AIB Connacht Club SFC Final
Maigh Cuilinn 0-13 Tourlestrane 0-6
By Cian O’Connell at Pearse Stadium for gaa.ie
Maigh Cuilinn eventually shrugged off Tourlestrane’s spirited resistance in Salthill to claim a first ever AIB Connacht Club SFC title.
Prompted by the splendid Seán Kelly and Peter Cooke, who mined three delightful second period points from play, Maigh Cuilinn did what was required to secure provincial silverware.
Tourlestrane were gritty throughout but were only able to summon three scores in either half as Maigh Cuilinn dictated the agenda after the restart.
A defensive match unfolded in the west with underdogs Tourlestrane frustrating Maigh Cuilinn, who departed 0-4 to 0-3 ahead at the break.
Dessie Conneely converted four first half frees for Maigh Cuilinn, who only registered 0-4 from 10 scoring attempts.
At the opposite end of the field John Kelly was effective for Tourlestrane clipping a couple of sweet points from play, while Liam Gaughan also kicked an effort.
The seven-in-a-row Sligo champions were hard-working, but Don Connellan’s Maigh Cuilinn still departed at the break armed with a slender advantage.
When the action recommenced Maigh Cuilinn enjoyed a productive burst as Owen Gallagher, Cooke, Mícheál O’Reilly, and Paul Kelly contributed points to edge the 0-8 to 0-4 in front.
Liam Gaughan did reply for Tourlestrane, but once again Maigh Cuilinn reeled off three on the spin from Tom Clarke, Cooke, and Paul Kelly ensuring the closing stages were devoid of any significant suspense or drama.
Fergal O’Donnell’s Tourlestrane remained defiant with Liam Gaughan drilling a point, but Aidan Claffey and Cooke, fittingly, sealed the deal for Maigh Cuilinn.
These are heady days for Maigh Cuilinn, who have won two out of the last three Galway senior championships. Delivering in Connacht is another encouraging sign. Now the challenge for Maigh Cuilinn is to perform on the national stage – a challenge that will be embraced.
Scorers for Maigh Cuilinn: Dessie Conneely 0-4 (4fs), Peter Cooke 0-3, Paul Kelly 0-2, Aidan Claffey, Owen Gallagher, Micheál O’Reilly, and Tom Clarke 0-1 each.
Scorers for Tourlestrane: Liam Gaughan 0-3, John Kelly 0-2, Gary Gaughan 0-1.
Maigh Cuilinn: Andrew De Paor; Conor Corcoran, Eoghan Kelly, Neil Mulcahy; Micheál O’Reilly, David Wynne, Aidan Claffey; Tom Clarke, Gerard Davoren; Seán Kelly, Niall Walsh, Peter Cooke; Paul Kelly, Owen Gallagher, Dessie Conneely.
Subs: Daniel Cox for Walsh (58), Evan Kenny for O’Reilly (60+1), Micheál Ó Mocháin for Davoren (60+3).
Tourlestrane: Adam Broe; JP Lang, John Francis Carr, Barry Walsh; Oisín Kennedy, Adrian McIntyre, Noel Gaughan; Feidhlim O’Donnell, Conan Marren; James Leonard, John Kelly, Kenny Gavigan; Gary Gaughan, Cathal Henry, Liam Gaughan.
Subs: Niall Egan for Gavigan (45), Stephen Henry for O’Donnell (52), Rian Kennedy for Leonard (54), Kevin O’Hara for N Gaughan (56), Aidan Marren for O Kennedy (59).
Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo).