Laune Rangers 2-8, Keel/Listry 2-13
The ‘Drive for Five’ consecutive Mid Kerry Minor Championships by Laune Rangers came to a halt on Sunday afternoon in Milltown, as last year’s beaten finalists Keel/Listry returned to take the Derry O’Sullivan Memorial Shield for the first time since 2014.
The young Laune Rangers squad has been depleted by injuries in recent weeks, and they took the field with only 5 of their XV in their ‘full’ Minor year. Keel/Listry were seen by many as favourites to take the title, and they showed why in the first half as they mounted attack after attack. Darragh Clifford had pointed excellently to cancel out an early pointed free by Cathal O’Donoghue, but the amalgamation powered on with O’Donoghue added two more frees before Tadhg Gosney blasted the ball to the top corner of the net from outside the square. A Tadhg Gosney point nullified by Darragh Clifford for Rangers to leave the contenders leading the champions by 1-4 to 0-2 with fifteen minutes played.
John Burke pointed a free for Laune Rangers to halve the gap, but Keel/Listry had a strong second quarter. Paul Costello & Cathal O’Donoghue (two, one free) added to the lead to put the combination in a strong position at the break.
Half Time Score:- Laune Rangers 0-3, Keel/Listry 1-7.
Laune Rangers had enough of a hill to climb as it was, but Keel/Listry added a second goal a minute after the restart – a dropping ball knocked into the net after the forward rose to the air with Rangers goalkeeper Conor Buckley.
Laune Ranger would have been forgiven if they dropped their heads at this point, but they battled on, and were quick to cancel out that second goal with one of their own – Seánie Diggin rattling the net from outside the square for a goal very similar to Keel/Listry’s first.
Keel/Listry added two more points, but Laune Rangers had gained some momentum from that goal and scored excellent points through Oisín Birmingham (two), Darragh Clifford (free) & John Burke to see the sides separated by five points with fifteen minutes to play – 2-9 to 1-7.
Keel/Listry added three points to stretch their lead again, but Laune Rangers netted their second goal through substitute James Jones who, in a mirror image of Keel/Listry’s second goal, contested a dropping ball with the goalkeeper and punched it to the net. Jones added an excellent point a couple of minutes later to leave just three between the sides, but Keel/Listry added a couple of late points on the counter attack, and the amalgamated side secured the Mid Kerry Minor Championship title.
Full Time Score:- Laune Rangers 2-8, Keel/Listry 2-13.
Laune Rangers:- Conor Buckley, Tim Mangan (capt), Shane Clifford, Joseph O’Neill, Gavan Mangan, Eoin O’Connell, Oisín Birmingham (0-2), John Burke (0-2, 1f), Patryk Radny, Ryan Carey, Niall T O’Brien, John Tuohy, Darragh Clifford (0-3, 1f), Stephen Gannon, Seán Diggin (1-0). Subs: Rian O’Sullivan for Carey, James Jones for D Clifford, John Horgan for Diggin.