Friday 24 November 2017

Byrne strikes to kickstart victory surge for Rangers

Mt Leinster Rangers 1-15 Castletown Geoghegan 1-13


Carlow champions Mount Leinster Rangers came from six points down late in the first half to eke out a hard-earned win over their Westmeath counterparts in Mullingar.

The first half was a scrappy affair with both sides overly reliant on their free-takers, Denis Murphy and Niall O'Brien. Murphy had already converted three frees before his 23rd-minute point, his team's first score from play, left his side trailing 0-5 to 0-4.

Two more O'Brien frees increased the home team's advantage before Alan Mangan whipped the ball to the net in the first minute of added-time. John Coady pointed with the last puck of the half to leave the visitors trailing 1-7 to 0-5 at half-time.

Within 50 seconds of the restart, the deficit was down to two points, Edward Byrne scooping the sliotar to the net. O'Brien replied from play but four unanswered points (including three Murphy frees) edged Mount Leinster into a 1-9 to 1-8 lead by the 39th minute.

This was increased to three points by the 49th minute and despite Castletown Geoghegan's best efforts, they could never get on level terms. Indeed, unforced errors gifted the winners their last two points from captain David Phelan and corner-back Gary Kelly.

The game had been totally incident-free but a nasty skirmish developed after the final whistle sounded. Nobody was carded.

SCORERS – Mount Leinster Rangers: D Murphy 0-9 (8fs), E Byrne 1-1, D Byrne 0-2, G Kelly, D Phelan, J Coady 0-1 each.

Castletown Geoghegan: N O'Brien 0-10 (8fs), A Mangan 1-0, D Fennell, A Clarke, R Whelan 0-1 each.

Mount Leinster Rangers – F Foley; M Doyle, G Doyle, G Kelly; D Byrne, R Coady, B Nolan; E Coady, P Nolan; P Coady, E Byrne, D Phelan; D Murphy, J Coady, HP O'Byrne. Subs: E Doyle for P Coady (h-t), D Byrne for Nolan (36), W Hickey for O'Byrne (46), J Murphy for J Coady (51).

Castletown Geoghegan – P Maloney; P Fennell, E Dalton, E Óg Clarke; L Varley, R Whelan, D McDermott; D Fennell, B Lahart; A Clarke, N O'Brien, D Lynch; N Kirby, A Mangan, C Glennon. Subs: D Garvin for P Fennell (inj, 42), S Clavin for Lahart (46), P Clarke for Mangan (51), D Gallagher for Glennon (54), C O'Brien for E Clarke (57).

Ref – F Smith (Meath)

Irish Independent

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