MONAGHAN PUT ON A MASTERCLASS AGAINST ST MARY’S

17 January 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan 1-16
St Mary’s College 0-08
By JOHN GRAHAM

After losing by four points to Derry in their opening game Monaghan needed a victory over St Mary’s College if they were to maintain any interest in this year’s Power Northern Ireland Dr McKenna Cup but the result of this clash in Clones last Sunday was never really in doubt even from the early stages as Monaghan proved the masters in most positions over the Belfast based students.

St Mary’s had caused something of a surprise when they defeated Fermanagh last Wednesday night but on the day there was to be no repeat of that as they were held in check by a much stronger and more focused home side who did their best to entertain the 771 hardy souls who turned out in the very wintry conditions.

The prevailing conditions did affect the standard of play with ball handling and foot work difficult and later in the second half as the wind increased and the rain returned it made for heavy going that saw legs tiring. That said though Monaghan were the stronger team all through and showed a distinct improvement in many aspects of their play from their performance against Derry at the same venue a week previous.

Monaghan made seven changes from the Derry game although just one player, Emyvale’s Gerard McCaffrey made his senior debut in goals following his exploits between the sticks in Emyvale’s Ulster club championship campaign and there were three players who had previous experience as subs but who got first time starts this time around.

The Monaghan defence anchored by Kieran Duffy and Dessie Mone at full and centre back was sound throughout and give …

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