Tourlestrane still dreaming of 7th heaven after getting the better of battling Shamrock Gaels

Back 26/10/2022 @ 21:40 | mainnews | Tourlestrane still dreaming of 7th heaven after getting the better of battling Shamrock Gaels

Tourlestrane have booked their place in a seventh successive Sligo senior football decider, following a two point win over Shamrock Gaels in the semi final.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Fergal O’Donnell’s side, who were four points up with ten minutes to go, before a bizarre 90 seconds saw a Shane Deignan shot go in over Adam Broe for a goal, and a second yellow card for John Francis Carr reducing them to 14 men in the next play.

Following penalties in the first semi final, this game was pushed back by an hour forcing preparation changes for both teams. Cathal Henry opened the Tourlestrane scoring with a shot off his left, before two frees from David Quinn and a point from Lee Deignan gave Gaels the lead.

Tourlestrane captain Gary Gaughan was forced off mid-way through the first half after a heavy challenge from Quinn, meaning they were down two key forwards as Aiden Marren was injured in the warm up.

Before his withdrawal, Gaughan levelled the game at 0-3 each before a monster score from midfielder Conan Marren gave Tourlestrane a one point advantage, which would soon turn into four.

In the 19th minute, Kenny Gavigan snuck behind the Shamrock Gaels rearguard, tearing down the left flank before passing across to the oncoming Cathal Henry. Henry struck a low show to Daniel Lyons’ right to extend their lead and bag his third goal of this year’s senior championship.

Another couple of pointed frees from Quinn brought the gap back to three before the break as Feidhlim O’Donnell pointed for Tourlestrane late on. At half time only three separated the sides, 1-5 to 0-5.

Quinn added a point from play soon after the restart as Gaels began to run at the Tourlestrane defence – led by the returning Sean Carroll from the half back line. Carroll aided in reducing the gap to a point when he ran through the middle before dishing off to Shane Deignan who got his first score.

Liam Gaughan added a free to get his first of the day in the midst of a tough back and forth battle with Shamrock Gaels and Sligo full back Evan Lyons, who was solid throughout.

John Francis Carr and Adrian McIntyre broke forward just minutes later as Carr got himself on the scoresheet off the left boot, going a point ahead again.

Into the final quarter and Tourlestrane put on a scoring exhibition in the space of five minutes with Gavigan and Henry pointing well before Oisin Kennedy struck a point from wing back for a second consecutive game.

Quinn’s frees were keeping Glen McDermott’s side in touching distance, and with ten minutes to go theyn managed to claw back a four point defecit to level the game.

Shane Deignan’s attempt at goal from 25 yards dropped just under the bar, slipping through the hands of goalkeeper Adam Broe and into the net. Shamrock Gaels won the resulting kick out, and it was Sean Carroll who once again broke forward. Driving through the middle, he was tackled by Carr who had already been yellow carded. He knew his fate before Ronan Hynes reached for his cards, and a second yellow meant Tourlestrane would have to see out the remaining minutes without one of their key defenders.

The introduction of Stephen Henry in the second half for Tourlestrane proved vital to their victory, not just in ariel battle but his distribution from placed balls – with one finding Cathal Henry who slipped to Gavigan to put Tourlestrane a point ahead again.

Once more, Quinn pointed an eighth free to make it nine for the day for him in total, and a level game heading into added time.

With possession vital and a place in the county final at stake, Tourlestrane pushed on for a winner. They made it inside the ’45 looking for the perfect scoring opportunity, and as the chance came, up stepped Tourlestrane’s clutch kicker James Leonard to put them a point ahead – just like his winner in the semi final against St Mary’s two years ago.

The insurance score came seconds later as Niall Egan showed lightning pace to get past Ben Tuohy before his left footed effort sailed over the bar. With the final whistle sounding soon after, Tourlestrane players rejoiced after a hard fought battle against a tough and youthful Shamrock Gaels team.

This sets up a final meeting against St Mary’s, who make their first final since their three appearances in a row between 2014 and 2016, where they won the 2015 title having lost the other two to Tubbercurry and Tourlestrane.

Tourlestrane scorers:

Cathal Henry (1-2), Liam Gaughan (2f), Kenny Gavigan (0-2 each), Gary Gaughan, Feidhlim O’Donnell, Niall Egan, James Leonard, John Francis Carr, Oisin Kennedy, Conan Marren (0-1 each)

Tourlestrane: Adam Broe; John Paul Lang, Barry Walsh, John Francis Carr; Oisin Kennedy, Adrian McIntyre, Noel Gaughan; Conan Marren, Feidhlim O’Donnell; James Leonard, Cathal Henry, Kenny Gavigan; Liam Gaughan, John Kelly, Gary Gaughan.

Subs used:

Niall Egan, Kevin O’Hara, Stephen Henry.

Shamrock Gaels scorers:

David Quinn (0-9, 0-8f), Shane Deignan (1-1), Lee Deignan (0-1).

Shamrock Gaels: Daniel Lyons; Karl McKenna, Evan Lyons, Ben Tuohy; Ciaran O’Connor, Sean Carroll, Paul Higgins; Dillon McDermott, David Quinn; Conor Sheridan, Liam O’Connell, Lee Deignan; Darragh Hailstones, Dylan Willis, Shane Deignan.

Subs used:

Conor McMorrow.


Ronan Hynes.