The search for a first win in the AIB Connacht Club Championship must wait for another year as Sligo Champions Tourlestrane gave Glencar/Manorhamilton a harsh lesson in life at the highest level last Sunday in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada.
By John Connolly
The four-in-a-row winners are virtually unbeatable in Leitrim but each time they have contested the Provincial Club campaign, they have come up against highly impressive opposition, Tourlestrane adding their names to those of Eastern Harps, Corofin and St. Brigid’s in proving too strong for the Leitrim champions.
Disappointed last year that they came so close to shocking St. Brigid’s, the same despondency was not there last Sunday in Pairc Sean, despite closing the gap to a solitary point with more than five minutes remaining after Adrian Croal scrambled home a second Manor goal.
But it was the response to that goal that perfectly illustrated the gulf between Tourlestrane and Glencar/Manor!
Straight from the kick-out, Tourlestrane’s John Marren scored a quite exceptional point from the left wing. Two minutes later, 18-year-old Brian Egan cemented a man of the match display with an incredible free from the left sideline.
And two minutes after that, defender James Leonard popped up in the full-forward line to wipe out the Croal goal with a third unanswered point, the north Leitrim men barely registering a shot at the Tourlestrane goal despite the renewed hope of their fans in Pairc Sean.
Given some of their lazy misses prior to Croal’s goal, the response was an illustration of what the Sligo men were all about, their focus and physical power proving too much in the final minutes for Glencar/Manor to handle.
Yet we had a preview in the first half, an even more devastating one as Tourlestrane recovered from a 1-4 to 0-1 deficit 18 minutes into the game.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.