County Under 21 Championship QF
29 May 2024, 7:00 pm
Laune Rangers
2-9 - 0-10
North Kerry
J P O Sullivan Park
Under 21 Men

Match Report

Ask Acorn County U21 Football Championship, Quarter-Final

Report by Aidan Clifford


Laune Rangers 2-9

North Kerry 0-10


There were jubilant scenes in JP O’Sullivan Park on Wednesday evening after Laune Rangers defeated competition favourites North Kerry to progress to the Semi Finals of the Acorn Life Under 21 Championship for a second consecutive year – reversing the result from the penultimate stage in 2023 when North Kerry eliminated them en route to winning the competition.

It took some goalkeeping heroics from Adam Carey who pulled off a series of point blank saves as well as key goals from Stephen Gannon & John Burke to finish five point victors having trailed by four with 42 minutes on the clock.

A tentative first quarter saw defences on top, but points from Cormac Dillon & Pa Walsh gave the visitors the lead.  Marc Clifford came close to the game’s first goal, but his shot rattled the crossbar and went over for a point, leaving Laune Rangers trailing by 0-2 to 0-1 with fifteen minutes played.

Rory Mahony extended the lead for North Kerry but Laune Rangers grew into the game in the second quarter, and Darragh Clifford followed a free with a punched effort from play to level matters.

Darragh Clifford gave Laune Rangers the lead temporarily with a pointed free, but it was soon cancelled out by a free by Arron Carey while Cormac Dillon slotted another to restore the North Kerry lead with the last kick before the break.


Half Time Score:- Laune Rangers 0-4, North Kerry 0-5.


North Kerry powered on after the interval & Rory Mahony doubled their lead, although Adam Carey forced it over the bar with a great save to deny a goal.  Adam Carey would deny his namesake Arron Carey a few minutes later with another save but Cormac Dillon did slot a free to put three between the sides.

A seminal moment in the game came in the 42nd minute when Darragh Clifford saw a great point ruled out by the match officials who signalled a wide.  While they conceded another Cormac Dillon free in the immediate aftermath to four behind, it seemed to fire the hosts into action with a now raucous home crowd.

Darragh Clifford pointed a free from a tight angle before Adam Carey pulled off another point blank save to stop North Kerry from doubling their lead.  Darragh Clifford pointed his 5th of the game before Stephen Gannon brought Laune Rangers back to within a point.

Cormac Dillon (free) & John Burke traded points before a 53rd minute goal put Laune Rangers ahead.  Oisín Birmingham carried the ball out of defence before finding Seánie Diggin, who in turn put Stephen Gannon through at the edge of the square, and the 2023 Kerry Minor made no mistake with an excellent finish.

North Kerry were now pushing forward to get back into the game but Laune Rangers defence were equal to all advances, striking on a counter attack to find John Burke in attack.  Burke carried the ball towards goal and, after he was dispossessed of the ball, he maintained his composure and kicked soccer-style through the goalkeeper’s legs into the net for a crucial 2nd goal.

Adam Carey continued his heroics at the other end with another save – this time from John Coolahan – while the backs in front of him held off countless attacks with some last ditch blocks keeping the Rangers net safe.

A Stephen Gannon point put six between the sides and, although Shaun Wren pointed while in search of goal, time would run out for the reigning Champions.


Full Time Score:- Laune Rangers 2-9, North Kerry 0-10.


Laune Rangers will join fellow club side Austin Stacks as well as Divisional sides St Brendans & South Kerry in the Semi Finals of the Acorn Life County Under 21 Championships.


Laune Rangers:- Adam Carey, Shane Clifford, Killian Spillane, Oisín Birmingham, Ciarán O’Sullivan, Ryan Diggin (capt), James Treacy, Tom Whittleton, Calum Moriarty, Mikey O’Donnell, Eoin O’Connell, John Burke (1-1), Darragh Clifford (0-5, 3f), Marc Clifford (0-1), Stephen Gannon (1-2).  Subs: Niall T O’Brien for O’Donnell, Cathal O’Callaghan for O’Connell, Seán Diggin for M Clifford, Gavin Mangan for D Clifford, Patryk Radny for Treacy.


North Kerry:- Kieran Mackessy (Finuge), David Mulvihill (Tarbert), Senan O’Caoimh (Duagh), Joe Finch (Beale), Daithí Twomey (Beale), Adam Segal (Ballyduff), Pa Walsh (Listowel Emmets, 0-1), Robert Stack (Beale), Eddie Healy (Listowel Emmets), Evan Boyle (Ballyduff), Jack McElligott (capt, Listowel Emmets), Danny Stack (Tarbert), Rory Mahony (St Senans, 0-2), Cormac Dillon (Duagh, 0-5, 4f), Arron Carey (Listowel Emmets, 0-1f).  Subs: John Coolahan (Tarbert) for Stack, Conor Egan (Tarbert) for Mulvihill, Shaun Wren (Tarbert, 0-1) for Carey, Oisín Healy (Asdee) for Mahony.