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Tourlestrane survive late goals scare from Coolaney/Mullinabreena in Sligo Senior championship opener

Tourlestrane 0-15 Coolaney/Mullinabreena 2-7

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Tourlestrane and Coolaney/Mullinabreena met in Curry.

Tourlestrane and Coolaney/Mullinabreena met in Curry.

Tourlestrane and Coolaney/Mullinabreena met in Curry.

sligochampion

Homeland Senior Football Championship

SIX in a row champions Tourlestrane survived a late goal rally from Coolaney/Mullinabreena in their opening Homeland Senior Football championship encounter in a sun drenched Curry on Saturday.

Fergal O’Donnell’s men were leading by six points with just minutes to go however Coolaney/Mullinabreena bounced right back into it, with two sublime goals from substitute Sean Gorman on 57 minutes and Gavin Gorman on 61 minutes which brought it back to a two point game.

James Leonard with a fine score for Tourlestrane put Tourlestrane a goal in front, but the drama was by no means over.

Another long ball from Niall O’Dowd found Gavin Gorman who didn’t hesitate in firing to the back of the net as the sides were level.

Tourlestrane’s impressive forwards Brian Egan and Liam Gaughan with two frees secured a narrow victory for the six in a row champions in front of a decent crowd in a pristine Curry.

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Temperatures were still reaching 28 degrees as referee Barry Judge was about to throw the ball in as players had to contend with the temperatures and there was a much-needed water break in each half.

Tourlestrane, who had been defeated in the Fureys Coaches Div 1 league final by Coolera/Strandhill the week previous, were hoping to bounce back from that in their opening championship round.

Padraig McGourty’s Coolaney/Mullinabreena are a young team with emerging talent, including Eoin Barrett who came on as a substitute and made an immediate impact.

It was Coolaney/Mullinabreena who got off the mark first, with a brilliant point from Barry Gorman a minute in. Down the other end, Liam Gaughan saw his goal chance saved and he followed it with a good point from play after a Kenny Gavigan pass. Freetaker Shane O’Brien nudged Coolaney/Mullinabreena in front with a free on 7 minutes.

Tourlestrane then hit five points on the trot, two good scores from James Leonard and two well-taken frees from Brian Egan along with a John Kelly mark seeing them ahead by four, 0-6 to 0-2 on 28 minutes.

Conan Marren was doing good work driving forward from his midfield position for the reigning holders.

Another O’Brien free was followed by an Egan free and a terrific score from Kelly with O’Brien adding another as the halftime score saw Tourlestrane in front by 0-8 to 0-4.

After the resumption Leonard hit the post with captain Gary Gaughan setting him up with a brilliant pass and Tourlestrane worked the rebound back to Leonard who pointed impressively. This was followed by a brilliant effort from Egan as they went six in front.

A good attempt from Gavin Gorman was well saved by Adam Broe for Tourlestrane as Egan did very well to earn a free in which Liam Gaughan duly slotted over with 7 points between them.

Coolaney/Mullinabreena were down to 14 men when Brian Marren was shown a black card on 38 minutes.

Gavin Gorman added a fine score from play on 43 minutes after O’Brien set him up and Eoin Barrett, introduced to the fray, was lively and Tourlestrane defended a good run from the substitute.

A good move involved Marren and Gary Gaughan saw the captain bringing it back to a six point game as O’Kennedy linked up with O’Brien who added a fine score from play.

Then, the game came very much alive as Coolaney/Mullinabreena found that elusive goal. The move involving Gavin Gorman, O’Brien and Declan McCormack saw a long ball going into the path of Sean Gorman whose finish was superb as it was back to a two point game

Tourlestrane showed their experience to settle and Liam Gaughan, Adrian McIntyre found Leonard who added an excellent point.

Coolaney/Mullinabreena were by no means done and substitute Niall O’Dowd sent a powerful ball into the arms of Gavin Gorman who finished to the back of the net with aplomb with another sensational score as the game was level with minutes to go.

Egan and the hardworking Oisín Kennedy saw the latter having a goal chance with a free in following for off the ground, Egan duly slotting over, the holders then defending well a move involving Barry Gorman, Crisóir Davey and David Barrett.

A Rian Kennedy free was then converted by Liam Gaughan as the game came to a close, Tourlestrane’s experience telling in what was a highly entertaining finish.

This weekend sees Tourlestrane meeting St Farnan’s on Sunday in St Brendan’s Park at 1pm, while Coolaney/Mullinabreena take on Drumcliffe/Rosses Point in Markievicz Park also on Sunday at 4pm.

TOURLESTRANE; Adam Broe, JP Lang, Barry Walsh, Kevin O’Hara, Oisín Kennedy, John Francis Carr, James Leonard, Adrian McIntyre, Conan Marren, Kenny Gavigan, Cathal Henry, Gary Gaughan (C), Liam Gaughan, John Kelly, Brian Egan.

Substitutes used; Rian Kennedy for Gavigan, Ronan Walsh for Lang.

Scorers Brian Egan (0-5, 4f), Liam Gaughan (0-3 1f), James Leonard (0-4), John Kelly (0- 2 1m), Gary Gaughan (0-1).

COOLANEY/MULLINABREENA; Cathal Finan, Kian Golden, Declan McCormack, Brian Marren, Conor Johnston, Nathan Mullen, Kevin O’Kennedy, Gavin Gorman, Barry Gorman, Niall Connolly, Cristóir Davey (C), Conor McCormack, Enda Kivlehan, Shane O’Brien, Pearse Gorman.

Substitutes used; Eoin Barrett for Conor McCormack, Sean Gorman, Niall O’Dowd fro Mullen, David Barrett for Connolly, Conor Gorman.

Scorers; Sean Gorman (1-0), Gavin Gorman (1-2 1f), Shane O’Brien (0-4 2f), Barry Gorman (0-1).

REFEREE; Barry Judge (Castleconnor).


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