Wednesday August 15 2012
TOURLESTRANE sent out a clear message of intent with this impressive win over St. Molaise Gaels at Markievicz Park on Saturday last.
The defending champions took a little while to get into their stride but once they hit top gear they had too much pace and power for the North Sligo outfit.
The Gaels gave as good as they got in the first half and led 1-3 to 0-5 at the interval but it was a different story after the break as Tourlestrane took complete control and decorated some impressive approach play with a string of excellent scorers.
The decisive moment arrived six minutes into the second half when Eamonn O'Hara, who was very influential throughout, latched on to a long clearance and fired to the net to give the South Sligo men a 1-8 to 1-3 lead.
It had been quite close up to that point but Tourlestrane took great confidence from O'Hara's goal and went to to dominate the game in the last quarter.
Adrian McIntyre was outstanding at midfield for the champions while John Marren was at the heart of almost everything up front. John Quinn, Brian Egan and veteran, Gerry McGowan, were also highly impressive in a slick moving Tourlestrane attack.
In a lack-lustre opening, points from play by Brian Egan and O'Hara gave Tourlestrane a two point advantage by the 14th minute but the Gaels then enjoyed a very productive spell. Martin Feeney opened their account with a terrific score from a free in the 16th minute and then Noel McLoughlin and John Gilsenan got through for points to edge them in front.
At the other end, the Gaels keeper, Glenn McHugh, was obliged to make a point blank save to keep out Brian Egan's goalbound shot in the 27th minute but two scores in quick succession from Marren and Brian Egan gave Tourlestrane a 0-4 to 0-3 lead.
However, the champions were rocked on their heels in the 30th minute when Mark Quinn, who was very industrious in the first half, cut in from the left wing to set up John Gilsenan for a welltaken goal. A pointed free by John Quinn reduced the gap to the minimum just before the break.
Tourlestrane showed much more urgency in the early stages of the second period and points by Brian Egan, Quinn and Aaron Murtagh edged them two points clear before O'Hara struck for the game-changing goal in the 36th minute.
It was all one-way traffic thereafter as Tourlestrane pressed forward with renewed conviction. Points by Darragh Currid and McLoughlin gave the Gaels some hope but in truth the South Sligo side's authority was never in doubt.
Quinn (0-2), James Leonard, Brian Egan (0-2), O'Hara and McGowan all got in on the scoring act as Tourlestrane romped to a comfortable victory.
It wasn't by an means a perfect performance by the defending Champions but there was a hunger and desire about their play, particularly in the second half, which suggested that they will only get better as the campaign goes on.
The Gaels still have plenty to play for over the remaining rounds of the Championship and if they can reproduce the spirit they displayed here they could yet figure in the hunt for qualification Tourlestrane: S Gildea, D Dunne, D Durkin, C Neary; J Leonard (0-1), Brendan Egan, M Brennan; A McIntyre, N Gaughan; A Murtagh (0-1), E O'Hara (1-2), J Marren (0-1); J Quinn (0-4), B Egan (0-5), G McGowan (0-1). Sub: M Walsh for Brennan (56 mins) St. Molaise Gaels: G McHugh, L Kennedy, G Gilsenan, J Kelly; A Caraway, T Kennedy, N McLoughlin (0-2); C Burns, M Quinn; J Gilsenan (1-1), K Watters, D Fallon; M Feeney (0-3), M Leonard, D Currid (0-1). Referee: J Griffin
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