MONAGHAN’S BID FOR ALL-IRELAND CONTINUES

26 August 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan’s bid to get their hands on the Brendan Martin Cup for the first time since 1997 remains on track following their convincing win last weekend against Meath. Team
manager Greg McGonigle was suitably pleased by his charges’ display, writes KEVIN CARNEY …
Meath may argue otherwise but Monaghan boss Greg McGonigle believes that the scoreboard in Birr last Saturday didn’t tell any porkies.
The county ladies premier football team were good value for their 11 point (2-13 to 0-8) winning margin, McGonigle maintains.
“We’re into the all-Ireland semi-final and that’s all that counts but I do think the final score was a fair reflection of how we played and the difference between the sides on the day,” the Monaghan senior team-manager opined. “We controlled the play for the majority of the game and while they had at least one goal chance that went abegging, we had a couple of shots at goal saved by their ‘keeper and, certainly, for the first 45 minutes of the game we dictated things in most sectors of the field.”
The stats will show too that even in that last 15 minutes, Monaghan were in the box seat and didn’t allow themselves to be out-gunned to any significant degree around the field, most especially at the business end of the field.
More than happy with the nature of his team’s performance, McGonigle, understandably, is wont to wax lyrical about how the team can improve in certain aspects of their play.
“In the last quarter, we tended to try and make difficult passes work instead of keeping it simple and finding a team-mate as easily as possible.
“In fairness to the girls, the sin-binning of Amanda (Casey) and a couple of injuries threw the team off its stride but, all the same, our deliveries into our forwards weren’t always what they should have been ’cause on a good few occasions they were either under-hit or over-hit.
“I don’t think we were as clinical in the last third of the field against Meath as we were against Tyrone in the Ulster final but any day you hit 2-13 against top opposition isn’t a bad day.”
Last Saturday was indeed a good day at the office for McGonigle, his backroom team, the players themselves and Monaghan Ladies Football Inc.
After their six week lay-off from competitive matches, Monaghan may not have portrayed themselves as the sharpest tool in the box at times but the team is through to the last four of the blue riband competition and that’s all that counts.
Such was the convincing manner of Monaghan’s victory that even seasoned observers found it difficult to recall the last time the Oriel galloped home past the finishing post in the latter stages of the all-Ireland championship by such a distance.
Meath worked their socks off to negate Monaghan’s efforts at playing the kind of open, fluid football that is the team’s hallmark.
Full story in The Northern Standard

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