Tuesday 20 February 2018

Curry put title on line against Tourlestrane

Tourlestrane sharpshooter, Brian Egan.
Tourlestrane sharpshooter, Brian Egan.

The Champions of the past two seasons, Curry and Tourlestrane, come face to face in what promsises to be a gripping senior championship semi-final at Tubbercurry on Sunday (3.30pm)

Curry came out on top when the sides met at the same stage last year and went on to claim the coveted title, defeating St. Mary's in the final.

Now they're just one game away from a return to the decider and the chance to become the first team to win two-in-a-row senior titles since St. Pat's achieved the feat way back in 1989.

Curry's progress this year is all the more noteworthy in that several of their players were unavailable for the earlier rounds of the Championshiip.

In the circumstances, manager, Anthony Brennan had to promote a number of young players to senior action, and they all stepped up to the plate in impressive fashion.

With a number of the established players now back in the country, the manager faces something of a selection headache for Sunday's semi-final.

"It's a dilemma every manager likes to have,", he says.

"Fair play to the young lads, they came in when we needed them and did a great job.

"Now we have a full squad to choose from so there will be some difficult calls to make"

Adrian Marren, last year's player of the year, and consistently one of the top scorers in club football, spent the summer in America and hasn't played in the Championship so far.

However, he's such an integral part of the club that he will almost certainly start against Tourlestrane.

Brennan, who won several Championships as a player and manager with his native Tourlestrane, is now plotting the downfall of his local club.

It's a situation he's getting used to.

"There has always been a great local rivalry between the clubs, irrespective of the individuals involved.

"We've had some great tussles down the years and we're looking forward to another great occasion on Sunday"

Tourlestrane won the title in such convincing two years ago that they were expected to follow up last season.

However, their hopes were crushed by Curry in the semi-final so Sunday's contest offers a chance for redemption.

Eamonn Haran, in his first year as manager, has done well to guide the team this far, introducing a number of young players along the way.

"We're in something of a transitional period," he points out.

"We lost important players such as Brendan Egan and Colin Neary but young lads like Johnny Kelly, Barry Walsh and Cathal Henry have come in and done well.

"A few of the more experienced players are still around so it's been a case of getting the right balance"

A lack of consistency has been the team's biggest problem during the course of the Championship, according to Haran.

"We've played some great football at periods in games but we need to produce that over sixty minutes.

"We'll have to find that level of consistency, especially against a team as experienced and well organised as Curry"

Veteran Eamonn O'Hara is available after suspension but he's been struggling to shake off an injury and is unlikely to start on Sunday.

Sligo Champion

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