2022 season up and running
Two teams in the Mid Kerry League this season with both in action on week 1
The 2022 season got underway on Sunday afternoon, with Laune Rangers fielding two teams in the Mid Kerry Senior League. Rangers were without a large number of players across the two teams on the day, but still had sufficient numbers to fulfil both fixtures.
Laune Rangers B 0-7, Cromane 0-9
The first game of the season took place in JP O’Sullivan Park, as a few veterans led out what was otherwise a youthful Rangers side that saw nine Under 19s start the game including four 2021 Minors experiencing their first taste of Senior football.
At the half way point of the first half, Cromane led the game by 0-3 to 0-2 as Colm O’Shea (2, 1 free) scored for Rangers while Darren Houlihan (free), Mikey Houlihan and Darragh McKeefrey slotted points for the visitors. Adam Carey pulled off two separate saves to deny Cromane a goal, but they did extend their lead with points from Seán O’Sullivan (2), Mikey Houlihan, Darragh McKeefrey & Darren Houlihan (free) to take six point lead into the break. Half Time Score:- Laune Rangers B 0-2, Cromane 0-8.
Laune Rangers had the breeze at their backs for the second half, and began to chip away at the deficit. Colm O’Shea (free) and Jack O’Sullivan pointed for Rangers – substitute Morgan O’Sullivan doing well to claim a forward mark in the lead up to the latter. Laune Rangers continued to ring the changes but this didn’t halt momentum, as midfielder Calum Moriarty reduced the gap to three with another point. However, Mikey Houlihan pointed a free for Cromane to leave his team leading by 0-9 to 0-5 with fifteen minutes to play, while another Adam Carey save made sure his team stayed in touch.
Rangers continued to attack the Cromane goal in less than ideal underfoot conditions, and added a pointed free from Morgan O’Sullivan and a well taken score from Cillian Buckley halve the gap, However, Cromane held on to secure a Round 1 win.
Full Time Score:- Laune Rangers B 0-7, Cromane 0-9.
There were a number of notable showings on an early season outing. Mikey O’Sullivan – one of the afore mentioned veteran players – suffered a horror elbow injury in 2019 and for various reasons has had limited game time since then, so it was fantastic to see him return with a solid display, as had the four U18s that started their first game at the adult grade – Adam Carey pulled off three excellent saves in goal, defenders Cathal O’Callaghan and Killian Spillane showed maturity beyond their years, while Jack O’Sullivan scored a deserved point for his efforts also.
Laune Rangers B:- Adam Carey, Cathal O’Callaghan, Cormac Johnston, Daniel Evans, Killian Spillane, Patrick Brennan, Eamonn Carey, Michael O’Sullivan, Calum Moriarty (0-1), Gabriel Griffin, Jonathan Carey, Marc Clifford, Mikey O’Donnell, Colm O’Shea (0-3, 2f), Jack O’Sullivan (0-1). Subs: Morgan O’Sullivan (0-1f), Eoghan Joy, Cillian Buckley (0-1), Adam Owens, Joseph Cronin Langham, Jake Reenstierna, Cathal Crowley, Ryan O’Sullivan, Jack Healy.
Milltown/Castlemaine 2-10, Laune Rangers A 2-6
With a large number of first team players absent & the squad not having a lot of sessions under their belts, this game looked to have come a little soon for this group. That being said, it was a solid performance in defeat for the season opener, as it provided full Senior debuts for Ryan Diggin, Rory O’Connor & James Treacy.
Milltown/Castlemaine took the lead in the first play of the game with a well taken point by Donal Dennehy, and almost four minutes passed before the game’s second score – a well struck equalizer by Patrick Daly. Jerome Flynn & Pa Daly traded frees before Cathal Moriarty and then Seán Hogan pointed Milltown into a two point lead with fifteen minutes played.
Jerome Flynn scored three second quarter points (2 free) to see the home side take a five point lead into the break.
Half Time Score:- Milltown/Castlemaine 0-7, Laune Rangers 0-2.
Jerome Flynn pointed another free for Milltown/Castlemaine for his fifth score of the day, but Laune Rangers battled their way back into the game. Dáire Cleary slotted a point before Rangers were presented with a great chance at goal as Roan Moriarty was fouled in the square for a penalty. Patrick Daly made no mistake with the spot kick to beat Derek Twiss in the Milltown goal, and Shane Doona soon followed this up with a point to leave the minimum between the sides. Milltown/Castlemaine found themselves down to fourteen when Jerome Flynn received his second yellow card for a foul on Rangers goalkeeper Jason Browne, but scored a much needed settling point through Gavin Horan to lead by 0-9 to 1-4 with fifteen minutes to play.
Laune Rangers took the lead with a well worked second goal in the 51st minute – a subtle pass found substitute Senior debutant Marc Clifford at the edge of the square, who in turn fed the ball back to his cousin Eoin Clifford who smashed the ball to the net. Another substitute making his Senior bow Darragh O’Grady added a point to put Rangers two ahead, while another debutant Calum Moriarty was introduced also.
The home side reacted well, and soon regained their lead with a goal of their own by David Roche. Dylan O’Neill added a point and, with Rangers now camped upfield in search of a winner in injury time, Milltown put the ball in the net with an insurance goal as Liam Burke got the final touch. Mark O’Connor slotted a pointed free for Rangers, but this proved to be the final kick of the game.
Full Time Score:- Milltown/Castlemaine 2-10 Laune Rangers A 2-6
2021 County Minor Ryan Diggin looked assured in his Senior debut, as did Rory O’Connor & James Treacy who were making their first appearance for the A team.
Laune Rangers A:- Jason Browne, Ryan Diggin, Oisín Daly, Rory O’Connor, Daragh O’Connor, Eoin Clifford (1-0), James Treacy, Shane Daly, Stephen Sealy, Mark O’Connor (0-1f), Dáire Cleary (0-1), Patrick Daly (1-2, 1 pen, 1f), Matthew Leslie, Roan Moriarty, Shane Doona (0-1). Subs: Kieran Doona, Darragh O’Grady (0-1), Marc Clifford, Gabriel Griffin, Calum Moriarty.
Results aside, both squads will be satisfied with their first run out for the year. A combined 41 players saw action in the royal blue on Sunday afternoon – an impressive statistic considering upwards of 20 players were unavailable on the day, including up to a dozen first team players.
The A team travel to Glenbeigh/Glencar next Sunday, February 13th at 2pm, while the B team has a bye.