Tourlestrane 0-09 St Kieran's 0-04

Sligo champions Tourlestrane were efficient, without being brilliant, when getting the job done against London's St Kiernan’s in the AIB Connacht GAA Club SFC quarter-final at a fresh and cold Markievicz Park.

An improved second-half, during which Tourlestrane outscored their opponents by four points, 0-6 to 0-2, set up a provincial semi-final against the Mayo champions next month.

Adrian McIntyre was excellent for Tourlestrane and their inside forward line of Liam Gaughan, Brian Egan and Gary Gaughan between them contributed seven of their nine points.

St Kiernan’s, who featured two Sligo natives in their starting XV, David Carrabine and Shane McManus, won the London SFC for only the second time this year. Another member of their team was Eoin Walsh, who won an All-Ireland U-21 medal with Galway in 2013.

Tourlestrane, meanwhile, were coming into this provincial campaign on the back of a sixth successive Sligo SFC title but their last win in Connacht was in 2011 when they beat Glencar-Manorhamilton.

The visitors, who were wind-assisted in the first-half, were happy to play a defensive game and be patient with possession.

With Tourlestrane adopting similar tactics the opening period was absorbing, without bursting into life, and the opening 15 minutes were scoreless.

Brian Egan’s pointed free for Tourlestrane just before the water break was the game’s opening score.

Corner-forward Liam Gaughan converted a mark to increase Tourlestrane’s lead, with a second pointed free from Brian Egan giving Tourlestrane a three-point advantage, 0-3 to 0-0, with 28 minutes played.

St Kiernan’s, for whom Eoin Walsh was doing well, finally got on the scoreboard in the 30th minute when Chris Farley landed a free. The same player pointed again, also from a free, in stoppage time to leave just a score between them at the break, 0-3 to 0-2.

Tourlestrane, despite only scoring three times in that opening period, did show glimpses of form but their shooting was off as they amassed half a dozen wides in the first-half.

St Kiernan’s levelled matters within three minutes of the restart when William Brazil pointed from a good move involving full-forward Kenneth O’Connor.

Tourlestrane then put their stamp on proceedings with their most influential phase – a period that delivered four unanswered points from Brian Egan, Liam Gaughan, James Leonard and Gary Gaughan.

Brian Egan’s effort was a converted and the other three scores were each impressive finishes from play as Tourlestrane were 0-07 to 0-03 in front at the water break.

Upon the resumption there was a second point from William Brazil for St Kiernan’s – another excellent score – but St Kiernan’s didn’t score for the remaining 19 minutes.

Tourlestrane didn’t ignite either yet they remained comfortable and tacked on further points from Gary Gaughan and Cathal Henry.

St Kiernan’s finished the game on the front foot but goal shots from Chris Farley and David Carrabine were blocked in the packed Tourlestrane goalmouth.

A second booking for playmaker John Kelly meant Tourlestrane finished the game with 14 players but they had already their place in the semi-final at this stage.

Tourlestrane: Adam Broe, John Francis Carr, Barry Walsh, Noel Gaughan, Oisin Kennedy, Adrian McIntyre, Cian Surlis, Conan Marren, Cathal Henry (0-01), Kenny Gavigan, John Kelly, James Leonard (0-1), Liam Gaughan (0-02, 1 mark), Brian Egan (0-03, 3f), Gary Gaughan (0-02)

Subs used: Kevin O’Hara for Oisin Kennedy, 43; Stephen Henry for Conan Marren, 54; Rian Kennedy for Brian Egan, 58; Rian Bailey for Gary Gaughan, 60+2

St Kiernan’s: Mark Roche, Geoff Kingston, Paul O’Farrell, Keith Curran, Mark Mulholland, Eoin Walsh, David Carrabine, Shane McManus, James Moran, Thomas Waters, Chris Farley (0-02, 2f), Caoimhin Carthy, William Brazil (0-02), Kenneth O’Connor, Marcus Mangan

Subs used: Padraig O’Shea for Kenneth O’Connor, 44; Aodhan Gervin for James Moran, 50; Brian Rutledge for Paul O’Farrell, 57; David Rogers for Keith Curran, 60+2

Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)