Victory for Tourlestrane
Tourlestrane 0-17 Tubbercurry 0-15
The senior division one league final saw two south Sligo teams battle it out until the final whistle in Bunninadden on Sunday evening. Last year's winners Tourlestrane were pitted against arch rivals Tubbercurry. With the league title at stake, this made for one of the games of the season.
Tourlestrane had the wind and a slight slope in the field to their advantage in the first half, and helped them to a four point lead after six minutes, with the pick of the bunch coming from centre half back Adrian McIntyre whose shot sailed over from over 50 metres. Tubbercurry responded with two points within a minute, Rory Ryan getting the second as he was rewarded for his hard work in both attack and defence. Darragh Kilcoyne and Brian Egan went tit for tat with their free kicks in the first half, bagging three each from difficult distances and angles.
The first half may have seemed hard hitting, but was only a preview of what was to come in the second half. Tourlestrane seemed very comfortable on the ball throughout the game, exemplified by Liam Gaughan who worked very hard for all five of his points on the day. Both sides seemed quite happy to tap the ball over the bar, as Padraig McVeigh and Barry Kilcoyne were not called into action too much in the first half.
The sides were fairly well matched in the first half, with Tourlestrane's early burst helping them to a half time lead. Stephen Gilmartin got the closing point of the half, putting three points between the sides at the break. Half time, Tourlestrane 0-10 Tubbercurry 0-7. Tubbercurry picked up in the second half where they left off in the first. Fabio Cretaro had an impressive second half, bagging the opening score of the half. Brian Egan followed up with two points, putting four between the sides. Tourlestrane had to work the ball through the hand playing against the wind, which they did well, whereas Tubbercurry could rely on long kickpasses from David Kelly in particular.
Stephen Gilmartin showed some excellent fielding, catching a lot of the second half's kickouts. Cian Gilmartin scored two points in quick succession as Tubbercurry began to claw themselves back into the game. In the midst of this comeback, Pat Harte found himself in a confrontation with Stephen Matthews. Matthews was awarded a red card for his contribution, minutes after coming off the bench. David Kelly put the sides level for the first time in the game on the 47th minute. With the pressure on, Tourlestrane needed scores to retain their lead. Conan Marren's defence splitting pass found Pat Harte in the full forward line, and with Stephen Henry coming off his shoulder to slot home, Tourlestrane regained a two point lead.
Stephen Kilcoyne got one of the scores of the game with his free from near the sideline, closing the gap to a single point. Tourlestrane began to introduce substitutes with experience in such situations. Shane Dunne and John Quinn came on to give a hand around the middle of the field, as Tourlestrane looked to close out the game. Liam Gaughan kicked a very impressive score with the outside of his left boot to put two between the teams, as they began to pull away.
Alan Dunne popped up with a score to bring their lead to three. Tubbercurry tried their hand at bagging a late goal, sending midfielder Luke Gilmartin into full forward for the closing minutes, but a late point from Stephen Kilcoyne was to be their last of the game. Final score, Tourlestrane 0-17 Tubbercurry 0-15.Being one of, if not the favourites to win the county championship this year, Tourlestrane needed a game such as this to get them into championship mode, beginning next week. Tubbercurry showed that they are serious contenders for the championship crown also, with a very impressive display in all areas of the field.
B Egan (0-7, 0-6 frees), L Gaughan (0-5, 0-2 frees), A McIntyre, J Kelly, P Harte, S Henry, A Dunne (0-1 each).
Tourlestrane: P McVeigh; N Gaughan, B Walsh, B Kennedy; J Leonard, A McIntyre, O Kennedy; S Henry, K Gavigan; C Henry, B Egan, G Gaughan; J Kelly, P Harte, L Gaughan.
Subs used; C Marren for C Henry, S Dunne for O Kennedy, A Dunne for G Gaughan, J Quinn for S Henry, N Egan for J Kelly (Black Card).
S Kilcoyne (0-4, 0-3 frees), D Kilcoyne (0-3 frees), S Gilmartin, F Cretaro, C Gilmartin (0-2 each), R Ryan, D Kelly (0-1 each).Tubbercurry: B Kilcoyne; E Coleman, B Murphy, J Kelly; C Surlis, B Curran, F Cretaro; L Gilmartin, S Gilmartin; D Kilcoyne, D Kelly, C Gilmartin; S Kilcoyne, D Walsh, R Ryan. Subs used; S Matthews for D Kilcoyne, B Morahan for R Ryan, G Perry for B Morahan (Black Card), D Brennan for D Walsh, B Brennan.
Referee: Michael Duffy.