No 4-in-row … for Monaghan Vocationals

11 February 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

JOHN GRAHAM reports

A sharper, hungrier Donegal experienced little difficulty in moving through to the All Ireland stage of the inter county Vocational Schools championship when they proved too strong and too adept in practically every aspect of their game as they dumped, Monaghan, the reigning champions for the last three years out of the series with a scintillating display in Kildress on Tuesday evening last.
Donegal dominated this game from start to finish and never allowed Monaghan to establish anything like a foothold and but for some woeful finishing they could have had the result wrapped up by half-time or could certainly have won by a greater margin at the finish.
Played in increasingly difficult conditions with torrential rain falling during the entire second half this game was never a classic but whatever classy football was produced came from the Donegal lads whose teamwork, support play, defending and counter-attacking left Monaghan literally chasing shadows. Padraig Doherty at centre back was soundness personified while Darragh White and Luke Barrett in midfield totally overshadowed their Monaghan counterparts although Jonathan McGuigan was one of Monaghan’s better players.
Donegal looked like the livelier from the very start and had registered the opening score within 30 seconds of the throw-in courtesy of John O’Malley. They were not score again until the 15th minute by which stage they had racked up seven wides and had dropped two short to the Monaghan keeper although Monaghan themselves had registered a couple of wayward shots. Donegal were always threatening on counter-attacks and Monaghan also contrived to create problems for themselves in this regard by too often gifting possession back to the opposition.
Fifteen minutes into the first half Donegal struck a decisive blow when Seamus Ellis centred from a quick counter attack and Shaun Boyle got on the end of it to rattle the Monaghan net to put his side four points in front. Monaghan fluffed two or three more chances before they opened their account in the 23rd minute with a point from a free by Thomas Kerr for a foul on Shane McGuinness. Immediately Donegal were back on the offensive for two points within a minute from Ryan McHugh who palmed over the bar from a cross by Patrick McBrearty which could have ended in the net, and then McBrearty himself with an excellent point under pressure to give Donegal a five points lead. Donegal continued to dominate but also continued their wasteful ways and registered their 11th wide of the first half before Monaghan got their second score through Shane McGuinness in the 29th minute after good work by Johnny McGuigan. Another abortive attack by Donegal saw Sean McGarvey off target with the game going into stoppage time and with a minute elapsed Rory Dunleavy added a point for the eventual winners to leave the half-time score Donegal 1-4, Monaghan 0-2.

Full report in The Northern Standard

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