Laune Rangers C 3-14, Austin Stacks C 3-08
The Developmental League Division 1 Shield Final was played in Currow on Sunday afternoon last when Laune Rangers C met Austin Stacks C. These sides met two weeks ago in the final round of the League when Laune Rangers came out on top on that occasion. Rangers were hoping for a similar outcome on Sunday and although they led for long periods of the game, Austin Stacks fought back in the second half to pull the game back to three points. Laune Rangers C, however, held their nerve and ran out deserved winners in the end.
Laune Rangers got off the mark the quicker with a point from the throw-in from wing forward, Mark O’Connor, in the opening seconds. Austin Stacks responded in style when David Leonard pounced for their first goal. Jake Reenstierna, in the Laune Rangers’ goal hesitated in running onto an incoming ball, Leonard however did not, and palmed the ball passed Reenstierna into the Rangers’ net in the 4th minute. Eamonn Carey replied instantly with a point for Laune Rangers before they sprung for their opening goal in the 8th minute when Michael O’Sullivan netted a well-worked and well-taken goal for Laune Rangers to swing the lead back in their favour, Laune Rangers 1-02 to 1-00 Austin Stacks. Both sides swapped points soon after with Leonard pointing for Austin Stacks while Colm O’Shea converted a free for Laune Rangers. Laune Rangers went through for their second goal of the afternoon mid-way through the half when Cian O’Shea found the net to let the score 2-03 to 1-01 in Laune Rangers’ favour.
Laune Rangers continued to kick-on and notched up further points from Cillian Buckley and another Colm O’Shea free to extend their lead some more. The sides traded scores once more with Damien Hogan pointing for Austin Stacks and a Callum Russell effort for Laune Rangers keeping the score-board ticking over, 2-06 to 1-02. Austin Stacks continued to attack and were rewarded with their second goal of the game in the 28th minute. A Gavin Slattery shot rebounded off the crossbar and fell nicely for David Leonard who made no mistake in netting Stacks’, and his own, second of the evening. A final point, again from the boot of Leonard, left just three points between the sides and it all to play for in the second half. Half-time score; Laune Rangers 2-06 to 2-03 Austin Stacks.
Laune Rangers introduced Cormac Johnston in the second half, whose strength and experience showed when called upon. They again started the brighter with points from Cian O’Shea (free) and Michael O’Sullivan in the opening three minutes to push their lead back out to five; 2-08 to 2-03. Cian O’Shea and Damien Hogan swapped scores in the 8th minute before Cathal O’Callaghan went through for Laune Rangers’ third and final goal of the evening in the 11th minute after some good work from Mark O’Connor and Eamonn Carey. Two further points in quick succession from Hogan soon after closed Rangers’ lead somewhat; 3-09 to 2-06 heading into the final quarter.
Daniel Evans added his name to the score-sheet in the 16th minute before Eamonn Carey pointed another to extended their lead back out to eight points once more. 3-11 to 2-06. Austin Stacks, however, continued to battle hard and two Joey Kinsella frees along with the game’s final goal, a well-worked effort from Damien Hogan, suddenly saw Laune Rangers’ lead cut to three points with 22 minutes played. Laune Rangers did not panic and responded with a further Cian O’Shea point along with a cooly taken Callum Russell effort in the 25th minute to give Rangers a five-point cushion once more, 3-13 to 3-08. Both sides worked hard to keep possession in the closing minutes with turn-overs and dispossessions on both ends. It was Cian O’Shea who sent over the final point of the afternoon from a free to let the score at the full-time whistle: Laune Rangers C 3-14 to 3-08 Austin Stacks C.
Kerry GAA Vice-Chairperson, Liam Lynch, was on-hand after the game to present the shield to a delighted Laune Rangers’ captain, Colm O’Shea. Liam paid a lovely tribute to Danny Cahill, RIP, during his speech. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
Laune Rangers C: Jake Reenstierna, Daniel Evans (0-1), Killian Spillane, Cathal O’Callaghan (1-0), Ciarán O’Sullivan, Jonathan Carey, Michael O’Sullivan(1-1), Callum Russell(0-2), Gavin O’Shea, Mark O’Connor(0-1), Cian O’Shea(1-4, 2f), Oisín Flynn, Eamonn Carey(0-2), Colm O’Shea(0-2, 2f), Cillian Buckley(0-1). SUBS: Cormac Johnston, Tom Garry, Joe Langham, Darragh O’Shea.
Austin Stacks C: Brian Horgan, Tom McLoughlin, Joe Reidy, Shane Kelliher, Billy Stack, Gearoid Fitzgerald, Dean Scanlon, Damien Hogan (1-4, 1f), Brian O’Sullivan, Joey Kinsella (0-2, 2f), Jack Doyle, Jimmy Charles, David Leonard (2-2), Darragh Moriarty. SUBS: Gavin Slattery, Ger Teahan, Daniel O’Rourke, Adam Conway.