Egan magic drives Tourlestrane to title
Tourlestrane put last year's disappointment behind them to reclaim the county crown at Markievicz Park yesterday.
Brian Egan's haul of eight points was inspirational, and a late goal from James Leonard sealed a deserved win for Neil Egan's men, who now face Leitrim champions Glencar/ Manorhamilton in the Connacht Championship.
Tourlestrane, without long-term injury victim Eamonn O'Hara, started with the wind at their backs, and opened the scoring through Egan.
The young corner-forward pointed twice more as the south Sligo men tried to make the wind advantage count, though Alan Costello got Coolera/Strandhill off the mark with a stylish sixth-minute point.
Tourlestrane almost got through for an early goal, when captain Gary Gaughan broke forward and released Gerry McGowan, but the former county attacker missed the target after turning past his man.
Coolera brought Karol O'Neill out from the full-forward line as an extra man around the middle, and an excellent free from Niall Murphy narrowed the gap before another raid from Gaughan created the opening for John Quinn to point his first of the day.
The scrappy nature of the game continued as the sides went without a score for 10 minutes, before wing-forward John Marren split the posts for the winners two minutes before the break.
Murphy and Quinn then traded points in first-half injury-time and Tourlestrane took a 0-6 to 0-3 advantage in with them at the interval.
That gap was narrowed to two again in the opening minute of the second half as O'Neill clipped over from play, but another free from Egan quickly cancelled that out.
Quinn's third point quickly followed, before Egan got his fifth -- opting for a point when a goal looked on following some slack play in the Coolera defence.
Goalkeeper Vinny Cadden, Murphy and Costello all pointed for Coolera as they tried to battle their way back into contention, but two scores from Egan kept Tourlestrane in the ascendancy, though they did lose Quinn to a straight red card with 10 minutes left for an off-the-ball incident.
The numerical advantage did not last long, however, as Murphy also saw red for a second bookable offence in the closing stages.
Tourlestrane then made sure of the win as wing-back Leonard drove forward to crash the ball to the net with two minutes left.
And the excellent Egan crowned the win by guiding a penalty over the bar in injury-time for his eighth point of a memorable day for Tourlestrane.
Man of the Match: Brian Egan
Scorers -- Tourlestrane: Brian Egan 0-8, (3f, 1 pen), J Quinn 0-3, J Leonard 1-0, J Marren 0-1. Coolera/Strandhill: N Murphy (1f), A Costello (1f) 0-3 each, V Cadden ('45'), K O'Neill 0-1 each.
Tourlestrane -- S Gildea; C Neary, B Kennedy, R Leonard; N Gaughan, A McIntrye, J Leonard; Brendan Egan, S Henry; G Gaughan, S Dunne, J Marren; J Quinn, G McGowan, Brian Egan. Subs: A Dunne for Marren (30), D Durkin for R Leonard (37).
Coolera/Strandhill -- V Cadden; E Mitchell, G Cawley, R O'Connor; C Maloney, K Cawley, T Watters; C O'Meara, K Quinn; A McPartland, J McPartland, C Mullen; N Murphy, K O'Neill, A Costello. Subs: C Brenan for Quinn (blood 28), C Brenan for Mullen (45), L Bree for Mitchell (48).
Ref -- Marty Duffy.
Tourlestrane 1-12, Coolera/S'hill 0-8, SLIGO SFC FINAL