Glen­beigh/ Glen­car re­gain Mid Kerry ti­tle as Rangers wait goes on

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - SPORT - REF­EREE: Ed­die Walsh (Rath­more) JA­SON O’CON­NOR

AN en­ter­tain­ing af­fair last Sun­day as Laune Rangers came very close to end­ing their twelve-year wait for a Mid Kerry ti­tle.

How­ever, in the end Glen­beigh / Glen­car’s more ex­pe­ri­enced heads held true in the club win­ning their fourth dis­trict hon­our this decade. They might not have wanted to wait un­til the fi­nal minute of nor­mal time to go ahead for the first time, but with Dar­ran O’Sul­li­van and Tommy Cahill able to find their way to scores that swung the con­test in their favour, they showed great per­se­ver­ance to see off the home side’s youth­ful en­ergy.

Any­one that thought Rangers’ win over hold­ers Beaufort in the semi-fi­nal was a mat­ter of good for­tune cer­tainly got plenty to make them think again with how they dic­tated the con­test in the first pe­riod.

Three points in the open­ing four min­utes, the third com­ing from Peter Crow­ley got them go­ing as even though Glen­beigh / Glen­car were level by the eighth minute an­other run of suc­ces­sive scores by the hosts, this time a to­tal of four points had them in a very strong po­si­tion ap­proach­ing the fi­nal 10 min­utes of the half at 0-7 to 0-3.

Fi­achra Clif­ford and Daire Cleary were re­ally catch­ing the eye with their abil­ity to trou­ble the Glen­beigh / Glen­car de­fence and it was no sur­prise they were the play­ers in­volved in Laune Rangers’ goal.

With Cahill hav­ing left a point be­tween the sides ap­proach­ing the 29th minute, mat­ters ap­peared finely poised as a fast break down field saw Cleary find Clif­ford for a per­fect pass as the Kerry Un­der 20 fin­ished well for a goal that had the hosts 1-8 to 0-7 to the good.

Glen­beigh / Glen­car’s re­sponse was strong how­ever, Kieran Court­ney and Dar­ran O’Sul­li­van reg­is­ter­ing points be­fore the half-time whis­tle, the lat­ter pos­si­bly in need a view from ‘Hawk­eye’, but the half-time score was now 1-8 to 0-9.

Clif­ford and Costel­loe gave them Laune Rangers their four­point lead back af­ter the break, but Glen­beigh / Glen­car’s first point of the sec­ond pe­riod in the 35th minute was a set­back more than Jack Bros­nan rais­ing a white flag.

Peter Crow­ley tried to stop the wing-back’s foray for­ward but in­jured him­self in the process and though he con­tin­ued un­til the fi­nal minute of nor­mal time, Crow­ley had lit­tle ef­fect on the rest of the con­test.

Score­board wise the goal was still sep­a­rat­ing the sides, but more be­lief ap­peared to be gath­er­ing in the vis­it­ing ranks. At the three-quar­ter mark it was 1-11 to 0-11, but three min­utes later came a schmoz­zle that had cer­tainly aided the even­tual vic­tors.

Laune Rangers cap­tain Johnny Carey had a big hit on Cahill, which drew Glen­beigh / Glen­car’s ire. A com­ing to­gether re­sulted which saw play­ers from both sides in­volved and when mat­ters calmed down, no ac­tion was taken by ref­eree Ed­die Walsh de­spite mat­ters get­ting rather heated.

A free from Dar­ran O’Sul­li­van in the 52nd minute made it a two­point game as Laune Rangers de­fender Seán Arthurs had to make a big clear­ance soon af­ter as a fine free from Shane Daly in the 54th minute proved to the hosts last score.

O’Sul­li­van was com­ing to the fore when it mat­tered how­ever as a brace of points with a Daniel Grif­fin ef­fort sand­wiched in be­tween had the game level at 0-15 to 1-12 af­ter 58 min­utes.

Rangers were very much in sur­vival mode at this point as a goal­mouth scram­ble ap­peared to have been averted only for a free to be awarded against them for which Cahill slot­ted over for the lead for Glen­beigh / Glen­car for the very first time.

His sixth point made sure of it in the third minute of in­jury time as their op­po­nents failed to get a sig­nif­i­cant chance to sal­vage mat­ters be­fore the fi­nal whis­tle.

Of Glen­beigh / Glen­car’s four ti­tles this decade this is the third one that they have beaten Laune Rangers in the fi­nal as they pre­pare for life un­der new man­age­ment now with Ai­dan O’Shea step­ping away from the role.

We might have got a glimpse of a more promis­ing fu­ture for Laune Rangers, how­ever, with some of their un­der­age suc­cess start­ing to move up to se­nior level. Ex­pe­ri­ences like last Sun­day will smarten a lot of their younger con­tin­gent on what is needed to win at this level.

GLEN­BEIGH/GLEN­CAR: Donal O’Neill; Seán Roche, Ciaran Doyle, Oisín O’Con­nor; Jack Bros­nan (0-1), Pa Kilkenny, Seán O’Sul­li­van; Colin McGuil­licuddy (0-1), Fer­gal Grif­fin (0-1); Adrian O’Con­nor, Caoilm Tea­han, Tommy Cahill (0-6, 2f), Kieran Court­ney (0-1), Daniel Grif­fin (0-2), Dar­ran O’Sul­li­van (0-5, 1f) Subs: Dara Casey for Adrian O’Con­nor, Shane Rior­dan for Roche, Ja­son McKenna for Stephen O’Sul­li­van and Caoilte Pur­cell

for Fer­gal Grif­fin

LAUNE RANGERS: Ja­son Browne; Seán Arthurs, Jonathon Carey, Cor­mac John­ston; Pa­trick Carey, Peter Crow­ley (0-1), Michael O’Sul­li­van; Jack O’Con­nor, John Tyther (0-1); Fi­achra Clif­ford (1-5, 4f), Kieran Donna, Conor Mur­phy; Daire Cleary, Colm O’Shea (0-3, 2f), David Costel­loe (0-1) Subs: Shane Daly (0-1, 1f) for O’Shea, Dar­ragh O’Con­nor for Doona, Pierce Tyther for Crow­ley and Pa­trick Daly for Mur­phy

re-in­jured his ham­string in the Mill­town / Castle­maine game and couldn’t train prop­erly be­fore to­day, the same with Pa Kilkenny and Seán Roche, but over­all I am happy with how we sal­vaged the sea­son be­cause it would have been easy to throw in the towel half­way through when we were rel­e­gated from Di­vi­sion 1 and had all these in­juries.

“The main thing though was that we were only los­ing a lot of matches by a score and thank­fully what didn’t kill us then cer­tainly made us stronger when it came to this time of the year,” O’Shea said about res­cu­ing their sea­son.

It’s easy to for­get that Glen­beigh / Glen­car were the only side to take a point off Dr Crokes in the County League this year de­spite their rel­e­ga­tion and de­spite O’Shea con­firm­ing he is step­ping away now from the role he still feels there is some­thing for a new man­age­ment to work with in 2019.

“You should have Dar­ran [O’Sul­li­van], Pa [Kilkenny] and Ga­van [O’Grady] back fully for next year, Ga­van was only about a week away from mak­ing this game ac­tu­ally so there is plenty for the play­ers to bounce back from at county level when they start again in the New Year.

“Over­all as a man­age­ment we are very happy with what we achieved over the last three years be­tween two Mid Kerry ti­tles, a Mid Kerry League and the All-Ire­land Ju­nior, it was some­thing to be very proud of.”

The in­tro­duc­tion of Arthur Fitzger­ald to the set-up can be viewed as a boost as well along­side the ef­forts of Peter O’Sul­li­van, O’Shea and his brother Kieran as team physio. Ai­dan him­self might well be con­sid­ered a can­di­date for fur­ther man­age­rial roles in the years to come but in gen­eral for Glen­beigh / Glen­car they en­ter the fi­nal year of the decade with the chance to en­sure half of its ti­tles are theirs.

Only Mill­town / Castle­maine (2010, 2012 and 2014) have the chance to match them, but re­al­is­ti­cally Beaufort and Laune Rangers ap­pear to be their big­gest threat in 2019 at lo­cal level.

With Mike Frank Rus­sell and John Shee­han step­ping away from the se­nior set-up this year, Laune Rangers fielded their first side of non-Mid Kerry win­ners last Sun­day since the dom­i­nance of 1988-2006 when they won the com­pe­ti­tion 16 out of 19 times as part of their 28 wins in to­tal.

John Tyther, Fi­achra Clif­ford and Dáire Cleary should be at the fore­front of their at­tempts to end a 13 year wait along­side Peter Crow­ley.

How­ever, a more im­me­di­ate pri­or­ity must surely be get­ting straight out of Di­vi­sion 4 next year and start­ing the road back to where they were in their prime. Mid Kerry at se­nior level didn’t have a great year in gen­eral in 2018, but the com­pe­ti­tion re­mains fierce for lo­cal hon­ours.

All bar Cro­mane have con­tested a Se­nior Fi­nal this decade in the dis­trict as they will hope there is some chance of chal­leng­ing now Don­nachadh Walsh has hung up the boots at in­ter-county level.

Whether or not it is ever dom­i­nated to the ex­tent it was by Laune Rangers again is hard to say but the play­ing per­son­nel is still there at pre­sent to keep the more ru­ral clubs in con­tention in Mid Kerry.

The new Michael O’Con­nor Cup makes its first visit to the vil­lages of Glen­beigh and Glen­car and it cer­tainly will take pride of place as the club gets ready to en­ter a new phase in 2019.

What didn’t kill us then cer­tainly made us stronger when it came to this time of the year – Ai­dan O’Shea

Main: Glen­beigh Glen­car Se­nior team cel­e­brate their vic­tory in the Mid Kerry Se­nior Cham­pi­onship fi­nal

Pho­tos by Michelle Cooper Galvin

Cen­tre left: Ger Couni­han of Bunkers Bar and Restau­rant pre­sent­ing the Man of the Match Award to Dar­ran O’Sul­li­van Glen­beigh Glen­car at the Mid Kerry Se­nior Cham­pi­onship fi­nal at JP O’Sul­li­van Park, Kil­lor­glin on Sun­dayCen­tre right: Shane Daly, Laune Rangers caught by Seán Roche, Glen­beigh Glen­car in the Mid Kerry Se­nior Cham­pi­onship fi­nal at JP O’Sul­li­van Park

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