John Mitchels 0-8, Laune Rangers 2-9
Two of Kerry football’s oldest and most storied clubs collided in Tralee on Sunday afternoon as John Mitchels hosted Laune Rangers, and the Killorglin men showed no sign of the post-Puck blues as it was Laune Rangers who came away with a much needed win in sweltering albeit overcast conditions.
The visitors had a bright start and almost had the ball in the net with the first kick of the game, but David Mangan’s shot was saved excellently by Seán Broderick in the John Mitchels goal. However, the away side continued to apply pressure and the first point of the game soon followed as Gearóid Hassett set up his brother Eoghan to score in the pair’s first outing together in Senior football. Midfield pair Jack O’Connor and Shane Daly added a point each to put Laune Rangers three ahead after four minutes.
John Mitchels’ talisman Alan O’Donoghue was causing problems for the Laune Rangers defence and he was awarded a free that was dispatched by James Duggan for the home side’s first score. Gearóid Hassett scored an excellent long range point for Laune Rangers but it was soon nullified by a pointed free by Niall Sheehy and at the first half water break, Laune Rangers led by 0-4 to 0-2.
Alan O’Donoghue and Niall Sheehy added points from play to level matters, but Laune Rangers responded well and a well taken point by wing back Calum Moriarty was followed by another by Fiachra Clifford to restore the two point cushion. This deficit was halved before the short whistle though, as James Duggan pointed a free to leave the hosts trailing by one at the break.
Half Time Score- John Mitchels 0-5, Laune Rangers 0-6.
It was in the third quarter that Laune Rangers pushed on to win this tie as, after Shane O’Connor had kicked a well taken equalizer a couple of minutes into the half, Eoghan Hassett nudged Laune Rangers ahead with an excellent point of his own. A two minute spell between the 38th and 40th minute put the visitors in control of the game, though, with the game’s only two goals. The first came after some great team play saw Shane Daly give an excellent final pass to Eoin Clifford to finish past Seán Broderick. The second goal followed two minutes later as Gearóid Hassett was fouled inside the square and John Tyther dispatched the penalty to the net with ease – incidentally the away side’s only score in the game not coming from play.
John Mitchels had a mountain to climb but they had time to do it, as a Shane Daly black card just before the second water break gave the Tralee side a 10 minute man advantage as Shane O’Connor scored his second of the day. With a quarter of the game to play, Laune Rangers led by 2-7 to 0-7.
An eye catching Fiachra Clifford point was nullified by an Alan O’Donoghue pointed free as the visitors managed the sin-bin period well and, after Laune Rangers restored parity in personnel, substitute Darragh O’Grady added a late point to put three scores between the sides. O’Grady also had a late goal chance that went just wide, but the win was secured as the final whistle was blown.
Full Time Score- John Mitchels 0-8, Laune Rangers 2-9.
A game that was low in scores was still an entertaining tussle. John Mitchels were best served by centre forward Shane O’Connor as well as lively wing back Paudie White whose pace caused havoc down his flank. The victors had an impressive spread of scorers with nine different players contributing to their eleven scores. Fiachra Clifford & Eoghan Hassett scored two each and were a constant danger, while Shane Daly – albeit seeing out 10 minutes on the sideline – put in a great shift with his midfield partner Jack O’Connor and the former stood out with some great passes that directly led to scores.
John Mitchels:- Seán Broderick, Ciarán White, Thomas Kearns, Cian Sheridan, Paudie White, Mikey Walsh, John Horgan (capt), Pat Kearney, Conor Hurley, Cian Holden, Shane O’Connor (0-2), Mikey Kelliher, Alan O’Donoghue (0-2, 1f), Niall Sheehy (0-2, 1f), James Duggan (0-2f). Subs: Akeem Molloy, Stephen Bowler, George Bastible, Jonathan O’Halloran.
Laune Rangers:- Jason Browne, Oisín Daly, Patrick Carey, Ryan Diggin, Seán Cleary, David Mangan, Calum Moriarty (0-1), Shane Daly (0-1), Jack O’Connor (0-1), Stephen Sealy, Fiachra Clifford (0-2), Eoin Clifford (capt, 1-0), Eoghan Hassett (0-2), Gearóid Hassett (0-1), John Tyther (1-0, pen). Subs: Darragh O’Grady (0-1) for Tyther, Rory O’Connor for J O’Connor, Shane Doona for E Hassett, Daniel Macbeth for G Hassett, Daragh O’Connor for Carey.