Cavan 3-6, Monaghan 1-7. Monaghan’s hopes of building on quite a successful Ulster minor hurling league campaign were shattered by a spirited Cavan performance as Monaghan went out of the Ulster minor hurling championship in the opening game for the third year in a row. Monaghan’s prospects though were not helped by a number of factors on the day. First of all they were short a number of players who were out through injury notably Damien Moorehead and Conor Cahill. Secondly quite a number of those boys were playing their fourth game inside a week and eight of the team were playing their second game inside 18 hours as they were forced to play a previously postponed minor football league game the previous evening. The latter is probably the one that gives most cause for concern as it is not in keeping with player welfare regulations or competition regulations within the county and it does little credit to the system that put these players in this invidious position.. As a result Monaghan were a jaded team and a fresher Cavan became increasingly dominant as the game wore on with very few Monaghan players holding their position with effect and dominating their opposite number. Exceptions to this where Niall Garland and Colm Meegan and they got best support from Rory McCann and Cormac McNally but ultimately Monaghan were playing second fiddle to Cavan in most areas. Central to Cavan’s victory was their dominance of midfield through Anthony Baxter and Greg McGovern while up front they had a very effective target man in James Galligan who got best support from Adam Mulcahy, Neasan Neasy and John Carney whose penetrating run led to Cavan’s first goal. Half-time score Cavan 1-4, Monaghan 0-5. Cavan picked up where they had left off and replicated their finish to the first half with a goal and a point in the opening two minutes of the second period and rove on from there. Teams and Scorers:
Cavan: Oran Duffy, Gary Cronin Niall Farrell, Killian Galligan, Aidan McFarlane, James Brennan, Kevin O’Reilly, Greg McGovern, Anthony Baxter, John Carney, Adam Mulcahy 0-4 (4f), Neasan Neary 0-1, Fiachra Hughes, James Galligan 2-0, Joseph Kelly 0-1. Subs: Steven Harten for J Kelly, Conor Crowe 1-0 for F Hughes.
Monaghan: Lorcan Murphy, Caolan Murphy, Rory McCann, Colm Meegan, Jamie Guinan, Gareth Brennan, Raymond McNally, Fergal Rafter 0-2 (1f), Cormac McNally 0-1, Brendan McQuaid, Niall Garland 1-3 (0-1f), Aodh Curran, Nathan Adair, Niall Butler, Daire McKeown. Subs: Michael O’Dowd for N Butler, Cathal McAnespie 0-1 for D McKeown.
Referee: John Devlin (Tyrone).