Ulster Vocational Schools Inter-County Football Championship Semi-Final
Monaghan 2-12 Tyrone 2-8 28/1/11
Monaghan began their bid for a fourth successive Ulster inter-county vocational schools title with a four-point win over Tyrone in Friday’s semi-final in Donagh. Monaghan were slow to get going and they found themselves four points down early on, but once they settled they looked the better team and goals by Adam Treanor and David Freeman helped them take charge. Johnny McGuigan, Shane McGuinness, Thomas Kerr, Owen Coyle, Cillian Coleman and Ciarán McCaffrey were to the fore for Monaghan, while Michael Cassidy, Enda McGahan and Conor McAleer led Tyrone’s challenge.
Tyrone made much the better start with four unanswered points in the opening ten minutes. Enda McGahan and Shea Coney converted frees after fouls on Michael Cassidy and Tony McCann, before Daniel McNulty added a well-struck ’45. McGahan kicked a fine score from play, but Shane McGuinness got Monaghan off the mark when he won and scored a 20-metre free. Monaghan then burst into life with three well-taken points from play in a row. Reece McEnteer got the first after a strong run by Johnny McGuigan, before Thomas Kerr and Donal Courtney also found their range. Monaghan had a great chance of a goal on 20 minutes when a long free from Cillian Coleman put David Freeman through, but he dragged his shot wide. Tyrone struck for a goal themselves three minutes later when Michael Cassidy fired home at the end of a powerful run, but Monaghan hit back when Adam Treanor found the net after Tyrone keeper John McCourt failed to deal with a high ball in from Courtney. A 20-metre free by Kerr, following a foul on McGuinness, gave Monaghan the lead for the first-time on the stroke of half-time (1-5 to 1-4).
It was a lead that they would hold from then until the finish and they started the second half well with 1-2 in the first six minutes. Adam Treanor got the first point and Kerr added another at the end of a well-worked move involving Owen Coyle, McEnteer and Treanor. Freeman got the goal when he finished off another flowing move which involved Ciarán McCaffrey, McGuinness and Treanor. Matthew McGahan got a point back for Tyrone, but a foul on McGuigan allowed McGuinness to convert a 30-metre free. Cassidy replied for Tyrone after an Enda McGahan free dropped short, but Kerr linked up with his Ballybay clubmate McGuinness to restore Monaghan’s six-point lead and McGuigan burst through to tag on a fine point. A nicely-taken point by Michael Bradley and a free by Coney, after a foul on Enda McGahan, gave Tyrone hope, but a well-taken score by McGuinness kept Monaghan in control. Tyrone got a goal in injury-time from a penalty by Enda McGahan, after Matthew McGahan had been denied by a foot-block, but it proved to be no more than a consolation, as McGuigan got on the end of a pass from Kerr to kick the insurance point for Monaghan, who will now play Donegal in the Ulster final for the fourth year in a row.
Monaghan: N McShane; C McCaffrey, O Coyle, R Wylie; D Courtney (0-1), C Coleman, C Legan; C Lavelle, J McGuigan (0-2); R McEnteer (0-1), T Kerr (0-4, 1f), G Graham; D Freeman (1-0), A Treanor (1-1), S McGuinness (0-3, 2f).
Sub: M Vernon for Lavelle (46 mins).
Tyrone: J McCourt; B Burns, E McCaffery, R Mullan; C McAleer, D McNulty (0-1, ’45), S Girvan; S Coney (0-2f), E McGahan (1-2, 1-0 pen,0-1f); K Barkley, M Cassidy (1-1), M McGahan (0-1); S Cleary, T McCann, M Bradley (0-1).
Subs: M Gervin for Barkley (H-T), D Goodfellow for McCann (50).
Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).