ESB Ulster Minor Hurling Championship First Round
Cavan 3-6 Monaghan 1-7 14/5/11
Monaghan’s minor hurlers made a disappointing early exit from the Ulster MHC when they lost to Cavan at Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday. Monaghan went into the game in a positive frame of mind after an encouraging Ulster MHL Division Two campaign, where they lost narrowly to Tyrone in the final, but they failed to perform on the day. Monaghan missed a number of chances, including several frees, while Cavan hit three goals to battle their way to victory.
Fergal Rafter, Niall Garland, Niall Butler and Cormac McNally were on target for Monaghan in an evenly-matched first half, but a strong run by John Carney created a goal for James Galligan on 25 minutes to send Cavan in at the interval with a 1-4 to 0-5 lead.
Galligan found the net again three minutes into the second half and althogh a goal by Garland gave Monaghan hope, a fortunate major by Cavan sub Conor Crowe helped Cavan move further clear. Substitute Damien Moorehead hit a great point for Monaghan, while goalkeeper Lorcan Murphy made a fine save to deny Kevin Reilly. Monaghanpiled the pressure on in the closing stages, but they couldn’t make a breakthrough and Cavan held on for a five-point win, which books a place in the next round against an Armagh team that put a huge score past Fermanagh.
Cavan: O Duffy; G Cronin, N Farrell, K Galligan; A McFarlane, J Brennan, K Reilly; G McGovern, A Baxter; J Carney, A Mulcahy, (0-3f), N Neary (0-2, 1f); F Hughes, J Galligan (2-0), J Kelly (0-1).
Subs: S Harten for Hughes, C Crowe (1-0) for Kelly (both H-T).
Monaghan: L Murphy; C Murphy, R McCann, Colm Meegan; J Guinan, G Brennan, R McNally; F Rafter (0-2, 1f), C McNally (0-1); B McQuaid, N Garland (1-2, 0-1f), A Curran; N Adair, N Butler (0-1), D McKeown.
Subs: D Moorehead (0-1) for McKeown (36 mins), M O’Dowd for Butler (42).
Referee: J Devlin (Tyrone)