County Under 21 Championship Quarter Final
24 May 2023, 7:00 pm
Laune Rangers
1-21 - 2-16
J P O Sullivan Park
Under 21 Men

Match Report

Eoghan Hassett celebrates a goal

Laune Rangers 1-21, Rathmore 2-16

It may have taken 80 minutes to separate the sides, but Laune Rangers eventually overcame Rathmore after a rip-roaring battle in sunny JP O’Sullivan Park on Wednesday evening.

Laune Rangers led by a point at the midway point of the first half.  Eoghan Hassett opened the scoring in the first phase of play but a pointed mark by Ciarán Collins levelled matters, while the two centre forwards traded points again in the following minutes.

Calum Moriarty and Eoghan Hassett points were nullified by Fionn Murphy (free) and Darragh Nagle before Marc Clifford pointed to leave the hosts ahead by 0-5 to 0-4 with fifteen minutes played.

Cian Twomey levelled the game before the first goal of the game put Rathmore ahead for the first time – Fionn Murphy applying the finishing touch from close range after the ball was passed across the goal.

Rathmore were on top for the second quarter with Alan Dineen and Fionn Murphy (2, 1 free) extending the lead to six points – the largest lead of the game – before Tom Whittleton scored an excellent point to leave Laune Rangers trailing by five at the break.

Half Time Score:- Laune Rangers 0-6, Rathmore 1-8.

Points were traded between the sides – Matt Leslie & Eoghan Hassett frees for the hosts cancelled out by Fionn Murphy (free) and Darragh Nagle for Rathmore – to maintain the five point differential at the midway point of the second half.  Laune Rangers went up a gear to score four successive points from play in as many minutes – Rory O’Connor, Matt Leslie (2) and Marc Clifford leaving their team trailing by the minimum.

A superb piece of defending by Killian Spillane halted a Rathmore attack, and Laune Rangers struck for a goal at the other end to take the lead seconds later – Eoghan Hassett winning the race to the ball and  rounding the goalkeeper to tap the ball to the net, after a superb pass by Rory O’Connor who had carried the ball out of defence after the turnover.  Fionn Murphy & Matt Leslie traded pointed frees before a second Rathmore goal put the visitors ahead again – Alan Dineen’s shot adjudged to have crossed the line by the umpires.

Laune Rangers reacted well and, after Callum Russell was denied by Rathmore goalkeeper Ian O’Connor, points were added by Eoghan Hassett (free) and Tom Whittleton (45’) to regain the lead for their team – Darragh Nagle being black carded in this time also.  There was time for more drama as, with five minutes of injury time played, Fionn Murphy scored a long range pointed free to bring the game to extra time.

Score at end of Normal Time:- Laune Rangers 1-21, Rathmore 2-16.

Cathal Ryan had been immense at midfield for Rathmore & had won a number of frees for his side in normal time, and he deservedly got on the scoreboard with the opening point of extra time.  Fionn Murphy added a free for the visitors, but Laune Rangers rallied again with excellent points in quick succession from Ryan Diggin, Matt Leslie and Darragh O’Grady putting the hosts ahead.  A pointed free by Fionn Murphy was cancelled out by one at the other end by Matt Leslie to leave Laune Rangers leading by one as the sides switched sides.

Half Time Score ET:- Laune Rangers 1-19, Rathmore 2-15.

Fionn Murphy levelled matters again with a free and Rathmore had a gilt-edged chance to score a third goal, but David McCarthy’s shot was saved excellently by Adam Carey as Seán Cleary cleared his lines.  That served as a shift in momentum as Laune Rangers found a last pocket of energy, and Eoghan Hassett followed a point from play with another from a free for a two point lead.  A late throw of the dice led to some mayhem in front of goal but Laune Rangers came out with the ball and the final whistle was blown.

Full Time Score AET:- Laune Rangers 1-21, Rathmore 2-16.

Rathmore’s Alan Dineen and Cathal Ryan showed great leadership gained from their experience on the way to an All Ireland Intermediate title last year, while Fionn Murphy looks like he’ll be a huge asset as they navigate Senior Championship football again this year.

Laune Rangers’ Tom Whittleton was a huge force in midfield, while Rory O’Connor, Ryan Diggin and Seán Cleary led the lines at the back.  Having missed the Round 1 victory, Eoghan Hassett’s 1-3 from play was a huge part of the Laune Rangers win.

Laune Rangers:- Adam Carey, Killian Spillane, Seán Cleary, Matt Reenstierna, Ryan Diggin (0-1), Rory O’Connor (0-1), James Treacy, Calum Moriarty (capt, 0-1), Tom Whittleton (0-2, 1 45’), Jack Healy, Eoghan Hassett (1-7, 4f), Cillian Foley, Jack O’Sullivan, Matthew Leslie (0-6, 3f), Marc Clifford (0-2).  Subs: Darragh O’Grady (0-1) for Healy, Callum Russell for Foley, Cathal O’Callaghan for Treacy, Adam Owens for Clifford, Tom Garry for O’Sullivan.  ET Subs: Jack O’Sullivan for Owens, James Treacy for Diggin, Marc Clifford for Garry.

Rathmore:- Ian O’Connor, Jack Buckley, Alan Dineen (capt, 1-1), Daniel Sheehan, Michael Dennehy, Daniel Moynihan, Brian Murphy, Cathal Ryan (0-1), Cian Twomey (0-1), David McCarthy, Ciarán Collins (0-2, 1 mk), Shane Daly, Darragh Nagle (0-2), Fionn Murphy (1-9, 8f), Aaron Cronin.  Subs (both in ET): Jack Quinn for Sheehan, Daniel Herlihy for Twomey.

U21 team vs Rathmore 24-05-2023