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Sligo’s ‘big two’ to contest Div 1 final this weekend

Tourlestrane and Coolera/Strandhill to battle for honours 

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Coolera/Strandhill's Ross O'Carroll and Conan Marren of Tourlestrane will be renewing rivalries in the Furey's Coaches Div 1 league final in Markievicz Park on Saturday.

Coolera/Strandhill's Ross O'Carroll and Conan Marren of Tourlestrane will be renewing rivalries in the Furey's Coaches Div 1 league final in Markievicz Park on Saturday.

Coolera/Strandhill's Ross O'Carroll and Conan Marren of Tourlestrane will be renewing rivalries in the Furey's Coaches Div 1 league final in Markievicz Park on Saturday.

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This weekend is the second biggest in the Sligo GAA club calendar and certainly the biggest this year so far with four senior League finals to be decided.

With the details of promotion and relegation for next season already settled through the round robin section of the league, Saturday and Sunday will be all about the bragging rights at the top of each of Divisions One, Two, Three and Four.

The Division One final, which will be played in Markievicz Park on Saturday evening at 5.00, will be a repeat of last season’s county Senior championship final when County League and Championship holders Tourlestrane take on Coolera Strandhill.

Both sides come to Saturday’s game having gone unbeaten through the league campaign and both also were victorious in their respective divisional Spring League campaigns

Having beaten Shamrock Geals, who were third in the table on scoring difference, in their first game of the round robin stage, Tourlestrane moved quite easily through their next four games in the style of a team that has won the last six Sligo championships.

In the last three rounds they have come through a number of tighter games with draws in each of the last two games against St Farnan’s and against Sunday’s opponents and having to come from behind to beat a determined St Marys in the game preceding.

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With ex Roscommon manager Fergal O’Donnell now patrolling the sidelines, Tourlestrane will be determined to show that they have lost none of their winning edge.

Coolera Strandhill had a relatively low profile league campaign and will be pleased to have emerged unbeaten despite missing a number of important players to injury in addition to county players in the early rounds.

Both sides will be close to full strength for Saturday’s game which will be the first of two big clashes between the sides as they are also drawn together in the group stages of the county championships which begins the following weekend.

In the Division Two final it will be a contest between South Sligo neighbours Curry and Bunninadden who meet on Sunday afternoon, also in Markievicz Park, at 4.00. Curry has been the stand out side in the round robin stage this year led by Alan Reilly after his breakout year with the county Senior team and ably abetted by the evergreen Adrian Marren. Curry only dropped one point in the competition so far – a home draw against Geevagh and will likely start Sunday as favourites.

Bunninadden can be guaranteed however to make a contest of it. Last year’s Division Three league winners who were unlucky to go down to St Molaise Gaels in a hard fought and very tight county Intermediate championship semi-final last year bring strength and organisation and plenty of scoring power.

Curry had a big win in the league game between the sides earlier this season, but Sunday’s game will undoubtedly be a much tighter affair

In the Division Three final, to be played at Sligo GAA Centre of Excellence in Scarden at 2.00 on Sunday, St. Michaels, who led the Division almost all the way through league stage will face Castleconnor who edged out St Patrick’s on the strength off their victory in the head-to-head contest between the sides on the very first Sunday of the league.

St Michaels, who contested last year’s Junior A championship final, have been one of the most consistent sides at this level over the past two years and have an emerging group of young players like Kyle Davey and Ciaran McKeon - who were in the Sligo U20 Connacht championship winning squad – who will look forward to further success in the near future,.

Castleconnor are powered by Sligo’s midfielder Seán Carrabine, who can be expected to have a major influence in this game with his ball carrying and scoring abilities.

The Division Four A final is a repeat of last season’s Junior B championship final and also of the 2021 U20 B final highlighting that there is a strength in depth in both clubs. They play on Saturday evening at 7.00 in Bunninadden Community Park with the winner being promoted to Division three and the losers going into a play-off against Division Four B winners St Patrick’s.


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