FINGAL FEND OFF MONAGHAN

15 March 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Fingal 2-10
Monaghan 1-09

BY JOHN GRAHAM

THE dismissal of Hugh Byrne almost on the stroke of half-time on a second yellow card was a pivotal element in the outcome of this division 3A clash between Monaghan and Fingal that was played in wintry conditions in Inniskeen on Sunday last.
Byrne had picked up a yellow card earlier in the first half and then got unnecessarily involved in an incident that developed just before half-time to be then issued with a second yellow card and Monaghan were not only down to 14 players but they were now minus their chief free taker. By that stage Byrne had six points on the board, all from frees from a range of distances and angles and his absence was underlined in the second-half as Monaghan failed to convert a number of frees that could well have seen them reverse this result.
Monaghan’s overall performance was a big improvement on their display against Donegal and they made Fingal work extremely hard for their victory because it wasn’t until 19 minutes into the second-half that the Metropolitans took the lead for the first time.
Monaghan are working on limited resources at the moment with as many as seven players unavailable through injury or personal commitments but they were the more dominant team in the first half with the accuracy of Hugh Byrne the difference between the sides. This game also marked the return of Trevor Hilliard following his one match ban that kept him out of the Donegal game and his presence had a marked influence on Monaghan’s performance around midfield where he beavered away feverishly throughout.
There were only 27 seconds on the stop watch when Hilliard opened Monaghan’s account and as they applied early pressure Fingal conceded frees that were punished by Hugh Byrne with points in …

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