Tourlestrane breeze past Mary's
Tourlestrane 2-21 St Mary's 0-10
Tourlestrane made it 3 wins out of 3 last Saturday evening and unsurprisingly clinched top spot in Group 1 in the Belfry SFC with a game in hand after a convincing win against a struggling St. Mary's.
Two goals from Gary Gaughan before and after half-time ensured the reigning champions left Cloonacool Saturday evening with a comfortable win.
Played in slippery conditions, it was St. Mary's who opened the scoring from a close-range free in the 1st minute by experienced talisman Mark Breheny who would kick 7 of Mary's 10 points.
Mary's early lead was short-lived however as Tourlestrane's Alan Dunne equalised with a nice score cutting in onto his left in the 2nd minute.
The opening 10 minutes were cagey and neither side gave an inch to their opponents. Mark Breheny tapped over another free which was cancelled out by the impressive Liam Gaughan who caused serious problems for Mary's backline throughout the 60 minutes.
The Sligo town outfit were guilty of some wayward shooting and found it hard to deal with Tourlestrane's physicality.
While Mary's were having trouble finding their range, Tourlestrane made sure of their opportunities and registered some good scores through Kenny Gavaghan and the ruthless Liam Gaughan.
Tourlestrane were quickest to the breaking ball particularly around the middle third through Pat Harte, Jonny Kelly, and Oisín Kennedy.
Breheny added another score before Tourlestrane hit 1-04 unanswered in the closing stages of the 1st half that changed the landscape of the game . Tourlestrane's goal coming from corner-forward Gary Gaughan after some brilliant link-up play between Jonny Kelly and captain James Leonard with the former finding Gaughan unmarked on the edge of the square to palm it past Mary's keeper Jack Keegan after 26 minutes.
Tourlestrane pushed on and added points through corner-back Cian Surlis, Kelly, Liam Gaughan, and a fine effort from Oisín Kennedy. Mary's halted the onslaught somewhat through an impressive point from Nathan Rooney with the outside of the boot just before half time to leave it 1-11 to 0-05 at the break.
It was Mary's who started the half positively again with a well-taken score by halftime substitute Adam Lynch, who replaced the injured Gerard O'Kelly-Lynch.
Whatever hope there was for Mary's to claw themselves back into contention was put to bed in the 39th minute when Gaughan found space again in front of goal and rounded Keegan to finish to the net.
1st half substitute Stephen Henry was dictating matters in midfield along with the influential Adrian McIntrye, Kelly, and Kennedy who were launch pads for Tourlestrane attacks - Kelly's kicking ability to find Liam Gaughan in the full-forward line was an impressive feature of the game.
Breheny added his 5th before Tourlestrane drove on again hitting 5 unanswered points through Henry, Leonard, Kelly, Surlis, and substitute Brian Egan.
Mary's looked dejected and didn't have any answers to Tourlestrane's strength, pace, and stamina as they continued to drive forward through Kelly, Kennedy, Henry, and McIntyre. Tony O'Kelly-Lynch, Paul Kilcoyne, Mark Breheny and Mark McGoldrick battled on but Mary's still struggled to find their target man Stephen Coen.
They did find joy though when wing-back Stephen Henry popped up to finish neatly after good combination play between Dylan Kilgannon and Stephen's brother, Liam, in the 58th minute.
Gaughan and Breheny cancelled each other out with frees in the final 10 minutes before referee Michael Duffy brought proceedings to a conclusion with a 17 point win for Eamon O'Hara and Gerry McGowan's side.
Tourelstrane's ability to turn over possession and launch attacks with pace, power, and precision was too much for Mary's who will be looking for an improved performance next day out against Shamrock Gaels.
TOURLESTRANE: Adam Broe, Cian Surlis (0-02), Barry Walsh, John Francis Carr, Oisín Kennedy (0-01), Adrian McIntyre (0-01), James Leonard (0-01), Pat Harte, Cathal Henry, Kenny Gavaghan (0-01), Jonny Kelly (0-03), Alan Dunne (0-01), Gary Gaughan (2-00), Kevin O'Hara, Liam Gaughan (0-08 [3F]).
Subs used: Stephen Henry (0-01), Noel Gaughan, Conan Marren, Brian Egan (0-01F), Colin Neary (0-01).
ST MARY'S: Jack Keegan, Liam Henry, Kevin Connell, Conor Darcy, Stephen Henry (0-01), Luke Nicholson, Gerard O'Kelly-Lynch, Paul Kilcoyne, Tony O'Kelly-Lynch, Dylan Kilgannon, Nathan Rooney, Mark McGoldrick (0-01), Mark Breheny (0-07 [6F]), Stephen Coen, Johnny Martyn.
Subs Used: Adam Lynch (0-01), Aaron McGoldrick.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Liam Gaughan.
REFEREE: Michael Duffy.