Gaels back on course

Park Rangers 1-5 Ranelagh Gaels 1-10

RANELAGH Gaels steered their AFL Division Nine campaign back on track with a gutsy win over Park Rangers on Thursday night.

Following a disappointing defeat the previous Sunday, the Gaels needed to leave the Phoenix Park with a both points from an encounter with tough opponents.

And that’s exactly what they did with a committed display to confirm their place at the top of the table at the midway point of the season.

It was the ideal start to what will be a pivotal week in the campaign with another game to follow at the weekend.

The bumpy playing surface made good football difficult, but the biggest obstacle to overcome was the wind which whipped straight across the exposed pitch.

The signs in the first half were that it was going to be a low-scoring affair and Ranelagh left the field at the break with a slender 0-5 to 0-3 lead.

Ken Fitz was in brilliant form with the dead ball, kicking over a ‘45’ and two frees, one from long range, to make sure that the visitors got some rewards for their early efforts.

Early in the second half man of the match Ken Fitz set up Eamon Courntey to palm home the vital goal that gave Gaels some much needed breathing space.

The Gaels were cruising late on at seven points up, but then Park Rangers gave manager Liam O’Hagan some nervous moments when they struck for a goal near the end.

The referee added over five minutes of injury time, but Ranelagh’s players showed great composure and even broke out for a point near the end to make sure of the win.

The defence was excellent throughout, with wingbacks Alan Kelly and John Daly breaking up opposition moves and sending the ball back where it came from.

With the wind blowing across the field the forwards had to work extremely hard for their scores and they kept up their end of the bargain.

The attitude in every position right throughout the game was excellent, with the players all intent on rectifying their disappointing display days before against Ballyboden St Enda’s.

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