7 September 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Colm Shalvey
Ten teams are still in the running for the three Monaghan football championship titles, after a weekend in which Scotstown were the main casualty. Only semi-finals remain in the Senior and Intermediate Football Championships, while the Junior Football Championship is down to the last two teams. Last weekend’s action in the Gormley uPVC Senior Football Championship saw Castleblayney and Latton advance to the semi-finals at the expense of Scotstown and Currin. The Castleblayney v Scotstown game attracted a big crowd to Clontibret last Saturday, but it failed to live up to its billing, not helped by persistent rain which made conditions difficult. That won’t matter to Blayney, however, as they caused a bit of an upset to dump their old rivals and last year’s runners-up out of the championship. Scotstown’s tails were up after comprehensive defeats of Magheracloone and Carrickmacross (on the back of four straight league wins) and with Darren Hughes available after successfully appealing his red card against Carrick, but they never got going and Blayney were deserving winners.
The teams were level at 0-4 each after a dour first half in which Scotstown went 20 minutes without scoring after hitting the first point, but it burst to life midway through the second half with two goals in the space of a minute. Shane Carey got the first to give Scotstown the lead when he punched a Kieran Hughes free home, only for Blayney to put together a good move to set up Ryan Treacy for his fourth goal in three championship matches. A Carey point brought Scotstown level, but points by goalkeeper Pauric McNally (from his fourth ’45 of the match) and substitute Jerry Brady saw the Faughs through.
Latton survived a scare from Currin in Aughnamullen on Sunday to keep their title defence on track and book their place in the semi-finals for the seventh time in nine years. Stephen Smyth hit 1-3, including an early goal, to help Currin lead by 1-5 to 0-7 at the end of a first half in which they once again more than held their own against more experienced opposition. As usual, there was no hint of panic from Latton, however, even after Hugh McElroy had a penalty tipped around the post by a great save from Currin keeper Fergal Connolly. Latton also kicked six wides in the second half, but their big players like McElroy and Owen Lennon stood up and they kicked some fine scores to advance from an entertaining game.
Latton will now play neighbours Ballybay in the semi-finals for the second year in a row, with memories still fresh of their smash-and-grab job in Emyvale last September, while Castleblayney will take on Clontibret for the second time in this year’s championship. Both games will be played in Clones on Sunday week (September 16).
Emyvale and Drumhowan set up a Universal Graphics Junior Football Championship Final showdown with wins in a disappointing semi-final double-header in Scotstown …

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