17 February 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Most of the media attention focused on the scuffle at the half-time whistle, but Monaghan’s impressive performance in beating Kildare was the real story of last Sunday’s Allianz National Football League Division Two game in Clones. Eamon McEneaney’s men led from start to finish and were full value for their five-point margin of victory.
Few gave Monaghan a chance against a Kildare team who hit the ground running in the O’Byrne Cup and who wouldn’t have been too worried by their defeat against Tyrone, where poor finishing counted against them. Monaghan were also left ruing wasteful finishing in the opening round when 16 wides cost them dearly in Navan against Meath, but whatever work had been done in the intervening eight days worked a treat, as they kicked 17 points (14 from play from eight different scorers) and just six wides. Some of the scores Monaghan managed were superb, particularly from Finlay, but also from Kieran Hughes, Owen Duffy, Dermot Malone, Matthew McKenna and Dick Clerkin.
Finlay’s performance was inspirational, as he kicked seven points, including four from play, while also winning a lot of possession both in the full-forward line and further out the field. He was capably assisted up front by Kieran Hughes and Owen Duffy, who each hit two points. Duffy’s second point could easily have been a goal after he had been released by a superb pass from Hughes.
Kieran’s brother Darren, who once again captained the team, was on top of his game, snuffing out the threat of Tomás O’Connor (who was called ashore early in the second half). Eamonn Callaghan gave him a bit more trouble when he moved into full-forward, but Hughes was still able to break forward a number of times and he played a part in a few Monaghan scores. David Hughes also got on the scoresheet from the half-back line in a very assured performance, as did Dermot Malone, who took advantage of the starting place that his recent form has merited.
Dessie Mone appears to be returning to full-fitness as he once again grew into the game as it progressed, making some …

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