FINGAL LOSS IS START OF A TOUGH TEST FOR HURLERS

18 February 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

COLM SHALVEY reports
Monaghan’s National Hurling League Division 3B campaign got off to a disappointing start when they fell to a heavy defeat against Fingal at Lawless Memorial Park in Swords last Sunday.
Fingal flew out of the starting blocks and they never looked back as their greater use of possession proved crucial against a Monaghan team who resorted too often to hit-and-hope deliveries into the forward line and who weren’t helped by a total of ten wides. Fingal centre-forward Martin Ormonde was in fine form, scoring an impressive 2-8, while fellow half-forward Aidan McInerney impressed with four points from play and Davy Byrne, Dara de Búrca, Michael Cussen and Peter Coyne also played key roles.
In contrast, Monaghan were far too reliant on Stephen Lambe, who hit nine points, eight from frees after he took over the free-taking duties from the usually reliable Mickey McHugh, who missed a couple of chances in the first half. The return of Lambe was one of few bright spots on the day for Monaghan, who started two NHL debutants: new recruit Séamus Roche and last year’s Young Hurler of the Year Martin Murphy from Inniskeen. Trevor Hilliard and Peter Treanor worked hard throughout, while Gary Boyd looked dangerous after his second-half introduction.

great start
Fingal raced into a 1-3 to 0-0 lead after just four minutes. Martin Ormonde opened the scoring from a ’65, before Aidan McInerney and Ross McGarry each added a point from play. Ormonde then got the first goal when he latched onto a McInerney pass and kicked the sliotar home at the second attempt after his first attempt had been blocked by Hugh Byrne. Mickey McHugh got Monaghan off the mark when he tapped over from a 20-metre free for a foul on Ronan Meegan, before Stephen Lambe hit a fine score from play, following good work by Hugh Byrne and Brian McGuigan.
Fingal hit back, though, with a point from a tight angle by McInerney and a first-time effort by O’Mahony after a centre from Paul McAllister. Monaghan almost got a goal back when Fingal keeper Willie Burke struggled to turn a Trevor Hilliard shot around the post for a ’65, which Mickey McHugh sent wide. A Dara de Búrca point kept Fingal in control, although Stephen Lambe responded from a 30-metre free after Davy Byrne had been penalised for a throw.
Ormonde hit a point from play, before Lambe and Ormonde swapped points from 65-metre frees, following fouls on Hilliard and McAllister. Fingal took complete charge with two goals in the space of three minutes, however, the first of which came when Peter Daly flicked a long ball from McInerney past Byrne on 21 minutes. Séamus Roche linked up with Kevin Boylan to hit a long-range point for Monaghan, but Ormonde fired home another major for the hosts, despite the best efforts of Byrne to keep it out.
Stephen Lambe won and scored a 40-metre free for Monaghan, but Fingal hit back immediately as McAllister caught the following puck-out and cracked over an excellent point. Meegan hit a well-taken point after a pass from Hilliard, but a foul on Davy Byrne allowed Ormonde to hit a huge point from an 80-metre free. Ormonde turned creator for a McInerney point, which gave Fingal a 3-11 to 0-7 lead at half-time.

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