Kenmare Shamrocks 0-6, Laune Rangers Blue 1-4
The weather conditions that greeted the teams in this Division 1 encounter ensured that this game was not going to be a high-scoring affair, but both teams served up an excellent bout in a war of attrition from start to finish.
The game’s first score came in the tenth minute, as John Burke made no mistake with a long range free into the teeth of the wind. Indeed, the strong breeze didn’t favour either side as it swirled in from Kenmare Bay and changed direction by the minute. Kenmare pointed a free to see the sides level with fifteen minutes played.
A 23rd minute pointed free for the home side was the only score of the second quarter, as wides were kicked by both sides – Kenmare with a few more than Rangers. Half Time Score:- Kenmare Shamrocks 0-2, Laune Rangers 0-1.
Rian O’Sullivan scored the game’s first point from play in the opening minute of the second half but it was worth the wait, as the centre forward split the posts from distance for a super score. Rangers’ work pressing the kickout then produced a big reward as, after initially applying pressure on the corner back to force a 45’, John Burke’s kick dropped short only for Darragh Clifford to reach the ball first and knock it into the net for a crucial goal. Kenmare scored their first point from play in the 43rd minute, but it was soon cancelled out by an excellent point by Rangers centre back Oisín Birmingham to leave Rangers leading by 1-3 to 0-3 with a quarter of the game to play.
Darragh Clifford made no mistake with a super long range free to increase the lead to four points, and it proved a decisive score as it would be his team’s last. Both sides saw players sent off in the latter stages as John Touhy picked up a black card to accompany his earlier yellow, while Kenmare saw a player receive a second yellow. The home side scored three points as they pressed for a winning goal, but the visitors held on to claim the points in the opening round of the League.
Full Time Score:- Kenmare Shamrocks 0-6, Laune Rangers Blue 1-4.
It would be unfair to judge the form of either team based on a game played in such tough conditions. That being said, the backs as a unit were rock solid and really impressed, as did John Tuohy who put in a huge shift. John Burke was excellent in a fantastic midfield battle on the day. Special mention to Conor Buckley who stepped between the sticks for the first time and was unerring on a day that the most experienced of goalkeepers would dread lining out in.
Laune Rangers Blue:- Conor Buckley, David O’Brien, Shane Clifford, Tim Mangan, Gavin Mangan, Oisín Birmingham (0-1), Joseph O’Neill, Tom Garry (capt), John Burke (0-1f), Niall O’Brien, Rian O’Sullivan (0-1), Jack Lynch, Stephen Gannon, Darragh Clifford (1-1, 1f), John Tuohy. Subs: Matthew Spillane for O’Neill, Patryk Radny for Garry, Logan Foley for O’Brien.
Laune Rangers White 4-9, St Pats Blennerville 1-2
Simultaneously to the game in Kenmare, Laune Rangers White team hosted St Pats in JP O’Sullivan Park in Division 8 as Rangers field a second team in the County Minor Leagues for a second successive year.
With a number of eligible players in Kenmare with the Blue squad, Rangers relied on a number of Under 15s to make up the numbers, but the young side put in a great display to get off to the perfect start in their League campaign.
Full Time Score:- Laune Rangers White 4-9, St Pats Blennerville 1-2
Laune Rangers White (13 a side):- Harvey Mangan, Sean O’Donnell, Denis McGeever, Aaron Doyle, Devon Hogan, Callum O’Sullivan, John Horgan, Ryan Carey, Micheál O’Shea, Rian Hogan, Seán Diggin, Cathal Moroney, Andrew Owens. Subs: Dylan Flynn, Patrick O’Donnell, Luke Moriarty.