Laune Rangers 2-8, Ardfert 0-8
For a fourth time in five seasons, Laune Rangers claimed the Central Region Division 1 Minor title on Tuesday evening with victory over Ardfert in Austin Stack Park.
The opening stages were high in intensity and skill levels but low in scores, and it was the tenth minute before the scoreboard operator was troubled as John Burke pointed a free. However, Ardfert replied with a pointed free of their own, as scores were level at 0-1 a piece with fifteen minutes played.
The sides traded scores again – Ardfert pointing to give them what would be their sole lead of the game only for Rangers captain John Tuohy to level matters with a well taken point. Laune Rangers scored their first goal in the 18th minute as John Burke finished a fine run from midfield by slotting the ball to the net off the ground from the edge of the penalty area. Ardfert pointed twice (one free) before Burke’s midfield partner Patryk Radny pointed excellently from long range. Another pointed free for Ardfert saw Laune Rangers leading by the minimum at the break.
Half Time Score:- Laune Rangers 1-3, Ardfert 0-5.
Oisín Birmingham opened the second half scoring with a point and, after Ardfert had pointed at the other end, the centre back Birmingham pointed again having linked up well with John Burke and Stevie Gannon in the process. At the midway point of the second half, Laune Rangers led by 1-5 to 0-6.
It was in the final quarter that Laune Rangers pulled away to claim the Central Region title. Stevie Gannon followed up a pointed free with Laune Rangers second goal – John Burke with a great run before feeding the forward who found the net to put his side six ahead. Ryan Carey and Darragh Clifford added excellent points to extend the lead as time ran down. Two pointed frees were added late on by Ardfert to leave two goals between the sides as the final whistle sounded.
Full Time Score:- Laune Rangers 2-8, Ardfert 0-8.
John Burke’s first half goal gave Laune Rangers a lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game. The defensive effort by Rangers was outstanding throughout, led by the two shoring up the middle Oisín Birmingham and Shane Clifford – the former adding a couple of points to an impressive shift at centre back while the latter was immense at full back. A young Laune Rangers team – missing a number of players with 11 of the starting team in their first year of Minor – will now look ahead to the County Minor Championship as they travel to face South Kerry on Monday, July 18th.
Laune Rangers:- Conor Buckley, Seán O’Donnell, Shane Clifford, Matthew Spillane, John Tuohy (capt, 0-1), Oisín Birmingham (0-2), Gavan Mangan, John Burke (1-1, 1f), Patryk Radny (0-1), Rian O’Sullivan, Ryan Carey (0-1), Niall T O’Brien, Seán Diggin, Stephen Gannon (1-1, 1f), Darragh Clifford (0-1). Subs used:- Devin Hogan for O’Sullivan, Callum O’Sullivan for Diggin, Denis McGeever for O’Donnell, Cathal Moroney for Carey; Eoin O’Connell.