POWERFUL DUBLIN LEAVE MONAGHAN WITH NO ANSWERS BUT HOPE REMAINS FOR THE FUTURE

10 August 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The score didn’t lie as Monaghan dreams were dashed by Dublin’s height and power. by COLM SHALVEY.
Monaghan’s minor footballers’ campaign came to an end with last Sunday’s All-Ireland MFC quarter-final defeat against Dublin in Newry. In truth, the final scoreline was a fair reflection of Dublin’s superiority, as the Leinster champions were by some distance the strongest opposition that Monaghan faced this year. The physical difference between the two teams was all too apparent, as Dublin’s height and power made them resemble an Under-21 team.
The Dubs have now passed the 100-point mark (10-74) from their five championship appearances and their odds have been cut to 4/9 to lift the Tom Markham Cup after last year’s winners Tipperary were dumped out by Mayo. That result showed that anything is possible at this level, but Dublin look like a team hell-bent on going all the way after falling at the final hurdle in 2011.
Dessie Farrell’s side quickly took charge at Páirc Esler last Sunday, kicking five unanswered points in the first 11 minutes. It took Monaghan 19 minutes to open their account with a Pádraic Keenan free and another four minutes to get their first score from play courtesy of James McElroy and the beaten Ulster finalists were slightly flattered to be just five points behind at half-time (0-7 to 0-2).
Monaghan did give the Dubs more to think about from then on, but they were never able to make any inroads into their deficit, as the All-Ireland favourites were able to respond practically any time they conceded a score. The game was well and truly killed off as a contest in the 44th minute when Stephen Cunningham raced onto a Cormac Costello cross to fire home the only goal.
Keenan was once again a driving force for Monaghan, carrying the ball at pace time and again and kicking four points (two from play), but he lacked support. McElroy, who switched between midfield and full-forward throughout the match, Fergal Malone, Ryan McAnespie and substitute Fergal McGeough had their moments, but they were few and far between for Colin McAree’s outfit.
In contrast, Dublin had plenty of options up front in the shape of Cormac Costello, Gavin Burke, Niall Scully and Niall Walsh, while wing-backs Eric Lowndes and Maitias Mac Donncha both got on the scoresheet and David Byrne provided an assured presence at full-back.
Dublin’s midfield duo of Stephen Cunningham and Shane Carthy have built up an impressive reputation this year and they lived up to it in some style. They completely dominated the exchanges in the first half, helping the Dubs to win 14 out of 18 kick-outs, and although Monaghan competed better as the dame went on, it was never going to be enough. Dublin won all of their own kick-outs in the opening half-hour and all but two in the second period. Monaghan improved on their own kick-outs after the restart, with David Kirk, who …

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