Cadbury’s Ulster Under-21 Football Championship First Round
Monaghan 1-12 Derry 1-8 16/3/11
Monaghan are through to the semi-finals of the Ulster Under-21 Football Championship for the second year in a row after they saw off the challenge of Derry in Inniskeen on Wednesday night. A first-half goal by Pete Dooney and a six points from Christopher McGuinness were crucial for Monaghan in a game which was in doubt midway through the second half due to dense fog. McGuinness, Dooney, Fintan Kelly, Kieran Duffy, Keith McEnaney, David Millar and Peter O’Hara were prominent for Monaghan, while Cailean O’Boyle, Lee Moore and Kevin Johnston were best for Derry.
Monaghan had a goal chance after little over a minute when Pauric Boyle and Kieran Duffy combined to pick out Christopher McGuinness, who raced past his man, only to see his shot saved by Derry keeper Andrew Warnock. Derry hit the front with a brace of points inside a minute from Lee Moore, but Dermot Malone linked up with David Millar to hit Monaghan’s first score. McGuinness equalised when he sent over after a pass by Peter O’Hanlon, but a 25-metre free by O’Boyle restored Derry’s lead after Colin Walshe had been adjudged to have fouled Moore. Keith McEnaney brought Monaghan back on level terms after good work by Sam Dooney and the hosts took the lead for the first time on 12 minutes when a flowing move ended with McGuinness laying he ball off for Pete Dooney to drive a well-placed shot to the net. McGuinness added a point from a 25-metre free after he had been fouled, but Cailean O’Boyle won and scored a 30-metre free to keep Derry in touch. McGuinness and Benny Herron swapped points from 20-metre frees, following fouls on McEnaney and Colm McGoldrick, who set up O’Boyle for a cracking goal on 25 minutes, when the midfielder drilled a low shot in, which left Monaghan keeper Rory Beggan with no chance. That brought Derry level, but good approach play by David Millar and Peter O’Hanlon created a point for Mark Hanratty, which gave Monaghan a 1-6 to 1-5 lead at half-time.
Derry equalised within a minute of the restart thanks to Benny Herron and they edged ahead 10 minutes in when O’Boyle converted his third free of the evening. Monaghan finally got their first score of the half in the 15th minute when Pete Dooney kicked a fine score after strong work by Malone and a 20-metre free by sub Jack McCarron restored their advantage, following a foul on Peter O’Hara. A point by Keith McEnaney doubled Monaghan’s lead and Derry were reduced to 14 men with 12 minutes left when James Devlin was shown a yellow card for a high tackle on sub Daniel McKenna. McGuinness sent the resulting free over the bar from 45 metres out and he added his fifth point from a 20-metre free after Pete Dooney had been brought down, following a great run by McKenna. Derry had a chance to get right back in it when a ’45 by O’Boyle fell for Emmet McGuckin, but his shot was bravely blocked by Fintan Kelly, with the rebound falling for Moore, who fired over the bar. Any doubt was put to bed in injury-time when McGuinness kicked a fine point from distance to secure Monaghan’s place in the semi-finals against either Tyrone or Down, who will have to replay their game as they finished level after extra-time.
Monaghan: R Beggan; C Walshe (Capt.), F Kelly, S Dooney; P Boyle, K Duffy, D Millar; P Dooney (1-1), P O’Hara; K Mooney, D Malone (0-1), P O’Hanlon; C McGuinness (0-6, 4f), K McEnaney (0-2), M Hanratty (0-1).
Subs: J McCarron (0-1) for Mooney (40 mins), D McKenna for Hanratty (45)
Derry: A Warnock; K Johnston, D Dillon, J Devlin; D McGuckin, C McWilliams, R Ferris; C O’Boyle (1-3, 0-3f), B Doyle (Capt.); N Forrester, E McGuckin, A Devlin; B Herron (0-2, 1f), C McGoldrick, L Moore (0-3).
Subs: A Mullan for Devlin, T Brady for McWilliams (both 52).
Referee: G Corrigan (Down).