Minor Football League Division 2 Final Final
16 April 2024, 7:00 pm
Laune Rangers
3-13 - 2-13
Austin Stack Park
Minor Boys

Match Report

Keane’s SuperValu County Minor Football League, Division 2 Final



Laune Rangers: 3-13

Ballymacelligott: 2-13


On Tuesday evening in a cold and windy Austin Stack Park, Laune Rangers minors came out on top in a thrilling match against a gallant Ballymacelligott team.

Played on a perfect surface, and refereed very well by Mike Hennessy, Laune Rangers, playing against the strong wind, got the scoring started with a point from an Adam O’Neill free in the 1st attack of the game in the opening minute. Ballymacelligott dominated possession after this for the next 17 minutes, scoring 8 of the next 9 points, 3 by Jack Joy, of which 2 were frees, Ciaran O’Connell (2), and 1 apiece from Michael Quirke, Eoin Moriarty, and Gearóid Healy. Laune Rangers’ sole score during this barren period was a good point from play by Dylan Flynn. Tomás Joy scored a point from play to make it 8 points to 3 in favour of Ballymacelligott after 20 minutes. Laune Rangers came close to scoring a badly needed goal when Colm Evans saw his shot come back off the post after he was on the end of a good move. Jack Joy then added 1 from play,  then another from a free, while Adam O’Neill replied with a free for Rangers at the town end of the pitch. Stephen Turner and Michael Quirke scored 2 more from play for Ballymacelligott as they tried to bring a big lead into the break. Tomás Joy got the final score of the half, a point from a free,  to leave the halftime score showing 0-12 to 0-6 in favour of Ballymacelligott. Although Laune Rangers were down by 6, they had been playing against a very strong wind. They had created the only goal scoring opportunity of the half, and as they proved in the semi-final against Spa, which went to extra time, they have a fierce never say die attitude, so our many supporters in the sizeable crowd were quietly confident that these young men from the banks of the Laune could turn things around in the 2nd half.

Although the wind was not as strong in the 2nd half, the words at halftime by the management team of Shane O’Sullivan, Pierce Prendeville, Aidan Spillane and Pat O’Shea to the players had the desired effect, as it really got them in the right frame of mind for the task ahead. Another member of the management,  John O’Donnell, was away but kept in touch by phone to offer his words of wisdom. Laune Rangers had 3 points from play on the board inside 3 minutes from John Horgan, Patrick O’Donnell, and Adam O’Neill to bring the gap down to 3 points. Jack Joy restored Ballymacelligott’s lead to 6 points in the 5th minute after a well taken solo goal. Laune Rangers bounced back again with a point from play by John Horgan. Rangers were now dominating throughout the pitch, especially in midfield, where Charlie O’Sullivan and captain Alex Garry really turned things around after a tough opening half. Rangers’ 1st goal of the game came in the 13th minute, an exquisite finish from Charlie O’Sullivan after he drove through the heart of the Ballymac defence. Tomás Joy converted a free from the next attack,  then in the 16th minute of the half, James Jones got up the pitch to palm in a goal after good work by John Horgan and Colm Evans to put Laune Rangers in front for the first time since the 1st minute of the match. Colm Evans then added a point from play to put Rangers up by 3 with 20 minutes gone in the half. This good Ballymacelligott team did not lie down and accept defeat, though. They attacked the Laune defence in droves. The brave and disciplined defending by all 6 backs was excellent during this period with Ciarán Birmingham,  Aaron Doyle, and Daniel Kelly bravely throwing their bodies on the line to keep Ballymacelligott out. The pressure told eventually,  with Ciaran O’Connell scoring the equalising goal for Ballymac in the 25th minute. In the next minute, Laune Rangers replied with the score of the match. Conor West who gathered the ball near the terrace sideline, played one of the best passes ever seen on this famous pitch in to the arms of the inrushing Adam O’Neill, who did not even have to break stride before dinking it over the Ballymac keeper. That pass from Conor was worth the entrance fee alone. 3 minutes later, Tomás Joy added a point from a free to extend the margin out to 4 points. The 4 extra minutes of added time was nail biting for the followers of the Laune,  as Ballymacelligott pushed hard to close the gap. They were denied a goal after an excellent save from Adam Radny went over the bar, but they couldn’t get any closer as these young men from Killorglin were not going to let it slip. There were joyous scenes on the pitch and in the stand. when the long whistle was blown.

Ballymacelligott deserve great credit for their sporting contribution to an enthralling match.

It was hard to single anyone out, as all the players on view performed magnificently, but the man of the match deservedly went to Adam O’Neill. Our captain, Alex Garry, then accepted the trophy on behalf of his team and management. It is onwards and upwards for those young men. The future looks bright.


Laune Rangers: Adam Radny, Daniel Kelly, Conor Sheehan, Ciarán Birmingham, Dylan Flynn (0-1), James Jones (1-0), Aaron Doyle, Alex Garry, Charlie O’Sullivan (1-0), Colm Evans (0-1), Adam O’Neill (1-3), Oran O’Sullivan (0-1), Tomás Joy (0-4), John Horgan (0-2), Patrick O’Donnell (0-1).  Subs: Liam O’Connell for Dylan Flynn (inj), Rian Hogan for Oran O’Sullivan, Conor West for Patrick O’Donnell,  Bryan McKenna, Callum Russell,  Brian Foley, Colm O’Shea, Reece Mangan, Ned O’Grady.