The Belfry SFC FINAL - Preview

Coolera/Strandhill v Tourlestrane

Everyone would have picked Tourlestrane to be in the final. Nearly everyone would also have picked them to complete the four in a row also. Is it a case of how much ? Not likely. Bar a few Coolera stalwarts and not all of them would have seen their team in the final. Their first league game back in April v Castleconnor they were very lucky to win, against Coolaney Mullinabreena in the first round of the championship they were 1-5 to no score down after 12 minutes and should have been more, they came back to win. In the last round game v Drumcliffe they were losing going into injury time and heading for the relegation final when 2 late points set them up to play Tubber in the quarter final. They were underdogs for that but the scoreline flattered Tubber. In the semifinal they deserved their win but they had to withstand a barrage from the Marys forward line, if one of them had gone in would they have crumbled. 

The loss of Peter Laffey is huge for their system of play and also due to their very small panel. Adam Higgins form has been a huge plus for this style of play and it was no surprise he was on the end of a pass for his goal in the semi final. The dependence on Niall Murphy to score big is huge. It is no shock that he is way out in front of the scoring charts for the senior championship. However he has also delivered in scores from play and his calmness in front of goal is a big plus. Barry O'Mahoney will pop up all over the pitch and he rarely losses a ball when in his possession. Colm Parke will have to be more decisive in this game as he got done a few times in the semifinal for over-carrying. Banks and Doyle are the perfect foil for each other and you know there will be some great contests for the ball with the two Henrys. Sean Murphy is as sticky a back as there is but who will get this Sunday, the Gaughans, Jonny Kelly? Enda Mitchell has been here before and won and loss and will always give a quiet but good performance in the corner.

The semi final win for Tourlestrane is barely worth talking about as the game was over after 12,13 minutes. Gaels did not show up or was it a case of Tourlestrane having got the fright of their lives versus the unfancied Drumcliffe that woke them up. The semi-final was the first game where they actually started a game at top pace in this campaign and went for the jugular. The Gaughans have been scoring freely but Kenny Gavaghan and captain James Leonard have been adding 2 or 3 points per game. In defence they are stacked with strong athletic defenders, Oisin Kennedy, Barry Walsh, John Francis Carr, Surlis and McIntyre. That group play excellently as a unit and will wear down the Coolera attack unless Coolera score nearly everytime they cross the halfway line. The Tourlestrane lads and management have seen it all before and expect them to make history on Sunday with a bit to spare.

Tourlestrane


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