Mid Kerry Championship title for Beaufort
Laune Rangers’ wait for an O’Connor Cup reunion goes into a 16th year.
Laune Rangers 0-9, Beaufort 1-11
Laune Rangers’ agonising wait to claim a Mid Kerry Senior title goes on as they were defeated in a third consecutive Final in Milltown on Sunday afternoon. Beaufort took the spoils on the day, as they claimed what was only a second Championship win over Laune Rangers in over 40 years.
Liam Carey took his place on the bench after significant absence through injury, while Rangers were not so lucky and had to make do without Conor Murphy, Jack O’Connor and David Mangan – the latter missing the whole 2021 season. There were also worries over the fitness of Gearóid Hassett, but he was deemed OK to start the final game of the season.
The game was played in atrocious conditions, with the yellow wind warning forecast from 3pm visiting much earlier in the afternoon and blowing straight down field at the backs of the Beaufort players. With five minutes on the clock, the sides were level at 0-1 a piece as Fergal Hallissey and Fiachra Clifford trading frees. Hallissey and Jack O’Connor added pointed frees for Beaufort before Fiachra Clifford got one back for Rangers, although his point could well have been more as he was in on goal, but his shot flared over the crossbar. Jack O’Connor added a free to see Beaufort take a 0-4 to 0-2 lead into the first water break. Beaufort were presented with a goal chance themselves – Jason Browne making a great save from Kieran Dennehy at close range, but play was brought back for a free after a long advantage was played. O’Connor made no mistake with the free to give his side a three point lead. The Beaufort supporters rose to their feet when their captain Liam Carey was introduced from the bench in the 27th minute, while John Tyther and Jack O’Connor exchanged points before the break. Half Time Score:- Laune Rangers 0-3, Beaufort 0-6.
By the start of the first half, the gale-force wind had shifted to blow diagonally across the field, but Gearóid Hassett opened the second half scoring with an excellent point. However, Mike Breen & Liam Carey (2) extended the Beaufort lead to five points. Laune Rangers had a great goal opportunity as Eoin Clifford ran through the Beaufort defence before a great last ditch block saw the ball go wide – although Rangers advantage for a foul in the build up was deemed expired and the free was not awarded. Another Beaufort free was added by Fergal Hallissey before John Tyther added two super points from long range. The game’s deciding score came just before the 2nd water break, as Seán O’Brien struck the net for A Beaufort goal after his side were awarded a free that looked to all watching as a foul the opposite way on Rangers’ Shane Doona. This goal left Beaufort leading by 1-10 to 0-6.
Jack O’Connor scored another pointed free for his side’s final score of the game, as Laune Rangers had to rely on their accuracy from play as no opportunities were presented from placed ball. Patrick Carey and Peter Crowley scored excellent points from long distance. Any chance of a Rangers revival was finished as frustration got the better of Shane McSweeney who was shown a red card for verbals. A 2nd hammer blow came minutes later with a baffling second yellow card for Peter Crowley, leaving Rangers with 13 on the field of play. Gearóid Hassett added a final excellent long range point for Rangers as the short-handed team peppered the Beaufort goal, but it was not to be their day. Full Time Score:- Laune Rangers 0-9, Beaufort 1-11.
Although, it was a third consecutive Mid Kerry Final loss for Laune Rangers, five of the eighteen players that took the field were contesting their first Senior decider, while the 13 men that finished the game had an average age of just 23 years old. Having been promoted as champions of Division 3 this year, Rangers will have plenty to build on going forward.
2022 is just a few short weeks away!
Laune Rangers:- Jason Browne, Seán Cleary, Seán Arthurs, Oisín Daly, Shane McSweeney, Kieran Crowley (capt), Patrick Carey (0-1), Shane Daly, Peter Crowley (0-1), Eoin Clifford, Kieran Doona, Fiachra Clifford (0-2, 1f), Shane Doona, John Tyther (0-3, 1f), Gearóid Hassett (0-2). Subs:- Dáire Cleary for K Doona, Stephen Sealy for S Doona, Mark O’Connor for Carey.