Spa 4-16 Laune Rangers 1-16
Played in a sunny Spa on Saturday evening, Spa needed to rack up a high score and wait on other results to keep their championship hopes alive – and they certainly did that, kicking 4-5 in a massive second half comeback.
Spa were consistently attacking right from the throw in, and after ten minutes were leading by 0-7 to 0-4, with Evan Cronin (4), Niall O’Mahony, Niall McCarthy and David Spillane on target for Spa and Daire Cleary, Kieran Doona (2) and John Tyther scoring for the visitors. While Spa closed in on goal a number of times in the opening quarter, Laune Rangers best goal opportunity came from Shane McSweeney who had a great run forward but his effort went just inches wide.
Laune Rangers defence were clearing all shots on goal and with additional points from Kieran Doona, Fiachra Clifford and Daire Cleary (2) they kept the pressure on Spa, the home side replying with a Dan O’Donoghue point to put just a point between the sides at 0-8 to 0-7 as half time approached. Late scores from Niall O’Mahony, Niall McCarthy and an outstanding Evan Cronin point had Spa leading at the break – Spa 0-11 Laune Rangers 0-7.
Evan Cronin and Daragh O’Connor exchanged points at the start of the second half, and with the first goal chance of the second half for Spa well blocked, at the other end Peter Crowley broke through the Spa defence and goaled for Laune Rangers just three minutes in. Points by Daragh O’Connor and Shane Daly followed to edge Laune Rangers in front at 1-10 to 0-12. Spa however, picked up the pace and after a great ’45 from Niall McCarthy to level the game, a perfect pass in by Liam Kearney was finished to the net by Evan Cronin in the 40th minute. Fiachra Clifford replied with a point for Laune Rangers before Spa were full on attacking again, with points by Niall O’Mahony and Evan Cronin followed by a second Spa goal in the 47th minute by David Spillane.
A John Tyther point followed, but Spa responded brilliantly again, Evan Cronin with another goal and Cormac Cronin with a point to make it 3-16 to 1-12 with just minutes remaining. John Tyther added a point for Rangers before Niall McCarthy rattled the net for a fourth Spa goal.
Laune Rangers came back down the field however, and after a brilliant save by James Devane, points from Peter Crowley, Fiachra Clifford and Daire Cleary finished the game at 4-16 to 1-16.
Spa Team: James Devane, Eoin Fitzgerald, Dan O’Donoghue (0-1), Bryan Russell, Shane Cronin, Niall O’Mahony (0-3), Brian Lynch, Liam Kearney, Andrew Garnett, Ryan O’Carroll, Mike McCarthy, David Spillane (1-1), Niall McCarthy (1-3), Ciaran Spillane, Evan Cronin (2-7). Subs: Gary Vaughan, Cormac Cronin (0-1)
Laune Rangers Team: Jason Browne, Pierce Tyther, Jonathan Carey, David Costelloe, Cormac Johnston, Peter Crowley (1-1), Patrick Carey, Jack O’Connor, Shane Daly (0-1), Dáire Cleary (0-4), Kieran Doona (0-2), John Tyther (0-3), Fiachra Clifford (0-3), Shane McSweeney, Daragh O’Connor (0-2)
Referee: Jim O’Connor (Scartaglin)