Laune Rangers 5-6, Firies 1-10
Laune Rangers hold a share of top spot in Division 2, after five goals laid the foundation for an away victory over Firies in Páirc Eamon in Farranfore.
Firies flew out of the traps and were ahead early on, aided by a stiff breeze at their backs. An Aaron Flynn point from the edge of the D opened the scoring before Firies scored the first goal of the game – TJ Palmer continuing his run after beginning the move before receiving the ball in space from Jack Sherwood and slotting the ball into the corner of the net. A Darragh Donoghue point put the home side five ahead after less than four minutes.
Laune Rangers were facing the breeze but settled into the game. A pointed free by Matt Leslie got them off the mark, and some sustained pressure saw chances created in the Firies area. After a couple of near misses, Laune Rangers found the net in the 8th minute as a turnover by Eoin Clifford was capitalized on – Matt Leslie slotting the ball home after being put through by Gearóid Hassett. Another pointed free by Matt Leslie had the sides level at 1-2 a piece.
Laune Rangers took the lead for the first time with their second goal, after Matt Leslie and Gearóid Hassett linked up to put Dáire Cleary through and the forward smashed the ball to the net. Laune Rangers won the resulting kickout and were immediately on the attack again, but the upright came to the home side’s rescue as Gearóid Hassett saw his shot bounce off the post and away to safety. With fifteen minutes played, Laune Rangers led by 2-2 to 1-2.
Dáire Cleary added a point to increase the visitors’ lead, before Laune Rangers pounced for their third goal – Matt Leslie dropping the ball into the square for Eoin O’Sullivan to get a crucial touch to put it over the line to see a gree flag raised, albeit after some discussion with the umpire.
Firies closed out the half well, and scored points through Donnchadh O’Sullivan (mark), Jake Flynn and John O’Rourke to leave the home side trailing by four at the break. Half Time Score:- Firies 1-5, Laune Rangers 3-3.
The gains Firies had made late in the first half were wiped out at the beginning of the second as Eoin O’Sullivan scored his second goal. This one was much more emphatic than his first – the full forward playing a ‘1-2’ with Gearóid Hassett before rounding the goalkeeper and rattling the net. A Dáire Cleary point was nullified by a Donnchadh O’Sullivan free before Eoin O’Sullivan pointed another for the away side to leave Laune Rangers ahead by 4-5 to 1-6 with fifteen minutes remaining.
A fifth goal was added by Laune Rangers, and it was Eoin O’Sullivan who completed his hat-trick with the crucial touch on a dropping ball, aided by a deflection from a defender. Darragh Donoghue and Shane Doona traded frees, while Firies added late points through James Horgan (two frees) and Cian Doe. Laune Rangers would come close to scoring a sixth goal late on, but Shane Doona’s shot was saved by Trevor O’Shea. Full Time Score:- Firies 1-10, Laune Rangers 5-6.
Firies:- Trevor O’Shea, Chris Palmer, Diarmuid Brosnan, Brian O’Leary, TJ Palmer (1-0), Niall Donoghue, Diarmuid O’Mahony, Jack Sherwood, 19, Darragh Donoghue (0-2, 1f), Jake Flynn (0-1), John O’Rourke (0-1f), Darragh Brosnan, Donnchadh O’Sullivan (0-2, 1f, 1mk), Aaron Flynn (0-1). Subs: Pat Daly, Conall O’Mahony, James Horgan (0-2f), Cian Doe (0-1), Seán Cooper
Laune Rangers:- Jason Browne, Ryan Diggin, David Mangan (jt capt), Seán Cleary, Eoin Clifford, Patrick Carey, Calum Moriarty, Shane Daly, Stephen Sealy, John Tyther, Dáire Cleary (jt capt, 1-2), Rory O’Connor, Eoin O’Sullivan (3-1), Matthew Leslie (1-2, 2f), Gearóid Hassett (0-1). Subs: John Burke, Eoghan Hassett, Shane Doona (0-1f), Daragh O’Connor.