11 April 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan 0-13
Galway 0-12

A draw would have been sufficient to ensure Monaghan’s promotion to division 1 and a place in the division 2 final for the third time in nine years but Paul Finlay put the icing on the cake for what has been a very rewarding league campaign when he clinched victory with a point two minutes into stoppage time after Galway had fought back to parity having been behind from the opening minutes of the match.

Galway came to Clones with five points from their six outings and everything to play for to ensure their survival in division 2 and to their credit they felt they did enough to have at least taken something out of the game but to the victor the spoils and Monaghan now march on to a date with Donegal in Croke Park on April 27th.

Conditions on the day were quite blustery but the bright sunshine gave a feel of Summer and it was a contest that gave both sets of supporters plenty to cheer about. Throughout the match Monaghan followers though were somewhat incensed by a series of decisions by Wicklow referee Anthony Nolan whose free count for the match was 26 to Galway and 11 to Monaghan but he came in for particular criticism with the degree of leeway that he granted Galway corner back Joss Moore in his marking of Conor McManus.

The game saw a first league start for Peter O’Hanlon and Stephen Gollogly and both acquitted themselves well before being substituted in the second-half with O’Hanlon showing that he has the aptitude to develop into a commanding midfielder. That was an area though where Monaghan came under pressure with Thomas Flynn and James Kavanagh repeatedly winning possession.

One of the problems Monaghan had against Laois in their previous game was how easily Laois were able to penetrate them and Galway enjoyed a degree of freedom in that regard on Sunday last as well which is something that will no doubt Malachy O’Rourke will be working on in the build-up to the final.

Galway were first on the attack but they failed to convert a free for a foil on Michael Martin with Monaghan then opening the scoring in the seventh minute with a point by Dessie Mone.

Both sides …

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