Crowley raced 50 yards before planting a shot high past Colin Myers. It was a major lift and gave his side a welcome cushion, 3-13 to 2-13, at a crucial juncture. East Kerry did tack on two points in the second half of extra time — via a Mike O’Donoghue free (his ninth of the game) and a Donal O’Sullivan point -but they fell agonsingly short.
A late effort from county minor midfielder Liam Kearney — he was brought on at the start of extra time -dropped into the Laune Rangers square and was grabbed by the home side’s midfielder Shane Daly. Within seconds referee Paul O’Sullivan blew his final whistle to trigger joyous scenes among the Laune Rangers faithful.
The game had everything. It ebbed and flowed throughout and at the start of the second-half in extra-time confusion reigned. Referee O’Sullivan showed Laune Rangers’ centre-forward Shane McSweeney — the game’s star man, he ended with 1-5 — a second yellow but no red. However, the referee was alerted to his error within 60 seconds and McSweeney was eventually shown the line.
The sides were evenly matched for the opening 20 minutes, level at 1-3 apiece. Laune Rangers’ goal came from impressive minor Daniel Macbeth in the 8th minute just five minutes after Darragh Roche had slotted home for East Kerry. For the final ten though it was a case of a ‘team’ against a team of individuals with Laune Rangers exerting control and making their move.
It was McSweeney who ignited them, registering 1-3 from play in just eight minutes, to give his side a deserved half time lead: 2-8 to 1-4.
East Kerry roared back into the game after the break and by the 38th minute there was just one between the sides: 2-8 to 2-7 after Derry Ahern finished superbly past Tony Lyons. A Mike Frank Russell point settled Rangers before East Kerry lost Ahern to a black card. East Kerry ploughed on with Mike O’Donoghue dictating play and were level (2-9 each) with ten left when first-half sub Cian Horan pointed.
McSweeney and O’Donoghue then traded scores before East Kerry took the lead for the first time since the seventh minute when sub Michael O’Shea split the posts.
It was helter-skelter now but Rangers’ rallied and a Russell free after a foul on McSweeney brought parity once again.
East Kerry lost Horan to a red card in first half injury time as the game went to extra-time.
O’Donoghue (two frees) exchanged scores with Laune Rangers’ Russell and McSweeney before Crowley made his dramatic late impact.
Scorers for Laune Rangers: S McSweeney (1-5), MF Russell (0-5, 0-4fs), D Macbeth, P Crowley (1-1), D Costello (0-1).
East Kerry scorers: M O’Donoghue (0-9fs), D Ahern (1-1), D Roche (1-0), J O’Donoghue, DJ O’Connor, D O’Sullivan, C Horan, M O’Shea (0-1).
LAUNE RANGERS: T Lyons; K Sheehan, J Carey, K Crowley; C Riordan, J Sheehan, J Tyther; P Murphy, S Daly; D Macbeth, S McSweeney, P Crowley; D Costello, MF Russell, C O’Shea.
Subs: J O’Shea for Costello (44), S O’Connor for C O’Shea (52). Extra time: M Healy for Tyther (68), Tyther for Macbeth (72, bc), A Gamble for Crowley (79, bc).
EAST KERRY: C Myers (Fossa); J Sherwood (Firies), T O’Leary (Gneeveguilla), M Murphy (do.); M Finnegan (Spa), D O’Sullivan (Glenflesk), S Lynch (Spa); A Garnett (do.), J O’Leary (Listry); J O’Donoghue (Glenflesk), M O’Donoghue (Spa), F Coffey (Fossa); D Roche (Glenflesk), D J O’Connor (Gneeveguilla), D Ahern (Listry).
Subs: C Horan (Glenflesk) for Sherwood (13), S Cronin (Spa) for O’Leary (24), K Murphy (Glenflesk) for Coffey (35), D O’Donoghue (Spa) for O’Leary (43), M O’Shea (Glenflesk) for Ahern (49, bc). Extra time: A Wharton (Fossa) for Murphy (77), C O’Shea (Firies) for O’Connor (77).
Referee: P O’Sullivan (Dromid).