Monaghan’s finest still on course

19 November 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The heady times continue for Corduff and Doohamlet. And with both clubs now awaiting Ulster clu final dates, there is every possibility that Christmas will come early for both parties, writes KEVIN CARNEY

he Gaels and the O’Neills have cut a dash in 2010 and their premier teams’ panoply of skills has propelled them to the cusp of provincial club title triumphs in the JFC and IFC competitions respectively.

Corduff left their best wine ’till last last Sunday at Casement Park to leave opponents Grange (Armagh) punch drunk (0-10 to 0-15) and out of the running for the Ulster club JFC title.

Meanwhile at Brewster Park another great tale for Monaghan football unfolded as Doohamlet gave Tyrone tyros Derrylaughan a hiding (2-12 to 1-5) in their semi-final duel.

Classy Corduff now await a provincial final meeting with Cavan champions Swanlinbar who were handsome 0-16 to 0-7 winners over Down side Drumaness in Omagh.

In careering their way to the final, Corduff owed much to a purple patch period either side of the interval during which time they notched nine points in a row.

“We started poorly but finished like a train,” joint team-manager Shane Donohue admits.

“We didn’t start the game we wanted to and that’s something we will have to address before the final ’cause if we put in the same first half position against Swanlinbar I doubt that we will be able to pull it out of the bag the way we did last Sunday.

“Having said that, we were confident that the lads had the ability to reel them (Grange) in and once they kicked the nine points we got on a roll.”

Donohoe concedes that Corduff’s sprint to the line which was hallmarked by the flurry of nine points represented the team’s “best 15 to 20 minutes football that we’ve played all year.”

Consistency is, of course, the hallmark of greatness and Donohue says while other great patches of football engineered against Naomh Colmcille (Donegal) and earlier in the year in their championship replay against Cremartin showed the team at its very best, a fully energised 60 minutes will be needed in the final if the dream is to be realised.

“We were lucky to be just two points in arrears at half-time (0-5 to 0-7) ’cause we didn’t play well or at least anywhere near our potential.

“They had two very good goal chances in the first half too, one of which saw Darren (Byrne) produce a particularly great save, so were fortunate to still be in touch with them at the break.

“We were off the boil in the first half; panicking in possession and playing the ball across the pitch too much instead of playing it forward.

“We were lining up shots but nobody was taking on the responsibility of taking a pop (at goal) while on some other occasions, we were shooting from impossible angles.

“We knew that playing against any team that won the Armagh championship was going to be a big test and a serious challenge so it didn’t help that we got off to such a slow start and were so slow in our build-up play.

“The plan was to impose our game on them from the opening whistle but that’s not what happened,” the ‘Blayney College-based PE teacher concluded.

Fulsome in his praise of the role played by his co-manager Ray Byrne – scorer of five points from play – the Kildare native was especially pleased with the way the Monaghan champions shut up shop at the back in the second half to complement their improved form in the last third of the field.

Full report in the Northern Standard

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