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