Tourlestrane progress despite Calry comeback
Calry/St Joseph's 0-9 Tourlestrane 0-16
In the last of the Sligo Senior Football Championship quarter finals, defending champions Tourlestrane faced Calry/St.Joseph's.
Tourlestrane topped their group, hoping to keep up their winning ways. Calry on the other hand, finished second in theirs, and were looking to redeem themselves after a loss to Coolera/Strandhill in their last championship outing.
The opening minutes of the game saw Tourlestrane hold a lot of possession, trying to break down the Calry defence. Neither side seemed to find their range, sharing numerous missed opportunities.
Tourlestrane began to find their range, as frees from Liam Gaughan and Cathal Henry built up a lead. Calry's full forward powerhouse Conor Griffin put the Tourlestrane defence under pressure, with two well taken points from the first two balls he received.
Tourlestrane set up their defensive structure, meaning that Stephen Henry and Barry Walsh could successfully work well together to prevent any more danger from Griffin. A good Tourlestrane counter attack gave us one of the scores of the game, with Pat Harte kicking a delightful score off his left boot.
Gary Gaughan showed to be troublesome for the Calry defence, winning plenty of frees in scorable positions. One of these frees was the result of a black card for wing back Brian Cox. Cathal Henry kicked three more frees before the half, extending the Tourlestrane lead.
Both goalkeepers, Aidan Devaney and Alan Bowens worked their short and long kickouts very well, neither being called into too much action.
Calry certainly had a hill to climb in the second half, but did well considering they were against the wind for the first thirty. The half time score was Tourlestrane 0-8 Calry/St.Joseph's 0-3.
Tourlestrane started the second half well, with Pat Harte getting his second point of the game.
With six points between the teams, Calry knew they had to use the breeze to their advantage to reduce the deficit.
The next ten minutes of play were very impressive from a Calry point of view. Devaney (2) and Cummins reduced the margin, with another score of the game contender coming from Conor Griffin, who held off two Tourlestrane defenders, and scoring with his left foot from quite close to the end line.
Two points separated the sides, and Tourlestrane were under pressure.
This pressure was brilliantly dealt with, as Liam Gaughan scored two points in as many minutes. Tourlestrane built their lead again.
Five points separate the teams, when Calry captain Damien O'Boyle unfortunately receiving a red card, adding to the dismissal of substitute Michael Gilmartin. The thirteen men of Calry could only add another point to their tally.
Tourlestrane's strong bench, along with a two man advantage, let them keep tipping points over to extend their lead.
John Quinn and Alan Dunne came off the bench to add to their side's lead.
Calry had a late goal chance, which was well dealt with by Alan Bowens and his defence.
Final score was Tourlestrane 0-16 Calry/St.Joseph's 0-9.
Unfortunately for Calry, their championship has come to an end.
Although they could not progress to a semi final, they have nothing to be ashamed of considering they were an Intermediate side, winning the Intermediate championship in 2014.
Tourlestrane now have their eyes fixed on a semi final meeting with south Sligo rivals Tubbercurry. After an exciting League final between the two, this semi final could hopefully be one for the ages.
Tourlestrane: A Bowens; N Gaughan, B Walsh, B Kennedy; O Kennedy, S Dunne, J Leonard; S Henry, A McIntyre; C Henry (0-5), B Egan, J Kelly; L Gaughan (0-6), P Harte (0-2), G Gaughan. Subs: A Dunne (0-1), K Gavigan, C Neary, J Quinn (0-2), D Leonard.
Calry/St.Jospeh's: A Devaney (0-2); B Shannon, A Cummins, D Keown; C Stenson, E Nicholson, B Cox; D O'Boyle, B O'Boyle (0-1); C McGovern, D Cummins (0-3), D O'Brien; B McGovern, C Griffin (0-3), M Flynn. Subs: P Heraghty, M Gilmartin, C Tuohy.
Referee: Barry Judge.