MONAGHAN BEST

28 March 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan 1-12
Down 2-07
By JOHN GRAHAM

MONAGHAN hit two late points to book their place in the semi final of the Cadbury’s Ulster U21 football championship as Down were left to rue a series of missed chances in this fairly open yet at times scrappy encounter played in very blustery conditions in Inniskeen on Wednesday night last.

With 10 minutes remaining Down had fought back to parity with five unanswered points between the eighth and 20th minutes but they were unable to capitalise on a number of chances, one in particular when Barry O’Hagan looked to have a goal at his mercy, that could have seen them take the initiative, but just when extra time looked a real possibility Monaghan sealed the issue with good defensive work and two points, although how they failed to capitalise in a goalmouth scramble for a late goal was somewhat mystifying.

The windy conditions on the night certainly didn’t help that standard of play and made life particularly difficult for forwards although the direction of the wind favoured each team in either half.

Minutes Silence
Prior to the start a minutes silence was held as a mark of respect to the late Arthur Carville, father of current Cremartin club Treasurer and former County Board Chairman Gary Carville.

The game got off to a cracking start with two goals in the opening five minutes, Down’s Michael Hughes in the 2nd minute after Monaghan had opened the scoring with a point by Thomas Kerr after just thirty seconds. Monaghan replied with a three pointer in the 5th minute courtesy of Christopher McKenna, to give them a narrow lead, Padraic Keenan initiating the move, and McKenna went on to finish top scorer with 1-4.

Padraig McKenna added a point within a minute and Fearghal O’Hanlon added another as Monaghan built some momentum to put them three in front.

That soon changed though as Down struck for a point from a free by Darragh O’Hanlon after a foul on Caolan Rice and then hit their second goal by Ryan Johnston in the 13th minute, Down coming on a counter attack after Monaghan had lost possession, to take a one point lead.
Padraig McKenna equalised for Monaghan with a point in the 15th minute but a minute later Darragh O’Hanlon converted a free after Ryan Wylie had fouled Ryan Johnston, an indiscretion that saw him pick up a black card.

That though was the last time that Down were to be in front and they failed to …

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