Laune Rangers squad vs Rathmore. Back Row (L-R):- Eoghan Hassett, Shane Daly, Adam Carey, Marc Clifford, Oisín Daly, John Tyther, Calum Moriarty, Jack O’Connor, Padraig Ahern, Stephen Sealy, Seán Arthurs, Conor Murphy, Darragh O’Grady, Cian O’Shea, Jason Browne, Daniel Macbeth, Cillian Foley. Front Row:- Dáire Cleary, Patrick Daly, Killian Spillane, Fiachra Clifford, Patrick Carey, Eoin Clifford, Gearóid Hassett, David Mangan, Ryan Diggin, James Treacy, Shane Doona, Seán Cleary, Mark O’Connor, Daragh O’Connor
Rathmore 3-11, Laune Rangers 1-16
Laune Rangers have exited the Intermediate Championship at the Quarter Final stage as home side Rathmore staged a second half comeback to win by a single point in Rathbeg on Saturday evening. Both sides made a couple of late changes to the teams they named in the match programme. Dan Murphy and George O’Keeffe came in for Rathmore while David Mangan passed a late fitness test and Padraig Ahern came in for his championship debut in the Laune Rangers goal. The early stages were evenly matched as, after Eoghan Hassett had slotted an early free, Chrissy Spears and Brian Friel pointed to give the home side the lead. Two quick points by John Tyther were followed by another by Gearóid Hassett, but Shane Ryan kicked one at the other end to leave Laune Rangers leading by 0-4 to 0-3 with fifteen minutes played.
Rathmore captain John Moynihan kept his balance under pressure to spilt the posts for a point but a pointed 45 by Laune Rangers’ Gearóid Hassett soon cancelled it out to restore his team’s lead. Shane Ryan may have been heroic between the sticks for Kerry this year but it was in the full forward line alongside his brother Cathal where he plies his trade at club level, and he added another point for the hosts to level matters again. However, Laune Rangers closed the half the stronger side and Seán Cleary, John Tyther (free), Eoghan Hassett (free), & Fiachra Clifford gave the visitors a strong lead at the break. However, it took a fantastic save by Rangers goalkeeper Podge Ahern at point blank range from Cathal Ryan to deny Rathmore their first goal.
Half Time Score:- Rathmore 0-5, Laune Rangers 0-9.
Stephen Sealy opened the second half scoring with a point for Laune Rangers, although it may have been more but his shot flashed over the bar. Gearóid Hassett (two, one mark) and Eoin Clifford added points to see the visitors take an eight point lead. The home crowd mustered a rallying cry to lift their team back into the game, and it worked as momentum began to swing the other way. A Chrissy Spears point lifted Rathmore, and points were added by their full forward line Shane Ryan (mark), Cathal Ryan and John Moynihan to halve their earlier deficit. With fifteen minutes to play, Laune Rangers still led by 0-13 to 0-9.
Rathmore were then just a point behind as they scored the first goal of the game – Mark Reen’s shot taking a fortuitous deflection to loop over the head of Podge Ahern and into the net. After a fifteen minute spell where they conceded an unanswered 1-4, Laune Rangers finally stopped the rot – albeit temporarily – as Fiachra Clifford scored a fantastic point. An outstanding solo goal by Laune Rangers captain Eoin Clifford put the visitors five ahead in the 53rd minute, but Rathmore were lifted by their supporters to come again and they replied with their second goal. A turnover at the kickout saw Podge Ahern scrambling back to his line as a high ball was dropped in, and Shane Ryan beat his man to knock it into the net.
While they still trailed by two, momentum was now firmly in Rathmore’s favour. Paul Murphy’s move into the half forward line in the final quarter was a big part of their upturn in fortunes and he pointed to leave one between the sides. The comeback was complete when Rathmore scored their third goal as Cathal Ryan nestled the ball in the net to put his team ahead by two, & Paul Murphy kicked an excellent second point to give the hosts a 3-11 to 1-14 lead.
A pointed free by Eoghan Hassett was followed by one from play by Calum Moriarty – the wing back scoring a point in all four games in his first Championship campaign – and there was now a single point between the sides. Laune Rangers were awarded a late free that may have been kickable, but with a number of free taking options no longer on the field, they chose to go short, with play eventually breaking down and the final whistle sounding.
Full Time Score:- Rathmore 3-11, Laune Rangers 1-16.
Much fancied favourites Rathmore progress to the penultimate stage of the Championship, but not without receiving a major scare by a young Laune Rangers team who will be hurting after losing an eight point lead. However, with an average age of 22 in their starting team & a number of key players to return, they will learn from knockout Championship experience. John Tyther and Gearóid Hassett were excellent for Rangers and the withdrawal of both players was felt in the latter stages, while team captain Eoin Clifford was simply immense for the visitors.
Rathmore:- Kenneth O’Keeffe, James O’Sullivan, Dan Murphy, Mike Joe Kelliher, Brendan O’Keeffe, Paul Murphy (0-2), Fionn Holohan, Andrew Moynihan, Alan Dineen, George O’Keeffe, Chrissy Spears (0-2), Brian Friel (0-1), Shane Ryan (1-3, 1 mk), Cathal Ryan (1-1), John Moynihan (capt, 0-2). Subs: Ben O’Connor for Kelliher, Mark Ryan for Dineen, Mark Reen (1-0) for O’Keeffe, James Darmody for D Murphy.
Laune Rangers:- Padraig Ahern, Oisín Daly, Patrick Carey, Ryan Diggin, Seán Cleary (0-1), David Mangan, Calum Moriarty (0-1), Shane Daly, Jack O’Connor, Stephen Sealy (0-1), Fiachra Clifford (0-2), Eoin Clifford (capt, 1-1), Eoghan Hassett (0-3f), Gearóid Hassett (0-4, 1 45’, 1 mk), John Tyther (0-3, 1f). Subs: Peter Crowley for Tyther, Dáire Cleary for G Hassett.