6 May 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Colm Shalvey reports

FINGAL                 2-19

MONAGHAN             3-14

Monaghan missed out on the direct route to the Nicky Rackard Cup semi-finals when they lost a high-scoring Round 2A game against Fingal in Castleblayney last Saturday. Stephen Lambe hit 1-2 early on as Monaghan started brightly, but Fingal hit 2-2 without reply at the start of the second quarter: the goals from John Matthew Sheridan and Darren Renahan.

Fingal stayed narrowly ahead for most of the second half and even though two goals in quick succession by Deaglán Crowe – with more than a slice of good fortune – briefly turned it in Monaghan’s favour, the north-Dublin side hit five of the last six points. Fingal had eight scorers, led by John Matthew Sheridan with 1-9, as they reversed their NHL defeat by the same margin. TJ Howard and Kevin and Cillian O’Flynn also key players for Fingal, while Peter and Mark Treanor and Lambe led the way for Monaghan, who were left to regret 11 wides, including four from frees.

John Matthew Sheridan took barely a minute to open his and Fingal’s account and although Mark Treanor quickly responded for Monaghan, Paddy Sheridan then converted a long-range free. Monaghan hit the front in the fifth minute when Stephen Lambe powered through to score the opening goal and he then won and scored a free from the right wing, before converting another from 25 metres after a foul on Brian McGuigan. Niall Garland also pointed a free from the right-hand side after Niall Ring had been penalised for over-carrying, but Monaghan missed a couple of chances to stretch their lead further, before a foul on Eoin O’Connor allowed Paddy Sheridan to send over another free from distance.

A McGuigan point restored Monaghan’s five-point advantage, but JM Sheridan got Fingal right back into it at the end of the opening quarter when he latched onto a long ball from Cillian O’Flynn to fire to the net. McGuigan was denied by Fingal keeper Mark Cullen after he had been put through by Steven Forde and the visitors were soon level, as JM Sheridan converted a 50-metre free for a foul on Kevin O’Flynn and he also sent over a fine point from play from wide left. Monaghan were coming under increasing pressure at this stage and they needed blocks by Shane McNally and goalkeeper David McGahon to deny Luke Kelly and TJ Howard respectively, but Fingal didn’t have to wait long for their second goal, which was finished from close range by Darren Renahan, following a long delivery from Kieran O’Sullivan.

Monaghan got back on level terms by the half-hour mark through three frees in quick succession by Garland, following fouls on Mark Treanor, Lambe and Fergal Rafter, but a long-range effort from play by Kelly edged Fingal ahead again. Mark Treanor hit a great point on the run for Monaghan, but they were twice punished for …..


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