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Saturday 19 April 2014

Glenbeigh/Glencar triumph

THREE Glenbeigh/Glencar goals in the last five minutes of the first half blew this Mid Kerry final apart and handed the winners their second district board title in three years.

It was an incredible spell of football that saw Glenbeigh/Glencar and Laune Rangers go from parity - 0-6 to 1-3 - in the 26th minute to Glenbeigh/Glencar leading by eight points at half time, courtesy of goals from Kieran Courtney, Gavan O'Grady and James O'Sullivan. Those three scores tore the heart out of Laune Rangers whose already difficult season was compounded by this 18-point defeat that can be considered nothing short of humiliating for the proud Killorglin club.

Glenbeigh/Glencar, who won their first Mid Kerry title in 36 years in 2011, came into this final as slight favourites. But Darran O'Sullivan's absence, through injury, was seen as a set-back for them, even though they have played much of the season without their inter-county man.

In O'Sullivan's absence, Gavan O'Grady would be Glenbeigh/Glencar's 'go to' forward and he didn't disappoint, contributing 1-5 in the end, but being involved in so much the winners did well.

O'Grady wasn't alone. His full forward colleagues Kieran Courtney and James O'Sullivan conjured up three goals between them, and outside them the half forward line added an other 1-4 from play.

In defence Fergal Griffin played a captain's part at full back, while Pa Kilkenny was impressive at centre back, with Kieran Doyle and Bernard Murphy also making fine contributions.

At midfield the McGillycuddys, Joe and Colin, dominated for large periods of this final, with the latter receiving the 'man of the match' award for his efforts.

For Laune Rangers it was an altogether different story. In contrast to Glenbeigh/Glencar who had five starting forwards score from play, Rangers had five forwards that didn't score from play, and the one that did, captain John Sheehan, didn't see out the game as he was sent off on a straight red card in the 43rd minute for what seemed a strike at an opponent.

Indeed, five of Rangers starting forwards didn't finish the game, which was a damning indictment of their lack of cutting edge in attack.

Amazingly, their half back line contributed four points from play, with Shane McSweeney's three points from wing back about the only positive for the Killorglin men.

The trouble started for Rangers ten minutes in whenStephen O'Sullivan smashed the ball beyond Tony Lyons to put Glenbeigh/Glencar 1-2 to 0-1 ahead.

Rangers responded superbly, though, and scored from McSweeney, Geoffrey Mahony, Sheehan and two Kevin Flynn frees had them bright back in the contest by the 26th minute, 0-6 to 1-3. Then the dam burst.

Courtney pounced on a breaking ball in the square to fire Glenbeigh/Glencar three points ahead, and then McSweeney pulled down Danny O'Sullivan to hand Glenbeigh/Glencar a penalty that O'Grady smacked past Lyons.

Colm O'Shea's 31st minute free steadied Rangers a fraction, but there was still time for James O'Sullivan to throw a fist at Joe McGillycuddy's high, teasing ball in, and with Lyons picking the ball from his net for the fourth time, Rangers were in deep trouble, trailing 4-3 to 0-7 at the break.

Three substitutions at half time did little to plug the holes in Rangers hull, and earlier scores from Rory O'Connor and Stephen O'Sullivan pushed Glenbeigh/Glencar ten points and thereafter it was simply a case of how much they would win by.

A fifth goal arrived in the 42nd minute courtesy of Courtney after Rangers turned over the ball after a fine Lyons save from Colin McGillycuddy, and then Sheehan was dismissed after a strike borne totally out of frustration.

Glenbeigh/Glencar were a neat five goals ahead - 5-8 to 0-8 - when Jeremiah Hoare was sent off for throwing a slap, and in keeping with their utter dominance Glenbeigh/Glencar won the last quarter by four points to one to regain the Michael O'Connor Memorial Cup in the most convincing manner.

Glenbeigh/Glencar: Peter O'Sullivan, Kieran Doyle, Fergal Griffin, Vincent Hoare, Jeremiah Hoare, Pa Kilkenny, Bernard Murphy, Joe McGillycuddy, Colin McGillycuddy, Jason McKenna (0-2), Stephen O'Sullivan (1-2), Danny O'Sullivan, Gavan O'Grady (1-5, 1-0 pen, 0-3f), James O'Sullivan (1-0), Kieran Courtney (2-0). Subs: Rory O'Connor (0-2) for J McKenna, Donough McGillycuddy for B Murphy, Sean Roche for D O'Sullivan, Jack O'Shea for V Hoare.

Laune Rangers: Tony Lyons, Michael O'Sullivan, Tommy O'Callaghan, Jeremy O'Callaghan, Shane McSweeney (0-3), Peter Crowley, Geoffrey Mahony (0-9), Shane Daly, Chris Riordan, Colm O'Shea (0-1f), Pa Joy, Pa Sheehan, John Sheehan (0-1), Kevin Flynn (0-2f), Johnny Carey. Subs: John Tyther for C O'Shea, Kevin O'Sullivan for T O'Callaghan, Mike Frank Russell (0-1f) for Pa Sheehan, Barry O'Sullivan for K Flynn (inj), Ryan Keane for J Carey.

Referee: Eddie Walsh (Rathmore)

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