11 January 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan 1-13
St Mary’s University 2-06
MONAGHAN got their 2013 season off to a winning start and repeated their 2012 win over St. Mary’s University, Belfast when they had four points to spare over the students this time around.
Both sides indulged in a degree of experimentation in this opening Dr McKenna Cup game that was played in difficult conditions in Clones on Sunday last in front of a crowd of 856 patrons.
St Mary’s were missing a number of players due to county involvement and injuries while Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke used the occasion to run the rule over a couple of debutants and a number of fringe players.
In the end Monaghan just about deserved their four points victory in what was at times a scrappy enough affair although the game did produce a number of fine moves and a couple of excellent scores as well as some liberal interpretation at times by Tyrone whistler Eugene McHugh.
The greasy conditions, with light rain falling for most of the game, did not help and there was a degree of ring rustiness in certain areas of Monaghan’s play but that said it was a good competitive outing and the result got their season under Malachy O’Rourke off to a winning start.
Prior to the start a minutes silence was observed as a mark of respect to former C’Blayney and county player Dinnie Brereton who passed away on Sunday morning.
Monaghan got off to much the better start and opened the scoring with a point by Conor McManus after a mere 10 seconds and went on to by and large dominate proceedings in the opening half as St Mary’s came with a fairly defence minded approach.
The students opened the game up more in the approach to half-time and during the second half and in that second period they actually outscored the home side by 1-4 to 0-4 and with a little more composure in front of goals they might well have made it a closer finish if not turn it around completely.
Monaghan though contributed to their own problems in …

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