14 June 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

It’s a match that won’t live long in the memory, but it produced the right result from a Monaghan point of view. by COLM SHALVEY

Manager O’Rourke acknowledged after last Sunday’s Ulster Senior Football Championship quarter-final at Casement Park that his team had been less than impressive, while Vincent Corey went a step further, admitting it was a “desperate” game.

Having opened up a four-point lead after 20 minutes, Monaghan failed to score in the remaining 15 minutes of the first half, allowing Antrim to cut their interval deficit to just a point (0-5 to 0-4).

Monaghan would have been content to be ahead after playing against the wind, but when Neil McAdam was shown a rather soft second yellow card four minutes into the second half, it looked like it was game on.

Antrim went all of 35 minutes without scoring, however, meaning Monaghan could afford to kick another 11 wides – and 16 in all – and still win with plenty to spare. Antrim, perhaps spooked by their hammering in Clones in the last round of the Allianz National Football League, appeared to be in damage limitation mode, as they kept most of their team behind the ball for the entire match, not even committing numbers forward when the game was slipping out of their reach.

Both of their second-half points came from frees and they managed just three points from play in the 70-plus minutes. Two of those came from midfielder Seán McVeigh, meaning that Kevin Niblock was their only forward to score from play, when he blazed the only clear-cut goal chance of the match over the bar.

Monaghan looked comfortable for …

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