Report: Tourlestrane v Coolaney/Mullinabreena

Reigning county champions Tourlestrane faced Coolaney/ Mullinabreena in round 3 of the Belfry Senior football championship. Both sides defeated Drumcliffe/Rosses point in their last championship games, with this one deciding who would finish top of the group. With Kilcoyne park unplayable, Curry was the newly chosen venue.

With both teams trying to find their feet in the opening minutes, the game was quite open, allowing players to run at the opposition defence. Tourlestrane opened the scoring with a point from Liam Gaughan, who proved to be a problem for Coolaney throughout the game. After ten minutes, Tourlestrane found themselves 3-1 up with further scores from Cathal Henry and John Kelly. A free from Kieran Finan was the first score for Mullinabreena, as they worked very hard to get their second. Barry Gorman showed some brilliant fielding in the first half, as Coolaney looked to break down the well structured opposing defence.

Gary and Liam Gaughan bagged a point each in quick succession to bring the tourlestrane lead to four points. Mullinabreena put together a good counter attack from this, and Niall Connolly popped up with a score off the left. This was to be Coolaney's last score of the game, as Tourlestrane were a lot more clinical in their shooting. The last chance of the half could have made a huge difference in the game. Barry Gorman picked out Shane O'Brien, whose shot on goal was kept out between Brian Kennedy and goalkeeper Alan Bowens. Both teams rushed for the dressing rooms as the rain began to get heavier, with the half time score Tourlestrane 0-5 Coolaney/Mullinabreena 0-2.

Mullinabreena seemed to adopt a more defensive approach to the game in the second half, ad Tourlestrane pushed further up the pitch. A lot of ball possession was kept by Tourlestrane between the opposition's 20 and 45-meter lines. John Marren kept the Coolaney defence on their toes as he was making the runs to feed the likes of Liam and Gary Gaughan to keep the scoreboard ticking. Adrian McIntyre was introduced at half time, and his presence in midfield helped Tourlestrane keep the game firlmy in their hands. For Mullinabreena, they managed to turn over Tourlestrane on a few occasions, but were not clinical enough in front of the posts when the chances came.

In a fairly low scoring game, Tourlestrane held out for a 0-10 to 0-2 victory, seeing them top their group. Despite the scoreline, Coolaney put in some trememdous defensive work, and are still firm contenders for a place in the county final. Aidan Coleman, Barry Gorman and Raymond Connolly were three of the Mullinabreena players whose work stood out, as did Liam and Gary Gaughan as well as John Marren.

Both teams now anticipate their next challenges to see how they can do in the remainder of this year's championship, as the knockout stage is soon to kick in.


Tourlestrane: Alan Bowens; Noel Gaughan, Brian Kennedy, Barry Walsh; Oisin Kennedy, Shane Dunne, James Leonard; Kenny Gavigan, Cathal Henry (0-3); Alan Dunne, John Kelly (0-1), Gary Gaughan (0-2); Liam Gaughan (0-3), John Marren (0-1), Pat Harte.

Subs used: Adrian McIntyre, Niall Egan, John Quinn, Colin Neary.

Coolaney/ Mullinabreena: Cathal Finan; Stephen Barret, Conor Gorman, Pearse Gorman; Enda Kivlehan, Aidan Coleman, Nathan Mullen; Declan McCormack, Raymond Connolly; Barry Gorman, Cristoir Davey, Niall Connolly (0-1); Shane O'Brien, Daniel Davey, Kieran Finan (0-1).

Subs used: Gavin Feeley, Stephen Connolly, Sean Gorman.

Referee: John Gilmartin 

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