Enda Mitchell and Adrian McPartland’s men defeat south Sligo stalwarts by 1-16 to 0-8
Furey’s Coaches Senior Football League Div 1 final
COOLERA/Strandhill are celebrating after a powerful performance this evening in Markievicz Park saw them defeat Tourlestrane, the reigning league and championship holders on a 1-16 to 0-8 margin.
Fergal O’Donnell’s south Sligo side have won the Div 1 title every year since 2015 and the same outfits also contested last year’s championship final with Tourlestrane securing their sixth title in a row.
However, this evening it was Coolera/Strandhill who impressed, captain and talisman Niall Murphy with 1-10 guiding his side to victory and putting down a marker ahead of next weekend’s championship.
They started the game with aplomb despite Tourlestrane, who were without a number of key players, playing into the breeze.
Two points from Conor Burke in the 2nd and 7th minutes respectively set them up and scores from Murphy (2) and Aaron O’Boyle saw them ahead by 0-5 midway through the half.
Peter Laffey was outstanding at midfield for Coolera/Strandhill as was Conor McDonagh at full-back.
The goal chances then started arriving, Ross Doherty and Murphy linking up with the excellent Leo Doherty who saw his attempt brilliantly saved by Adam Broe in the Tourlestrane net, the goalkeeper also saving for a second time.
Moments later Doherty had another goal chance again saved by Broe on 10 minutes as Tourlestrane were finding it hard to get their opening score.
Liam Gaughan got them off the mark on 15 minutes with a fine score with Ross Doherty responding down the other end.
Egan added another for Tourlestrane who were four points behind on 20 minutes.
Tourlestrane then had a goal chance, Cathal Henry finding the hardworking Brian Egan whose shot slammed off the crossbar on 21 minutes.
A mistake from the Coolera/Strandhill goalkeeper out the field saw Tourlestrane overturn possession and Gaughan added his second. A foul on Mark McDaniel saw Murphy slot over and midfielder Kevin Banks then won the kick-out and Murphy again was on target after a huge long range pass from Banks.
Tourlestrane were reduced to 14 just before the interval, James Leonard receiving a black card for a trip on Leo Doherty.
An Egan free for Tourlestrane saw four separate the sides at the break, Coolera/Strandhill in front by 0-8 to 0-4.
A fine move involving Kenny Gavigan and Conan Marren saw the latter point from play 2 minutes in however Coolera/Strandhill responded with Murphy following a mark with a fabulous score from play.
A foul on Rian Kennedy was slotted over by Egan, Murphy doing the same for a Ross Doherty foul.
Then, Coolera/Strandhill extended their lead further with the only goal of the game. They overturned their opponents and Murphy finished brilliantly to the top left corner as they went 1-11 to 0-6 in front on 42 minutes.
Gaughan and Murphy sent over placed balls with Gavigan adding another good score for Tourlestrane who needed to find the net.
They had a supreme chance on 48 minutes with captain Gary Gaughan setting up Henry whose chance just went out wide.
It was the same man who had another goal chance in the 55th minute after Liam Gaughan did well, again it went narrowly wide.
Coolera/Strandhill finished strongly, excellent points from Murphy (2), Ross Doherty and substitute Ciaran Flynn who punched the air as they took home the Div 1 title ahead of the championship which gets underway next weekend.
COOLERA/STRANDHILL; Gerard Murphy, Luke Bree, Conor McDonagh, Jonathan Cassidy, Seán Murphy, Ross O’Carroll, Leo Doherty, Kevin Banks, Peter Laffey, Aaron O’Boyle (0-1), Barry O’Mahony, Ross Doherty (0-2), Mark McDaniel, Niall Murphy (C) (1-10 3f 1m), Conor Burke (0-2).
Substitutes used; Cillian McCahey, Ciaran Flynn (0-1), Donncha Beirne, Jarlath Herbert, Ben Cawley.
TOURLESTRANE; Adam Broe, JP Lang, Ronan Walsh, Barry Walsh, Oisín Kennedy, Kevin O’Hara, James Leonard, Conan Marren (0-1), Feidhlim O’Donnell, Kenny Gavigan (0-1), Rian Kennedy, Cathal Henry, Liam Gaughan (0-3 1f), Niall Egan, Brian Egan (0-3 2f).
Substitutes used; Gary Gaughan (C), Colin Neary.
REFEREE; Michael Duffy.