Laune Rangers 1-09
Mid-Kerry Junior League Final
Both Milltown/Castlemaine and Laune Rangers renewed their local rivalry in Cromane in the Final of The Mid Kerry Junior Football League. It was a contest of the highest quality and it took 80 plus minutes to separate these two sides after scores were level after the full-time whistle went following a pulsating duel. On their way to the Final both sides had 4 rounds to complete, Laune Rangers beat Glenbeigh/Glencar, Beaufort and Cromane whilst they had experienced defeat to Milltown/Castlemaine by a solitary point in Round 1. Milltown/Castlemaine beat Glenbeigh/Glencar, Laune Rangers and Cromane en route to the decider whilst falling to a one point defeat to Beaufort so there was expected to be little between these two neighbours. Milltown/Castlemaine played with the aid of a strong breeze in the opening half but it was the Launesiders who started more sharply and John O'Shea opened their account on 5 mins off his left boot. This propelled M/C into action and Kieran O'Carroll who went on to score 0-3 in total from wing-back and receive Man of The Match got M/C on the scoreboard with an immediate reply. Further points from Brendan Delaney, Eoin O'Mahony & Paul Carroll seen M/C open up a commanding 0-5 to 0-1 lead by the 15th minute as Rangers found the wind hard to get any return from. Kieran Doona & O'Shea tagged on 0-2 more points for Rangers to leave it 0-5 to 0-3 but a late Jamie O'Shea free in the half saw M/C lead 0-6 to 0-3 at the interval.
Three late Rangers' points take it to extra time
Laune Rangers would play with the aid of the elements for the 2nd half but Eoin O'Mahony & Kieran O'Carroll tagged on two frees early doors with no little use of force required in order to push the ball through the gale winds. M/C had extended their lead out to 0-9 to 0-5 by the time the 45th min came but Laune Rangers brought themselves right back into matters with 1-1 on the trot as Eamonn Carey goaled from a penalty after a leg block & Shane Daly had pointed from distance just before the penalty so it was game on heading down the home straight. M/C with the help of Jamie O'Shea from frees and another massive Kieran O'Carroll point opened the lead back out to three points heading into injury time but Daniel Whittleton from a '45', John O'Shea and Kieran Doona with an equaliser with the last kick of the match took matters into extra time.
Milltown-Castlemaine bounce back to claim the victory
The second half saw the wind subside and so both sides were on a level playing field in all ways. The early minutes saw strong defence on both sides with many turnovers in possession. Damian Murphy, who had played over 80 minutes in the junior final on the previous Monday night, was invaluable in defence, making a vital interception despite being off balance in the process. At this stage, MC introduced Ciaran O’ Connor, Jerome Flynn and Craig Counihan onto the field of play over the next few minutes. It took until the 10th minute of the second half for the first score to be registered and it was off the boot of Fergal Hallissey who was using his height and strength to much avail. The 19th minute saw Pa Wrenn level matters with a super point having received an equally excellent pass from David Roche. The turning point of the game came in the 21st minute, when Fergal Hallissey palmed the ball into the M/C net and so gave the visitors a 3 point lead, 1/08 to 0/08. MC were unfortunate to lose Brendan Delaney to injury having earlier lost Jonathan O’ Sullivan to a back injury. Jamie O’ Shea popped over a free in the 24th minute to reduce the deficit to just 2 points. Stephen Roche, Kieran O Carroll and Pa Wrenn worked tremendously hard -with their determination resulting in a 45 which Jack McCarthy popped over in the 27th minute. The score was now 1/08 to 10 points and just under 3 minutes left. Could the home-side level matters once again and force the game into extra time? Man of the Match and captain Fergal Hallissey made that very difficult with a further point in the 28th minute to give Beaufort a 2 point lead heading into the dying moments of the game. David Roche fed Gavin McKenna a great ball and he duly popped it over to leave just one point between the sides. However, time ran out and when Peter Lyons blew the full-time whistle, it was Beaufort who was to receive the Dermot Twiss Memorial Cup. Final Score: Beaufort:1/09, M/C:11 points. Congratulations to both panels on a truly wonderful game of football. Thanks to their management teams and trainers for all their work and commitment.