Connacht club football finals: Gary Sice earns All-Ireland champions Corofin a replay against Tuam
Tourlestrane take fourth successive Sligo title; Tir Chonaill Gaels win London for the 18th time
Corofin’s Gary Sice scores a point to draw the sides level during the Galway SFC Final against Tuam Stars at St Jarlath’s Park in Tuam. Photograph: Tom O’Hanlon/Inpho
Corofin 0-15 Tuam Stars 2-9
All-Ireland champions Corofin needed two Gary Sice frees in added time to deny Tuam Stars and send the Galway senior football club final to a replay after a cracking encounter at Tuam Stadium.
Tuam looked to be on the way to a first county title since 1994 when Jamie Murphy cracked home a 53rd-minute penalty and then curled over a sweet point in the 63rd minute, but Corofin showed their experience and fought back well to force a replay.
There was a missed second-half penalty from Liam Silke for Corofin, who started without Kieran Fitzgerald, Daithí Burke and captain Micheál Lundy, but they will be thrilled to maintain their unbeaten run in the county which stretches back to 2012.
Despite playing into a strong wind Corofin scored the opening point in the seventh minute when Liam Silke split the posts, while a free from Brian Mannion got Stars up and running in the ninth minute.
Corofin claimed a 0-2 to 0-1 lead following a turnover on their right side, which was finished off by Martin Farragher, but two in a row from Noel Henry and Brian Mannion gave Tuam the lead for the first time by the end of the first quarter.
Two points in a row from Tuam were followed by their goal four minutes from the break when Paul Collins palmed to the net, but Corofin finished the half well to only trail by 1-5 to 0-7 at half-time.
With Brian Mannion in form, Tuam maintained their lead, and when Silke hit the post with a penalty they seemed destined for victory.
Murphy’s penalty put Tuam 2-8 to 0-12 ahead seven minutes from time, and despite a great point to back it up by Mannion, Corofin stayed calm and Sice’s two frees forced a replay.
COROFIN: B Power; C Cunningham, C Silke, C McGrath; R Mahon, L Silke (0-2), D McHugh; K Molloy (0-2), R Steede; G Sice (0-4, three frees), D Wall, J Leonard (0-4, two frees); Martin Farragher (0-1), Michael Farragher (0-2), I Burke.
Subs: M Lundy for Mahon (h/t), D Burke for Cunningham (53 mins), G Burke for Wall (59).
TUAM STARS: J Trayers; R O’Connor, A Tierney, B O’Donnell; G O’Donnell, D O’Rourke, B Mashengele; C Rhatigan, P Collins (1-0); N Henry (0-1), J Murphy (1-1, 1-0 pen), S Kelly; B Mannion (0-5, two frees), M Mannion, B O’Connell (0-1).
Subs: G Connell (0-1) for Henry (48 mins), C McWalter for Kelly (56).
Referee: Gearoid O’Conamha.
SLIGO SFC FINAL
Tourlestrane 2-17 Coolera/Strandhill 0-9
Tourlestrane won their fourth successive Sligo championship with a 14-point defeat of Coolera/Strandhill at Markievicz Park.
Goals from the Gaughan brothers, Gary and Liam, in each half secured the win for Eamon O’Hara and Gerry McGowan’s side, despite Niall Murphy hitting seven points for Coolera.
Tourlestrane claimed the game’s first three scores against the breeze, before Murphy landed two for Coolera. This was followed by the game’s first goal as Gary Gaughan flicked to the net after some great build-up play from corner back Cian Surlis.
Barry O’Mahony and Murphy (three) responded with fine scores from play for Coolera, but Tourlestrane remained in control with two scores from James Leonard pushing them into a 1-8 to 0-6 half-time advantage.
Murphy finally got Coolera’s first score of the second half on 46 minutes and pointed again four minutes later, while O’Mahony landed a great point from play. But Murphy had a goal disallowed with 10 minutes remaining when referee Conor Conway adjudged he had fouled his man before winning possession.
With that went Coolera’s remaining hopes of a fightback, as Kelly added a further brace for Tourlestrane and Liam Gaughan rounded things off with a second goal in injury time.
TOURLESTRANE: A Broe; C Surlis, JF Carr, B Walsh; O Kennedy (0-1), A McIntyre, J Leonard (0-2); S Henry, C Henry (0-4, three frees); K Gavaghan, J Kelly (0-3), A Dunne (0-1); G Gaughan (1-1), K O’Hara, L Gaughan (1-4, one free).
Subs: Pat Harte for S Henry (38 mins), C Marren (0-1) for Dunne (41), N Gaughan for O’Hara (43), B Egan for C Henry (59), R Kennedy for G Gaughan (60).
COOLERA: K Harte; E Mitchell, G Cawley, M Comerford; S Murphy, C McDonagh, A O’Boyle; B Doyle, K Banks; C Parke, K Cawley, A Higgins; B O’Mahony (0-2), K O’Neill, N Murphy (0-7, two frees).
Sub: D McGee for O’Boyle (60 mins).
Referee: C Conway.
LONDON SFC FINAL
Tir Chonaill Gaels 1-11 Fulham Irish 1-10
An injury-time free from Liam Gavaghan secured Tir Chonaill Gaels an 18th London SFC title in Ruislip.
TCG had battled back from a six-point deficit at the interval with captain Gavaghan leading the way during a frenetic opening to the second period. Owen Mulligan’s Fulham Irish had taken control early on thanks to a Marty Hughes goal and Liam Staunton’s accuracy from frees.
But TCG hit six unanswered scores straight after the break to turn the momentum of the game. Gavaghan struck first from close in and then neat interplay sent Kevin Rafferty away and he hit an unstoppable shot past Andrew Walsh in the Fulham Irish goal. Further points from Gavaghan and Brian Mullin edged TCG ahead, but substitute Peadar Friel gave Fulham fresh attacking momentum and his two points dragged Fulham back into the contest.
Last year’s final between these two sides went to a replay and this looked the most likely outcome again until Gavaghan’s late intervention. He spurned a clear goal chance just before the end of normal time, as Anthony McDermott’s ball inside sent him racing past the Fulham backline. But one on one with goalkeeper Walsh, he opted to fist the ball over the bar.
That could have proved costly, but deep into injury time, TCG were awarded the free and Gavaghan nailed the resulting kick from fully 45 yards to seal one of the most dramatic county finals in years.
TIR CHONAILL GAELS: G McEvoy; M McWilliams, P Butler, David O’Donnell; Aidan McGarvey, M Moynihan, L Gallagher (0-1); A McDermott, Brian Mullin (0-1); Kevin Rafferty (1-0), Adam Askin, A Murtagh; B McGarvey (0-1), D McWilliams, L Gavaghan (0-7, seven frees).
Subs: P O’Connor for A Murtagh (29 mins), L Monaghan for B McGarvey (45 ) E Mageean (0-1) for A Askin (60). Yellow card: A Murtagh (23 mins). Black card: Brendan McGarvey (45 mins).
FULHAM IRISH: A Walsh; M Cunnigham, S Walsh, H Dockry; R Sloan, P Naughton, R Morgan; D Givney, C O’Doherty; L Staunton (0-5, four frees), C Duggan, L Turley (0-1); L Mulvey (0-1), M Hughes (1-0) D Connern (0-1, free).
Subs: P Friel (0-2) for L Mulvey (39 mins) D O’Connor for M Hughes (46), R Mulgrew for C Duggan (57). Black card: Marty Hughes (46 mins).
Referee: Gavin Dixon.