15 February 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Escaping from Kingspan Breffni Park with maximum points is always a tough task, but Monaghan will need to improve on last weekend’s match with Cavan. by COLM SHALVEY …

Less than a week after putting Meath to the sword in their Allianz National Football League Division Three opener, Monaghan were brought crashing back to earth by neighbours Cavan at Breffni Park last Saturday.

With difficult conditions making for a poor playing surface, this was never going to be a classic and it quickly descended into a war of attrition, with Cavan leading for almost the entire 70 minutes. A hungrier Cavan team deserved their win against a Monaghan team who looked complacent after the manner of the win over Meath. Just two points from play told a story for a Monaghan team who went all of 40 minutes without scoring after opening the scoring through a Conor McManus free in the third minute.

Referee Barry Cassidy, who has been dogged by controversy in 2013 so far, made a number of puzzling decisions. In a game that was niggly, but not dirty, the Derry official managed to hand out five red cards and 13 yellows as well as whistling for not far off a free every minute. Despite conceding less frees, Monaghan’s card count was double Cavan’s. The most significant of these cards was an uncharacteristic straight red for Conor McManus after …

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