MONAGHAN’S DEFENCE SHINE AS THEY BOOK A SEMI FINAL SPOT AGAINST MAYO
Monaghan booked their place in the All Ireland semi final with an impressive display against Meath. Meath were the surprise team all year with their excellent displays, knocking Dublin out of the Leinster championship and just losing out to Laois in injury time in the Leinster final. Monaghan had a 6 week lay off since claiming the Ulster title but they showed little effects from this as they powered their way to victory in Birr on Saturday last.
It was Meath who opened the scoring of the game after 3 minutes with a free converted by Elaine Duffy but that was the only time in the game that Monaghan were behind. Monaghan responded going on the attack with Ciara Mc Anespie fouled. The resulting free was converted by Niamh Kindlon. Two more frees converted by Catriona Mc Connell and Niamh Kindlon put Monaghan 2 points ahead with 9 minutes of the first half gone. Monaghan were denied a goal when Catriona Mc Connell’s shot was excellently saved by Irend Munnelly. The resulting 45 was quickly taken by Caoimhe Mohan who found Catriona Mc Connell who landed the first score of the day from play. Then a wonderful move which started from a quick kick out from Linda Martin saw Monaghan tear through the Meath defence. A forward run from Aoife Mc Anespie found Therese Mc Nally who weaved her way through the Meath defence and fired to the corner of the net to score Monaghan’s first goal of the day. Meath responded with a point from Katie O Brien but an excellent point from Ciara Mc Anespie stretched Monaghan’s lead. Monaghan were unlucky not to extend their lead even further when a blazing shot from Ciara Mc Anespie went just wide. With just 6 minutes of the half remaining Monaghan were leading 1-5 to 0-2. Catriona Mc Connell and Caoimhe Mohan both added points for Monaghan with Katie O Brien hitting her second point of the day for Meath. Meath were starting to push forward but excellent defending by Monaghan denied them those vital scores. Just on the stroke of half time, Linda Martin pulled off a super save to deny Grainne Mc Nulty from point blank range to leave it 1-7 to 0-3 at the break. This was a crucial save as Meath, had they scored, would have been going into the break just 4 points down.
Monaghan continued where they left off and within four minutes Niamh Kindlon converted another free . Then came the second goal of the day when Caoimhe Mohan fired to the back of the net after some great work from Amanda Casey. She added another point soon afterwards to increase Monaghan’s lead even further. After great work from Therese Mc Nally, Monaghan were awarded a free which was converted by Niamh Kindlon and another converted by Catriona Mc Connell put Monaghan 1-11 to 0-3 ahead . Credit to Meath, they tried hard to respond and Geraldine Doherty scored a point to narrow the gap somewhat. Two fine efforts converted by substitute Vivienne Mc Cormack gave Meath a lifeline but Kellie Allen’s sin binning and more excellent defending from Monaghan made their job very difficult. A surging run forward by Aoife Mc Anespie finishing in her scoring a point, and another point from substitute Laura Mc Eneaney put the game beyond reach for the Meath girls. With just 13 minutes remaining Monaghan were reduced to 14 when Amanda Casey who had been in control in the middle saw a yellow card. With her physical strength missing in the middle, Meath started to gain a bit of momentum but once again they found the Monaghan defence hard to penetrate. Caitriona O Shaughnessy did pull one back for Meath and a free converted by Vivienne Mc Cormack soon afterwards was some consolation for Meath. Monaghan introduced Eileen Mc Elroy and Natasha Mohan and Natasha was unlucky not to get her name on the scoresheet. In fairness to Meath, they never gave up but with the Monaghan defence on top of their game they had a difficult mountain to climb. The last few minutes saw Monaghan hold on to their 11 point lead a victory thoroughly deserved.
Final score Monaghan 2-13 Meath 0-8
After the game Grainne Mc Nally was awarded the TG4 player of the match for her excellent display in defence. This was a remarkable acheivement for her as she had been suffering a bug during the week. Indeed the Monaghan defence all round were excellent. Linda Martin never put a foot wrong in goals and her crucial save just before half time ensured Monaghan went into the break 7 points clear. The full back line of Christine Reilly, Sharon Courtney and the already mentioned Grainne Mc Nally made life really difficult for the Meath forwards. The half back line of Aoife Mc Anespie, Nicola Fahy and Lavina Connolly not only defended, but their surging runs forward also caused Meath problems with Aoife Mc Anespie getting her name on the scoresheet with a fine point. The midfield pairing of Amanda Casey and Cora Courtney once again showed tremendous workrate covering every inch of the pitch. Up front Monaghan’s forwards were made work very hard for every score as Meath played a sweeper. And work hard they did. No sooner had Therese Mc Nally score a goal than she was back on the full back line clearing a ball. Likewise, Catriona Mc Connell who scored some excellent points and Ellen Mc Carron when they hadn’t got the ball, all helped out in defence, tracking back when required. The full forward line of Ciara Mc Anespie , Niamh Kindlon and Caoimhe Mohan, once again showed that when the right ball is put into them, they are very hard to stop. Substitutes Laura Mc Eneaney, Eileen Mc Elroy and Natasha Mohan all did well when introduced.
The management had to be happy with the result, but they will go away with things that they know must be improved if they are to beat Kerry. Monaghan failed to score in the last 10 minutes of the game and some of the balls going into the forwards will have to be improved on. However they are in the semi final and that was their aim before Saturday. They now meet Kerry who had a very impressive win over Mayo. They will not be easy beat, and if Monaghan hope to get back to Croke Park they will not only have to repeat last Saturday’s performance, but will have to improve on it.
Monaghan line out
Linda Martin, Grainne Mc Nally, Sharon Courtney, Christina Reilly, Aoife Mc Anespie (0-1), Nicola Fahy, Lavina Connolly, Amanda Casey, Cora Courtney, Therese Mc Nally (1-0), Ellen Mc Carron, Catriona Mc Connell (0-4 2f), Ciara Mc Anespie (0-1), Niamh Kindlon (0-4f), Caoimhe Mohan (1-2)
Subs used Laura Mc Eneaney (0-1), Eileen Mc Elroy, Natasha Mohan
Irene Munnelly, Louise Mc Keever, Aedin Murray, Orla Sheridan, Fiona Mahon, Eileen Rahill, Kellie Allen, Katie O Brien (0-2), Grainne Nulty, Caitriona O Shaughnessy(0-1), Elaine Duffy (0-1f), Shauna Bennett, Jenny Rispin, Mary Sheridan, Geraldine Doherty (0-1)
Subs used Vivienne Mc Cormack (0-3 1f)
The semi final is fixed for Saturday 3rd September in Birr at 5 o clock. The other semi final takes place this Saturday between Cork, who made that fantastic comeback against Dublin, and Laois who overcame Tyrone.
This group of girls deserve your support as they go for that place in the All Ireland final. More details next week
CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
Due to Monaghan being out in the semi final on Saturday 3rd September, the finals of the Junior and Intermediate club finals had to be brought forward to this week. The final of the Intermediate championship between Monaghan Harps and Aghabog took place last night Wednesday. Report on this game next week. Then tomorrow evening Friday, Latton and Inniskeen meet in the Junior decider. This game goes ahead in Aughnamullen @7pm.
Latton V Inniskeen – Friday 26th August in Aughnamullen 7pm
Inniskeen will be going into tomorrow evening’s junior final after narrowly losing out 2 years in a row. They have been putting in tremendous effort this year and seemed to be getting stronger as the championship progressed. They have a wealth of experience on their team including county player Isobel Kierans, Voreen Quigley, Linda Callan to name but a few. They also have a number of excellent young players and they along with the more experience players will be hard to beat. Latton their opponents seem to be coming good too at just the right time. After a difficult year last year, when they struggled to keep their senior team going, they have rebuilt this year and deserve to be in the final. They have the experienced Diane Dempsey back in fine form in the forward line and also county players Lavina Connolly and Shauna Coyle. They are a very young team with some very talented underage players . If given the space they will pose a threat to Inniskeen. A great game in prospect.
The senior county final between Donaghmoyne and Emyvale will now take place on Sunday 11th September
Junior championship final- Friday 26th August
Latton V Inniskeen – Aughnamullen @7pm
Development championship- Friday 26th August
Doohamlet V Killanny – Doohamlet @ 7pm
Reserve League – Sunday28th August @ 12.30 – First named at home
Magheracloone V Monaghan Harps
Emyvale V Aghabog
Aughnamullen V Corduff
U14 Division 1 final – Monday 29th August
Emyvale V Donaghmoyne – venue to be decided
U16 11 a side final – Wednesday 31st August @7pm venue to be decided
Seans V Eire Og
U16 semi finals – Tuesday 30th August @ 7pm
Carrickmacross V Latton
Scotstown V Monaghan Harps
Finals of U16s to be played on 8th September
Minors – Tonight 25th August @ 7pm
Truagh V Donaghmoyne
Scotstown V O Neills
Emyvale V Seans
St Brigids V Aughnamullen
Round 3 of minors will take place next Thursday 1st September. However, games involving players on the county panel will not go ahead.
Senior All Ireland Quarter Finals
Monaghan 2-13 Meath 0-8
Cork 2-14 Dublin 3-10
Seans 3-11 Magheracloone 3-9
Latton 6-9 Emyvale 4-10
Inniskeen 10-14 St Brigids 0-1
Aughnamullen 10-15 Eire Og 4-6
Carrick 3-6 Killanny 1-11
Magheracloone 0-6 Truagh 5-8
Seans 5-8 Corduff 5-12
Any club who still have to pay for their levy or their All Ireland tickets, are asked to have their money in for the next county board meeting.