U21 FOOTBALL: Austin Stacks 1-12; Laune Rangers 0-9.
First on Tuesday evening it was our Minors who had a seven points win in their Co. Championship quarter final tie against West Kerry. Then on Wednesday evening it was the turn of our U16s with a six points win in Division 1 of the Co. League and on this Thursday evening (15th Aug) in Connolly Park our U21s continued with that winning streak with another six points win against Laune Rangers in the quarter final of their Co. Championship encounter.
We opened briskly and had three points on the board within six minutes. The first came after just twenty two seconds with David Fitzmaurice winning the throw-in, finding Ferdia O’Brien who gave to Donagh McKivergan who pointed. The next point came in the fifth minute from Seán Quilter, following a beautiful slick move which was started by goalkeeper Robbie Murphy and continued by Adam Curran, David Fitz and Shane Walsh. Shane was involved again in the third point which came when he won the kick-out and put Michael O’Gara through who put over.
Rangers first score came from a pointed free in the 9th minute and then we put over three more points in quick succession – Seán Quilter for a forty five and two from play by Donagh McKivergan again and Conor Myers. There was no score then until the 23rd minute as play was held up on two occasions with a player for each side going down injured – Dylan Casey our player needing attention. We are glad to say that both players recovered fully. That next score was a pointed free for the opposition which was cancelled out within a minute by a point from play by Ferdia O’Brien. As the game went into added time we we were ahead by 0-7 to 0-2 but in the six minutes of added time Rangers scored four points without reply to leave them just one behind at the break (0-7 to 0-6).
Eight minutes elapsed after the resumption before Rangers got the first score of the second half to draw level for the first time in the game. That was still the position after the 46th minute when both sides had added just two points each – ours coming from two pointed frees by Seán Quilter and Ferdia O’Brien. We went ahead again in the 50th minute when Gearóid Sheehan’s quick pass found Michael O’Gara who put over his second of the evening. Two minutes later came what turned out to be the game changer. David Fitzmaurice, as he had done all evening, won the kick-out. He quickly found Gearóid Sheehan who passed to the onrushing Dylan Casey and team captain Dylan shot low to the net for the only goal of the game. Conor Myers and Donagh McMahon added two more points in the closing minutes to qualify us for our first semi final since 2013.
This was another all-round brilliant performance by our lads. How many times did our defenders come to the rescue when a very dangerous Rangers forward line looked like landing the fatal blows. If it wasn’t Shane Kelliher and Dylan Casey it was Dara Barry Walsh and Adam Curan or Brandon Patterson and Eoghan Carroll. David Fitz and Shane Walsh were outstanding at centre field and up front five of our starting forwards got on the score sheet.
We now are the only Club team to get to the last four, and are joined by East Kerry, St. Brendans and the winners of Feale Rangers or Kenmare District for the semi final draw.
Team: Robbie Murphy, Shane Kelliher, Dylan Casey (Capt) (1-0), Dara Barry Walsh, Adam Curran, Brandon Patterson, Eoghan Carroll, David Fitzmaurice, Shane Walsh, Rory Forbes, Ferdia O’Brien (0-2 – one free), Michael 0’Gara (0-2), Seán Quilter (0-3 – one free, one forty five), Donagh McKivergan (0-2), Conor Myers (0-2).
Subs used: Donagh McMahon (ht) (0-1), Gearóid Sheehan (40m), Luke Chester (46m), Daniel O’Rourke (57m), Michael Linnane (59m).