Argideen Rangers 2-20
JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
ARGIDEEN Rangers are through to the knock-out stages of the Co-op Superstores Premier junior hurling championship with one game to spare.
Their latest win, against Dripsey, sees Rangers and Ballygiblin both on four points and through to the next round.
But this latest victory wasn’t a stroll in the park for Rangers on a glorious afternoon at sun-kissed Brinny, as Dripsey fought to the last ball. Perhaps Argideen were slightly flattered by the final tally, their second goal coming in the 61st minute from the irrepressible JM O’Callaghan following a delightful delivery by substitute Eoin Lawton.
‘We had six or seven U21 lads starting there, they are a very young side, it took us a while to settle,’ Rangers coach Paul Holland said.
‘The bottom line is we are out of the group. We have one game left, against Ballygiblin, and it should be a fantastic learning experience for these lads. Our touch and work-rate was a little off at times, but the key factor is we have qualified.’
Dripsey shot out of the blocks like lightning with three unanswered points from Michael O’Riordan (2) and Jamie Manley providing an ideal start by the third minute. Rangers were slow finding their feet but once Cathal O’Donovan and Darragh Holland began to dominate around the middle third, the Argideen juggernaut began to trundle forward positively.
John Michael O’Callaghan was his usual unerring self, great support coming from the Walsh brothers Fergal and Sean, while the Butler duo of Finbarr and Paudie together with Sean Maxwell had the Dripsey defence in trouble with the intensity of their pace.
Dripsey depended heavily on the silken skills of Michael O‘Riordan and he struck two fine scores, matched by equally impressive points by Cathal O’Donovan and O’Callaghan, leaving it 0-5 to 0-4, Dripsey ahead at the close of the opening quarter.
Suddenly, Rangers upped the ante. They hit Dripsey with a tsunami of eight unanswered points between the 15th and 31st minutes from O’Callaghan, Finbarr Butler, Fergal Walsh and Sean Maxwell, leaving Rangers in cruise control, 0-12 to 0-5, at the interval. Granted, Dylan Harrington had to be alert to deprive Michael O’Riordan in the interim, but it was a sporadic Dripsey attack.
While Dripsey kept up the struggle on resuming, and thanks mainly to the intense work rate of Michael O’Riordan and Manley, they reduced the deficit to a four-point margin, 0-14 to 0-10, at the end of the third quarter.
Suddenly, the lights went out as Rangers finished the game as a contest. It was the Butler movement in tandem, Paudie a sublime cross to Finbarr, and the latter left Diarmuid O’Riordan helpless with a sweet strike to the left corner in the 45th minute. Game, set and match to Rangers. A cracking Gary Murphy green flag in the 55th minute was of scant consolation to gallant Dripsey.
Scorers - Argideen Rangers: JM O’Callaghan 1-12 (6f); Finbarr Butler 1-1; Fergal Walsh, Sean Maxwell 0-2 each; Paudie Butler, Darragh Holland, Cathal O’Donovan 0-1 each.
Dripsey: Michael O ‘Riordan 0-11 (6f); Jamie Manley 0-3; Gary Murphy 1-0.
Argideen Rangers: Dylan Harrington; Sean Henchion, Joe Murphy, Gerry Crowley; Matthew Lawton, Bill Fleming, Andrew Guinevan; Darragh Holland, Cathal O’Donovan; Fergal Walsh, JM O’Callaghan, Sean Maxwell; Finbarr Butler, Paudie Butler, Seán Walsh.
Subs: Lorcan O’Leary for Finbarr Butler (48), Eoin Lawton for Seán Walsh (49), Oisín Dowling for JM O’Callaghan (62).
Dripsey: Diarmuid O’Riordan; Cathal O’Connell, John O’Riordan, Sean Broderick; Colm O’Connell, Mark O’Connell, Eoin O’Connell; John Carey, Dean O’Sullivan; Michael O’Riordan, Eoin O’Connell, Gary Murphy; Jamie Manley, Eoghan Maher, Martin O’Sullivan.
Sub: John Buckley for Eoin O’Connell (44).
Referee: David Butler (Carrigtwohill).