Milltown/Castlemaine 2-9, Laune Rangers 1-5
With Division 2 safety already secured, Laune Rangers travelled to Milltown on Saturday evening with slight hopes of promotion, although they made the short trip with a much depleted squad and it was the home side Milltown/Castlemaine that claimed the win – themselves securing promotion to Division 1 of the County Senior Football League in the process.
With the number of Rangers squad absentees in double digits, the home side made full use of a strong breeze blowing in their favour, and scored a goal straight from the throw in – Cillian Burke winning the long ball into the square before feeding Cathal Moriarty who struck to the net. Laune Rangers struggled to clear their lines against the wind and conceded three points from Cillian Burke (2) and Éanna O’Connor (a 45), before David Mangan split the posts with a free from the ground to see the home side ahead by 1-3 to 0-1 with fifteen minutes played.
Laune Rangers improved in the second quarter, but were struggling to fashion scoring opportunities. Éanna O’Connor pointed to increase the lead, but Laune Rangers scored a goal of their own as Stephen Sealy got on the end of a high dropping ball to punch to the net. However, Milltown/Castlemaine – in particular Éanna O’Connor – were still on the offensive and the South Kerry man added two more points (1 free) before Jerome Flynn scored his team’s second goal just before the short whistle.
Half Time Score:- Milltown/Castlemaine 2-6, Laune Rangers 1-1
While Laune Rangers now had the breeze at their backs, much of the game was played between the two 45s in the third quarter. In fact the first score of the second half waited until the 44th minute to be registered as John Tyther slotted a free. With fifteen minutes of the game remaining, Milltown/Castlemaine led by 2-6 to 1-2.
Fiachra Clifford added a pointed free for Rangers, but it was cancelled out by a free at the other end by Éanna O’Connor. Peter Crowley and Cillian Burke added well taken points for their respective sides, while free takers Clifford and O’Connor traded pointed frees before the final whistle.
Full Time Score:- Milltown/Castlemaine 2-9, Laune Rangers 1-5.
Results elsewhere on Friday evening consolidated Laune Rangers position in Division 2 for another year, which was fortunate considering the loss of so many players for this game for varying reasons. David Mangan, Rory O’Connor, Eoin Clifford and Ryan Diggin best served the visitors. Meanwhile, Cillian Burke caused trouble to the defence throughout, setting up the goal and scoring good points. It was the performance of former St Michaels/Foilmore, Moorefield and Kildare forward Éanna O’Connor that stood out though, as he was the main difference between the sides on the day.
Milltown/Castlemaine:- Cormac Leane, Ciarán O’Connor, Gavin McKenna, Tadgh McCarthy, Killian Kerins, Pa Wrenn, Kieran Carroll, David Roche (capt), Donal Dennehy, Dylan O’Neill, Cathal Moriarty (1-0), Cillian Burke (0-3), Jerome Flynn (1-0), Éanna O’Connor (0-6, 4f), Jonathan O’Sullivan. Subs: John Dennehy for O’Neill, Seán Hogan for Flynn, Donal Kelliher for O’Sullivan.
Laune Rangers:- Jason Browne, Seán Arthurs, Patrick Carey, Ryan Diggin, Eoin Clifford (capt), David Mangan (0-1f), Peter Crowley (0-1), Calum Moriarty, Shane Daly, Stephen Sealy (1-0), Roan Moriarty, Ronan O’Shea, John Tyther (0-1f), Fiachra Clifford (0-2f), Rory O’Connor. Subs:- Gavin O’Shea for R Moriarty, James Treacy for R O’Shea, Daniel Macbeth for Sealy, Evan Madden for Mangan.