Goals de­liver win for im­proved Brendans

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - SPORT - TIMMY SHEE­HAN

Shan­non Rangers 0-16 St Brendans 6-11

A CON­TEST which was com­pet­i­tive and del­i­cately poised through­out the open­ing twenty five min­utes of play ul­ti­mately re­sulted in a pretty facile win for St Brendans.

Cer­tainly, with the half-time break on the hori­zon one couldn’t see such a fi­nal score­line ma­te­ri­al­is­ing at the end of the game. But goals, as al­ways, were hugely sig­nif­i­cant, es­pe­cially the two which St Brendans scored just be­fore the in­ter­val.

It’s al­ways an op­por­tune time to score goals and from be­ing in a rel­a­tively strong po­si­tion with the ad­van­tage of the breeze to fol­low in the sec­ond half the lo­cals re­tired with a real chal­lenge on their hands to over­turn a six-point deficit.

They did restart with a lot of ur­gency and had a goal dis­al­lowed in the 37th minute, but once St Brendans se­cured their fourth goal in the 40th minute the fi­nal re­sult was es­sen­tially a fore­gone con­clu­sion.

There­after St Brendans were largely go­ing through the mo­tions in terms of seal­ing the in­evitable re­sult. They got off to the per­fect start with Ste­fan Okun­bor scor­ing a goal within thirty sec­onds of the throw in.

Surg­ing for­ward he opened up Rangers rear­guard unit, and while he mo­men­tar­ily lost pos­ses­sion he re­gained it and ap­plied an inch per­fect fin­ish.

The per­fect start as far as St Brendans were con­cerned, but the lo­cals who fielded with­out Shane En­right set­tled into the task on hands and with Mikey Boyle an im­pos­ing pres­ence on the edge of the small square and both of the wing for­wards Mark Buck­ley and Jack Gould­ing quite prom­i­nent and pro­duc­tive they were just two points adrift 1-2 0-3 at the end of the open­ing quar­ter.

Level 1-3 to 0-6 af­ter 23 min­utes Rangers were main­tain­ing par­ity in all sec­tors up un­til that par­tic­u­lar junc­ture. But a goal from David O’Cal­laghan ex­pertly squeezed low un­der pres­sure into the far cor­ner of the net in the twenty fifth minute changed the com­plex­ion of pro­ceed­ings com­pletely, with the Shan­non Rangers full-back Ja­son Fo­ley be­ing de­nied of an equal­is­ing goal shortly af­ter­wards, when his ef­fort was cleared off the line, by some last gasp de­fend­ing.

Diar­muid O’Con­nor scored St Brendans’ third goal in added time, af­ter he had fielded the ball be­hind his marker at the far post, at the end of a cross-field de­liv­ery and fin­ished pretty em­phat­i­cally to the net to give his side a six-point in­ter­val lead 3-4 to 0-7, with the mo­men­tum now hav­ing swung firmly in favour of the visi­tors in a mat­ter of min­utes.

There was still time to sal­vage the sit­u­a­tion as far as Shan­non Rangers were con­cerned, and with the ad­van­tage of the breeze a six-point lead wasn’t ex­actly an unas­sail­able ad­van­tage.

How­ever, the task was made greater given that Ja­son Fo­ley was un­able to re­sume through in­jury.

Paul Ken­nelly pointed for them within two min­utes of the restart, and af­ter St Brendans had re­sponded with suc­ces­sive points, Shan­non Rangers looked to have se­cured a goal to re­duce the deficit to just four points.

Mark Buck­ley at the end of a de­fence-split­ting run found the net hav­ing been fouled on route, but hav­ing been given the ad­van­tage by the match of­fi­cial. It didn’t ap­pear as if the whis­tle had been blown be­fore his fin­ish, and at the time it seemed to be a de­bat­able de­ci­sion and a mar­ginal call. A pointed free re­sulted, and when Paud Costello pointed one minute later the mar­gin was re­duced to six points again.

Rangers were still within touch­ing dis­tance, even if their gen­eral play was some­what dis­jointed, with their de­liv­er­ies into the in­side line at times de­layed too long or kicked rather aim­lessly, with the re­sult that Mikey Boyle never re­ceived a suit­able level of sup­ply, even if his di­rect op­po­nent Kieran Dwyer was very much a cor­ner­stone in the St Brendans de­fence through­out all of the sec­ond half.

How­ever, with 40 min­utes hav­ing elapsed the end re­sult was firmly put be­yond doubt when David O’Cal­laghan seized on a re­bound which fell invit­ingly in front of him af­ter Cil­lian Fitzger­ald’s ini­tial ef­fort had been par­ried and once again he pro­vided a pre­ci­sion fin­ish for his sec­ond and his side’s fourth goal.

There­after, the en­counter drifted to its in­evitable con­clu­sion. Both sides emp­tied the bench nd, got a re­turn in scor­ing terms, but it was re­ally only of aca­demic in­ter­est through­out all of the fourth.

David Grif­fin and sub­sti­tute Bobby O’Re­gan added fur­ther goals be­fore the fin­ish to open up a pretty sub­stan­tial gap at the end of pro­ceed­ings. It prob­a­bly didn’t do full jus­tice to Shan­non Rangers best ef­forts who pur­sued the is­sue with a lot of en­deav­our through­out.

How­ever, St Brendans were clin­i­cal at crit­i­cal junc­tures in pro­ceed­ings and back at full strength with op­tions off the bench their game on this com­ing week­end against Mid Kerry prom­ises to be an ex­tremely in­ter­est­ing con­test.

For Shan­non Rangers, it’s back to the draw­ing board, but hav­ing lost to the same op­po­si­tion by 6-24 to 1-8 in the pre­lim­i­nary round last year it’s dif­fi­cult to see how they are go­ing to make any real im­pact in the com­pe­ti­tion in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture.

SHAN­NON RANGERS: Dar­ragh Ó Sé (Bal­ly­donoghue), Am­brose Lani­gan (Tar­bert), Ja­son Fo­ley (Bal­ly­donoghue), Tadgh McEl­listrim (Bal­ly­long­ford), Michael Fo­ley (Bal­ly­donoghue), Jeremy King (Beale), Tommy Ken­nelly (Bal­ly­donoghue), Brian Ó Seanacháin (Bal­ly­donoghue), Paud Costello (Ballyduff) (0-1), Jack Gould­ing (Ballyduff) (0-1), Paul Ken­nelly (Bal­ly­donoghue) (0-3, 2f), Mark Buck­ley (Tar­bert) (0-1), Dar­ragh Keane (As­dee), Mikey Boyle (Ballyduff) (0-6f), Dar­ragh Buck­ley (Beale) Subs: Jack Gogarty (Bal­ly­donoghue) for J Fo­ley (inj), Dar­ragh Sheehy (Bal­ly­donoghue) (0-1) for D Keane, Ger­ald O’Sul­li­van (Tar­bert) (0-2) for D Buck­ley, Kil­lian Lan­gan (Tar­bert) (0-1) for M Buck­ley, Jack O’Sul­li­van (Ballyduff) for J Gould­ing, Kevin En­right (Tar­bert) for T Ken­nelly

ST BRENDANS: Eoghan O’Brien (Churchill), Luke Mul­li­gan (St Pats), Kieran Dwyer (St Pats) (0-1), Trevor Wal­lace (Ard­fert), Pat Kear­ney (John Mitchels) Diar­muid O’Con­nor (Na Gaeil) (1-0), Bran­don Bar­rett (Ard­fert), Jack Barry (Na Gaeil) (0-1), Ste­fan Okun­bor (Na Gaeil) (10), David O’Cal­laghan (St Pats) (2-0), Cil­lian Fitzger­ald (Churchill) (0-1), Lawrence Bastible (John Mitchels), David Grif­fin (Ard­fert), (1-0), Ivan Parker (Churchill) (02f), Niall Sheehy (John Mitchels) (0-4, 1f) Subs: Alan O’Donoghue (John Mitchels) (0-1) for C Fitzger­ald, Michael O’Brien (Churchill) (0-1) for D O’Cal­laghan, Bobby O’Re­gan (Ard­fert) (1-0) for N Sheehy, JJ Prior (Churchill) for B Bar­rett (b/c)

REF­EREE: John Di­neen (Fossa)

Feale Rangers’ Ger McCarthy in ac­tion against St Kier­ans John O’Con­nor dur­ing their Round 2B clash in Frank Sheehy Park, Lis­towel on Sun­dayPhoto by Dom­nick Walsh / Eye Fo­cus

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