Paddy Burke Park, Milltown on Tuesday evening.
A single point separated the teams at the final whistle, and that was about all that was between the sides for much of the game as the lead danced from one side of the scoreboard to the other throughout.
Milltown/Castlemaine took an early lead with a pointed free by Jamie O’Shea, before Daragh O’Connor equalized with a point. Ronan O’Shea pointed Rangers ahead before Jamie O’Shea hit the net for a goal for the home team – Tony Lyons pulling off a point blank save only for the ball to fall to the feet of O’Shea who swivelled to tap it in. James Treacy got one back for Rangers with an excellent point from wing back, before Rangers regained the lead with their first goal – Gavin O’Shea with a magnificent catch and turn before shooting past Dara O’Connor.
Laune Rangers soon scored a second goal as Patrick Carey came up field to get onto the end of a great team move, and the centre back’s shot rocketed into the top corner to give the visitors the biggest lead of the game. Donal Kelliher slotted a point at the other end to leave Laune Rangers leading by 2-3 to 1-2 at the first water break.
Milltown/Castlemaine were level again within minutes – Craig Counihan smashing the ball to the net for his team’s second goal before Seán Hogan pointed a free. Rangers added points through their captain Eamonn Carey and Ronan O’Shea (free) to go two ahead before Seán Hogan pointed for the hosts. A Ronan O’Shea point late in the half left Laune Rangers ahead by two at the break.
Half Time Score:- Milltown/Castlemaine 2-4, Laune Rangers 2-6.
The lead was turned on its head in the early minutes of the second half as Seán Hogan pointed three in succession while a Jamie O’Shea free put Milltown two ahead. Patrick Carey scored a well taken point from distance, before Gabriel Griffin, Ronan O’Shea and Marc Clifford swung the scoreboard back in Rangers favour – the Clifford point coming from a near impossible angle by the substitute. At the second water break, Laune Rangers led by 2-10 to 2-8.
Mike Frank Russell was introduced for the final quarter, but it was Milltown that came out quicker from the water break – Seán Hogan pointing two frees to see the scores level with ten minutes to play. A super score by Eamonn Carey gave Rangers the lead, although Derek Twiss – introduced a few minutes earlier – levelled the game with a pointed free.
The game seemed to be bound for extra time, but Mike Frank Russell was now getting into the game, and he was pivotal in a move that saw Ronan O’Shea through on goal before being hauled down by Aaron O’Brien – a foul that saw the corner back shown a black card. Ronan O’Shea showed composure beyond his years to tap over the free and give his side the lead with almost four minutes of injury time complete. There was time for one last piece of excitement as Milltown/Castlemaine got the ball up field to win a free a couple of metres outside the 45’. Derek Twiss stepped up, but his shot sailed harmlessly wide and the final whistle was blown to see Laune Ranger win a first Mid Kerry Junior League title since 2015.
Full Time Score:- Milltown/Castlemaine 2-11, Laune Rangers 2-12.
After the game, Chairman of the Mid Kerry Board Tim Coffey presented the Mid Kerry Junior League Shield to Laune Rangers captain Eamonn Carey.
Best for the home side on the night was Seán Hogan who contributed 0-7 to his team, while Donal Kelliher caused trouble to a number of the Rangers defenders to win a few frees.
Wing backs Oisín Daly and James Treacy were a constant threat up and down the flanks, Eamonn Carey put in a captain’s performance. The stand out player was Patrick Carey who, after scoring 1-1 from centre back in the first 40 minutes of the game, went back to full back to shore up the threat from the edge of the square and he was presented with the official Man of the Match award, sponsored by O’Sullivan’s Haven Pharmacy Killorglin.
Milltown/Castlemaine:- Dara O’Connor, Patrick O’Connor, Tadhg McCarthy, Aaron O’Brien, Killian Kerins, Stephen Roche, John Dennehy, David Leane, Liam Burke, John O’Connor, Craig Counihan (1-0), Eoin O’Brien, Jamie O’Shea (1-2), Donal Kelliher (0-1), Seán Hogan (0-7, 3f). Subs: Jerome Flynn for O’Shea, Martin Foley for J O’Connor, Derek Twiss (0-1f) for Burke, Colin McKenna for E O’Brien.
Laune Rangers:- Tony Lyons, Patrick Brennan, Cormac Johnston, Evan Madden, Oisín Daly, Patrick Carey (1-1), James Treacy (0-1), Callum Russell, Shane Mangan, Daragh O’Connor (0-1), Gabriel Griffin (0-1), Ronan O’Shea (0-5, 3f), Eamonn Carey (capt, 0-2), Roan Moriarty, Gavin O’Shea (1-0). Subs: Marc Clifford (0-1) for G O’Shea, Rory O’Connor for Johnston, Mike Frank Russell for Moriarty, Patrick Daly for Griffin.