Goals deliver win for improved Brendans
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