Tourlestrane back in fi­nal

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT - BY DAVID GOULDEN

TOURLESTRANE 3-12 COOL­ERA/STRAND­HILL 1-9 Bel­fry Se­nior Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship Semi fi­nal re­play

NOR­MAL ser­vice was re­sumed in Col­looney on Satur­day evening as a much im­proved Tourlestrane over­came Cool­era/Strand­hill at the sec­ond at­tempt to reach their third se­nior foot­ball fi­nal in as many years.

Cool­era did have some bright spells of their own, but a much more clin­i­cal and de­ter­mined Tourlestrane were too much for John McPart­land’s men who found them­selves a goal be­hind with just 30 sec­onds played.

A long ball to­wards the Cool­era area catch­ing their de­fence off guard as Gary Gaughan jumped to thump the break­ing ball past Kevin Kelly.

Up against a dif­fer­ent beast in com­par­i­son to the more slug­gish ef­fort put in by their op­po­nents six days ear­lier, Cool­era/Strand­hill were five be­hind af­ter seven min­utes of this en­counter.

An Oisín Kennedy score from play, was fol­lowed up by Rian Kennedy’s first of four for the af­ter­noon from the 45 me­tre line af­ter Gary Gaughan was up­ended by Enda Mitchell.

Cool­era/Strand­hill grad­u­ally came to grips with Tourlestrane’s hun­grier, press­ing game and man­aged two scores with­out re­ply.

Peter Laf­fey kick­ing into the sun be­hind Adam Broe’s goals, be­fore the Tourlestrane net min­der elected to fist away Gary Cad­den’s punt at goal which fell short of goal. Broe’s over-ea­ger­ness to clear his lines should have been pun­ished but Colm Parke could only fire the loose ball wide with the goal at his mercy.

Both Laf­fey and Rian Kennedy ex­changed white flags to see Tourlestrane lead by four with eleven min­utes played as Ea­monn O’Hara’s charges be­gan to as­sume con­trol once more.

Tourlestrane cap­tain Pat Harte swept over a beau­ti­ful point from all of 40 me­tres out to push the ad­van­tage to five, while the south Sligo men could have stretched that lead to eight mid-way through the half.

Liam Gaughan’s surg­ing run bring­ing him around two de­fend­ers, but pres­sure from the third man back was enough to see the full for­ward mis­cue as the ball sneaked past the far post.

Cool­era/Strand­hill then had a five minute pur­ple patch of their own. Barry O’Ma­hony’s at­tempt from a tight an­gle didn’t have the nec­es­sary spin on it to bring it over the black spot. Gary Cad­den was on hand how­ever to re­cy­cle play as he judged the space to per­fec­tion, fir­ing over Cool­era’s third point be­fore re­peat­ing the trick one minute later.

The Owen B Hunt Cup hold­ers struck back with three quick fire scores of their own. Oisín Kennedy mak­ing the best of the space af­forded to him down the right to lace over a point. Team mates Johnny Kelly and Gary Gaughan adding to Tourlestrane’s haul on the fol­low­ing at­tacks.

That was to be Tourlestrane’s last score of the half as Cool­era/Strand­hill ral­lied once again to cut the deficit to three at the in­ter­val. Mur­phy find­ing form on 26 min­utes, while pa­tient play from Parke and Kevin Banks was re­warded when Cad­den found the posts again. Mur­phy on tar­get once more to re­duce the ar­rears to just one goal, af­ter Kee­lan Caw­ley was fouled by Harte.

Cool­era/Strand­hill were un­able to bring that mo­men­tum into the sec­ond half as Tourlestrane firmed their hold on this re­play. McPart­land’s men chased shad­ows as the cham­pi­ons went more than half of the sec­ond pe­riod with­out con­ced­ing.

Two frees from the floor in front of goal were eas­ily dis­patched by Rian Kennedy ei­ther side of Liam Gaughan’s score.

There was a sense of in­evitabil­ity about the des­ti­na­tion of this game on 43 min­utes when Gary Gaughan was tugged to the ground as he at­tempted to round Kelly.

Ref­eree Conor Con­way tak­ing no time to or­der the penalty which Harte, who might have con­sid­ered him­self lucky to be on the pitch af­ter an ear­lier off the ball al­ter­ca­tion with Kee­lan Caw­ley, slot­ted into the bot­tom cor­ner. Cool­era/Strand­hill full back Mitchell was black carded for the sec­ond game run­ning fol­low­ing his protes­ta­tions af­ter the spot-kick was awarded.

Things went from bad to worse for Cool­era/Strand­hill just five min­utes later when a sec­ond Tourlestrane penalty ar­rived. Conor McDon­agh this time bring­ing sub­sti­tute Joe Mol­loy to the floor in front of goal with Cathal Henry fin­ish­ing past Kelly from eleven me­tres.

Star­ing down the bar­rel at eleven be­hind with lit­tle over ten min­utes left, Cool­era/Strand­hill did man­age a score through Kee­lan Caw­ley.

But as Tourlestrane in­tro­duced fresh legs from the bench, they man­aged to squeeze the life out of the con­test.

The seasiders did pro­duce a late rally but it was a drop in the ocean in com- pari­son to what was re­quired to tighten the gap.

Laf­fey’s point one minute into added time was merely a me­mento. While Broe, largely untested in the sec­ond half, showed great re­ac­tions to deny the same man’s ini­tial ef­fort at goal. But could do noth­ing about Cad­den’s fol­low up which he tapped into an empty net.

TOURLESTANE: Adam Broe; Cian Surlis (Colin Neary 50), Barry Walsh, Shane Dunne; Oisin Kennedy (0-2), Adrian McIn­tyre, James Leonard (0-1); Stephen Henry, Pat Harte (1-1) (John Mar­ren 47); Alan Dunne, Cathal Henry (10) (Co­nan Mar­ren 54), Rian Kennedy (0-4) (Joe Mol­loy 48); Gary Gaughan (1-1) (Kevin O’Hara 59), Liam Gaughan (0-2), Johnny Kelly (0-1).

COOL­ERA/STRAND­HILL: Kevin Kelly; Enda Mitchell (Karol O’Neill 45, black card), Gary Caw­ley, Mark Comer­ford; Sean Mur­phy, Conor McDon­agh (Shane McCal­lion 51, black card), Aaron Boyle; Kevin Banks, Barry Doyle; Colm Parke (Shay Do­herty 45), Kee­lan Caw­ley (0-1), Peter Laf­fey (0-2); Gary Cad­den (1-3), Barry O’Ma­hony, Niall Mur­phy (0-3).

REF­EREE: Conor Con­way.

Kee­lan Caw­ley wins pos­ses­sion for Cool­era/Strand­hill as Tourlestrane broth­ers Rian and Oisín Kennedy chal­lenge dur­ing the Bel­fry Se­nior Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship semi fi­nal re­play in Con­nolly Park on Satur­day. IN­SET: Stephen Henry of Tourlestrane in an ae­rial tus­sle with Cool­era/Strand­hill’s

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