ARGIDEEN RANGERS 2-20
JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
Showing more of an emphasis on an expansive passing game with neat and inventive touches, Argideen Rangers surged past the challenge presented by a plucky, but at the end, outclassed Dripsey side at sunny Ballinhassig last Saturday.
Their deserved reward following this facile fourteen-point trap-to-line triumph was a place in the quarter-final of the Co-op Superstores 2021 lower grade intermediate hurling championship qualifying from the runners-up spot as Kilbrittain topped the group.
Showing a marked improvement on their performances in the two previous outings against Kilbrittain and Grenagh, Rangers signalled their scoring intentions early on the impressive Mattie Lawton returning after injury getting them up and running in the opening minute.
Showing positive aspects in their approach play with a strong spine up the middle from pivots Joe Murphy and Paudie Butler augmented by proactive midfielders Cathal O’Donovan and Fergal Walsh and a lively forward sextet with Darragh O’Donovan, Finbarr Butler and their cohorts threatening the Dripsey citadel, Rangers bossed the early exchanges.
This can be gleaned by a look at the scoreboard with Dripsey depending heavily on the experienced Michael O’Riordan who accounted for three of their first half points (two frees) and a lovely white flag from John O’Riordan in the eight minute. Not so Argideen with John Michael O’Callaghan 0-3 (two frees), Darragh O’Donovan, Finbarr Butler, Seán Walsh (0-2 each), Cathal O’Donovan, Bill Fleming (0-1) each all sharing a first half scoring bonanza.
Throw in a stunning solo goal in the 28th minute as Mattie Lawton left a bevvy of Dripsey defenders trailing in his wake to billow the net and one gets a glimpse of Argideen’s first half dominance that saw them take a commanding 1-12 to 0-4 interval lead, Dripsey with a huge task ahead of them
The losers rang the half-time changes with Killian Kelleher going between the posts and Diarmuid O’Riordan going up to aid an ailing attack that had existed on crumbs to this juncture despite the hard grafting of Mark O’Connell, John Buckley, Gary Murphy, David and Mark O’Sullivan.
Two Michael O’Riordan frees with a delightful Seán Walsh point sandwiched in between punctuated the early closing half exchanges as Dripsey upped the ante and came more into the game.
Bill Fleming, Diarmuid O’Riordan and two frees by Michael O’Riordan and John Michael O’Callaghan saw the tit-for-tat scoring exchanges continue, but just as Dripsey were building up a head of steam Rangers gunned them down. A long delivery by Darragh O’Donovan saw the lurking Seán Walsh turn his marker and send a piledriver to the Dripsey rigging in the 40th minute. A mountain had become an Everest, 2-15 to 0-8, and to compound Dripsey’s misery they lost Mark O’Sullivan to a straight red card.
Game, set and match to a rampant Rangers, a cracking Dripsey goal by Gary Murphy in the 50th minute merely putting a degree of respectability on the scoreboard, a couple of smashing points by impressive Ranger’s substitute Lorcan O’Leary icing an already well baked Argideen cake.
Argideen Rangers manager Bertie Smith was well pleased with his side’s performance and felt that the return of some of their injured players had strengthened their hand providing more options in attack.
‘We have been working with the lads on passing the ball from the halfback line to midfield and quickly into the forwards and shooting practice with Barry Harte in training. We tried to do that today with good results and we got some great scores. Our substitutes too played an important part when introduced,’ explained the Rangers boss.
‘I have just been with Dripsey. They are disappointed, but kept going to the end, as we had to do, sixty minutes plus. We are through to the quarter-final, we will hope for further improvement. This is a positive result and a good win for us.’
Scorers - Argideen Rangers: Seán Walsh 1-3, Finbarr Butler, John Michael O’Callaghan 0-4 (3f) each, Mattie Lawton 1-1, Bill Fleming, Lorcan O’Leary, Darragh O’Donovan 0-2 each, Cathal O’Donovan, Seán Henchion 0-1.
Dripsey: Michael O’Riordan 0-6 (5f), Gary Murphy1-0, John O’Riordan, David O’Sullivan, Diarmuid O‘Riordan 0-1 each.
Argideen Rangers: Dylan Harrington; Darragh Holland, Joe Murphy, Dan Hurley; Seán Henchion, Paudie Butler, Colin Smith; Cathal O’Donovan, Fergal Walsh; Bill Fleming, Darragh O’Donovan, John Michael O’Callaghan; Seán Walsh, Finbarr Butler, Mattie Lawton.
Subs: Lorcan O’Leary for John Michael O’Callaghan (inj,42), Andrew Guinevan for Darragh O’Donovan (44), Brian Hennessy for Seán Walsh (50), Eoghan Guinevan for Colin Smith (52), Victor Lovell for Cathal O’Donovan (56).
Dripsey: Diarmuid O ’Riordan; Colm O’Connell, John Carey, Stephen Murray; James Cotter, Mark O’Connell, Aidan Murray; John Buckley, John Hogan; Michael O’Riordan, Gary Murphy, Mark O’Sullivan; David O’Sullivan, John O’Riordan, Killian Kelleher.
Subs: Jack Casey for John O’Riordan (48), Adam Casey for Diarmuid O’Riordan (56), Tom Griffin for John Hogan (44).
Referee: Jim Hennessy (Dungourney).
Our Star: Rangers scoring sorcerer Seán Walsh narrowly takes the gong with Mattie Lawton and Finbarr Butler two of a number of serious contenders also.
Star moment: Mattie Lawton’s opening major for Argideen a solo scoring gem of creation and execution.
Talking point: A beautiful day for hurling, a most interesting game and a deserved triumph for the Timoleague lads.
What’s next? Argideen Rangers have qualified for the quarter-final, Dripsey bow out of contention.