Minor Co League Div 1 Final FT Austin Stacks 2-10 Laune Rangers 3-11
Last Saturday night our minors took on Laune Rangers in the Minor Co. League Div 1 final and were well fancied to defend their title. Laune Rangers however had other ideas . . .
Stacks started well and had 2 points on the scoreboard (point from play by Michael Slattery & a free by Sean Quilter) before Laune Rangers struck for their 1st goal of the evening. Rangers followed up with 3 well taken points from play before Daniel O’Rourke won a close in free for Stacks which Michael Slattery duly converted. Laune Rangers were dominating and scored 2 more points (one from play and one free) to leave the scores Austin Stacks 0-3 Laune Rangers 1-5 after 17 minutes. Stacks then introduced substitutes Gearoid Sheehan and David Couchman . We were into the 27th minute of the 1st half when Michael Slattery found the ball out on the end line and weaved his way through the Rangers defence to find Gearóid Fitzgerald who was on hand to punch the ball to the net. This was quickly followed up by the best Stacks move of the match when Donagh Mc Mahon burst out of defence, found the unmarked Gearóid Sheehan who slipped a beautiful pass to Michael Slattery before Michael passed to the on-running Conor Myers who made no mistake and scored our 2nd goal. A score which brought us right back into the game as the half time whistle blew HT Austin Stacks 2-3 Laune Rangers 1-7.
The 2nd half started with a point scored from a difficult angel by Michael Slattery after a quick free by Gearoid Fitzgerald. Laune Rangers responded with a point from play. A misplaced sideline kick was won back by Michael Slattery who again found Conor Myers who kicked a good point from play. Laune Rangers chipped in with a point but Stacks were now in the ascendancy and kicked three more unanswered points from play (Michael O’Gara, Michael Slattery and Daniel O’Rourke). With 8 minutes left on the clock the score line read Austin Stacks 2-8 (14) Laune Rangers 1-9 (12). Laune Rangers converted a close range free to bring the game back to a point and into the melting pot once more.
The pivotal score of the game came in the 55th minute when Laune Rangers got in for their 2nd goal of the evening which was palmed to the net by Shane Doona following a great run by Gearoid Hassett. Another point from play by Laune Rangers was cancelled out by a free converted by Michael Slattery. Laune Rangers had a 2 point lead at the 60th minute and with 4 minutes of injury time to be played Stacks now came in search of the all elusive goal. Our defence was stretched as we threw caution to the wind and raced up the field in search of a winner but the match was wrapped up when Rangers broke that attack down and finding miles of open space in front of them man of the match Gearoid Hassett struck for their 3rd goal of the evening in the 62nd minute. A consolation point for Stacks was scored by Gearóid Fitzgerald before referee Tom Moriarty blew for full time to the delight of the Laune Rangers players and supporters.
Congratulations to Laune Rangers who will celebrate this important win for their club. They last won the Minor Co. League Div 1 title back in 1998 and so this along with their U14 Div 1 Féile victory a few weeks ago bodes very well for the future of the famous Mid Kerry club. Hard luck to our team who have trained so hard over many months, there will without doubt be better days ahead for this very talented bunch of players.
Team: Ben Quilter, James Quigley, Donagh Mc Mahon, Eoghan Carroll, Dara Barry Walsh, Dylan Casey, Adam Curran, Michael O’Gara (0-1), Sean Quilter (0-1 free), Sean Carmody, Daniel O’Rourke (0-1), Dean Scanlon, Conor Myers (1-1), Gearóid Fitzgerald (1-1), Michael Slattery (0-5 – 2 frees) , David Oba, David Couchman (for Dean Scanlon), Gearóid Sheehan (for Sean Carmody), Jack Mc Grath, Tom O’Farrell, Craig Teahan, Luke Chester, Niall Fitzmaurice, Joe Looby, Danny Draghici, David Burke, Charlie Curran, Kaito Ikeuchi, Padraig Linnae.
Thanks to our Minor Team Mentors Darragh Long, Mikey Collins, David Mannix, Paudie Mc Quinn, David Scanlon & Ger Mannix.
photographs by Adrienne Mc Loughlin: