Tourlestrane and Geevagh victorious
Tourlestrane convincingly overcame St.Molaise Gaels in the Kiernan Cup final on Saturday morning. Fifteen points separated the teams at the final whistle, although Molaise Gaels did claw their way back into the game in the second half. Corran Park, Ballymote hosted the fixture in perfect weather conditions.
Tourlestrane made three changes to their team before throw in, with Aaron Murtagh, Conan Marren and Noel Gaughan replacing Liam Gaughan, Alan Dunne and Captain James Leonard.
With Leonard off the field, John Francis Carr took up the Captain's role on the day. Alan McLoughlin put Molaise Gaels ahead with a free in the fifth minute, the first of his six pointed frees. After near misses from both sides, Tourlestrane finally got their first scores in the game, with two points from John Marren. Pat Harte was fouled by goalkeeper Diarmuid Feeney, in a controversial penalty decision.
Referee Gus Chapman gave a yellow card to Feeney for the foul, as Harte slotted his penalty home off the inside right post. Tourlestrane lead the game after fifteen minutes, 1-2 to 0-1.
Both sides had great goal chances in the next couple of minutes. Keelan Waters snatched at a spilled ball around Padraig McVeigh's penalty area, which hit the side netting. Niall Egan made an amazing run soon after through the opposition defence, seeing his shot saved by Feeney, making up for his penalty mistake. McLoughlin added another point to his tally, as Molaise Gaels could only hit two points with the wind in the first half.
John Marren added another two points for Tourlestrane along with a point for Aaron Murtagh to give Tourlestrane a healthy lead at the break.
Half time score, Tourlestrane 1-5 St. Molaise Gaels 0-2.
For the first ten minutes of the second half, all the scoring was done from Alan McLoughlin frees.
There were four frees in total, with one bouncing over Padraig McVeigh's crossbar after poor communication from those on the goal line.
Tourlestrane's lead was now reduced to three points.
Gerry McGowan and Eamonn O'Hara knew that something had to be done to extend their lead, and did so by introducing Liam Gaughan, Adrian McIntyre, John Kelly and Brian Egan to control the last twenty minutes of the game. Pat Harte added another goal, as well as five points from Gaughan brothers Gary (3) and Liam (2).
Final Score, Tourlestrane 2-15 St. Molaise Gaels 0-6.
The depth of talent in Tourlestrane's panel saw them over the line in this game, as Molaise Gaels showed promise in the second half.
Had Molaise Gaels been able to add points from play, they certainly could have done a lot more damage in the first half. John Francis Carr was presented with the Kiernan Cup, as Tourlestrane retained the crown.
Tourlestrane scorers; P Harte (2-1, 1 penalty), John Marren (0-4, 3 frees), G Gaughan (0-3), L Gaughan (0-2, 1 free), JF Carr, A Murtagh, K Gavigan, S Dunne, J Kelly (0-1 each).
Tourlestrane: P McVeigh; D Leonard, B Kennedy, B Walsh; O Kennedy, S Dunne, N Gaughan; JF Carr (C), K Gavigan; N Egan, G Gaughan, A Murtagh; C Marren, P Harte, J Marren. Subs used: A Dunne for N Egan (HT), L Gaughan for C Marren (37), A McIntyre for B Kennedy (40), J Kelly for J Marren (44), B Egan for A Murtagh (45), R Kennedy for P Harte (56).
St Molaise Gaels scorers; A McLoughlin (0-6, all frees)
St Molaise Gaels: D Feeney; D Keaney, P McGowan, C Clancy; A Carway, J Brennan, K Waters (C); C Burns, D Gilsenan; A McLoughlin, N McLoughlin, R Keegan; D Gallagher, J Gilsenan, P Wilson. Subs used: D Fallon for Waters (27), J Brennan for R Keegan (35), D Elliot for D Gallagher (51).
Referee: Gus Chapman.