MONAGHAN GET THEIR NATIONAL LEAGUE CAMPAIGN OFF TO THE PERFECT START
Monaghan 2-7 Laois 1-5
Monaghan got their league campaign off to the perfect start , when they secured full points in their opening match against Laois. Laois have always proved to be a bogey team for the Monaghan girls, but apart from the many missed chances, the Monaghan girls seemed in control of the game and were worthy winners.
It was Laois who opened the scoring of the game, when Tracey Lawlor converted a free with just 2 minutes of the game gone. Monaghan were guilty of a number of wides and it wasnt until the 7th minute that they eventually got off the mark. Excellent defending by Joanne Courtney saw Monaghan break forward with Ellen Mc Carron firing to the net to give Monaghan the lead. Grainne Mc Nally on one of her trademark runs forward, than added another point to put 3 points between the sides. Mary Kirwan converted another point for the Laois girls half way through the half to close the gap. Indeed Monaghan’s defence were made work hard to keep Laois at bay. Monaghan should have extended their lead even further, but their final touch was letting them down. Another fine move saw Ciara Mc Anespie find Ellen Mc Carron. It looked like Ellen was going to record her second goal of the day but Caoimhe Dollard managed to deflect the ball out. Caoimhe Mohan was in the right spot at just the right time to slot the ball into the net. Isobel Kierans added another point on the 25th minute to give Monaghan a 6 point lead. The last 5 minutes of the first half saw Monaghan miss further chances, but luckily they still went into the break leading by 6 points.
Half time score Monaghan 2-2 Laois 0-2
Laois got off to the better start in the 2nd half when Patricia Fogarty fired over a great point. Mary Kirwan followed with another free conversion to reduce the lead to just 4 points. Therese Mc Nally hit a fine point to open Monaghan’s scoring of the second half with 5 minutes gone. Soon afterwards Therese had a chance to extend Monaghan’s lead. Ciara Mc Anespie was fouled in the penalty area. Therese’s shot was low and hard but it just skimmed past the post, much to the relief of the Laois dug out. More missed opportunities followed and there was a slight worry that Monaghan could ruin those misses. Caoimhe Mohan pointed before Monaghan were reduced to 14 players, with midfielder Isobel Kierans sinned binned. Laois introduce a number of subs and with the free player they started to push forward, but as in previous games, Monaghan’s defence stood firm. Despite a few more wides, Ciara Mc Anespie pointed, and 2 frees converted by Ellen Mc Carron and Caoimhe Mohan put Monaghan 9 points clear, with just 4 minutes of normal time remaining. Laois did get a consolation goal in injury time , Aisling Keough being the scorer, and Tracey Lawlor pointed just before the ref blew the final whistle, to leave just 5 points between the sides.
Final score Monaghan 2-7 Laois 1-5
Linda Martin, Joanne Courtney, Sharon Courtney, Christine Reilly,Grainne Mc Nally(0-1), Laura Mc Eneaney, Aoife McAnespie, Amanda Casey, Isobel Kierans(0-1), Therese Mc Nall(0-1), Eileen Mc Elroy ,Cora Courtney, Ciara Mc Anespie(0-1), Ellen Mc Carron(1-1 1f), Caoimhe Mohan(1-2 1f)
Subs used Catriona Mc Connell
Caoimhe Dollard, Aishling Wall, Jane Moore, Ellen Healy, Alison Taylor, Patricia Fogarty(0-1), Laura Hyland, Tracey Lawlor(0-2 1f), Sarah Quigley, Mary Kirwan (0-2 2f), Anna Moore, Maggie Murphy, Grace Weston, Sinead Doogue, Eimear Fitzgerald
Subs used Aisling Keough (1-0), Noirin Kirwan, Olwyn Farrell, Martina Dunne
It is always nice to get the league campaign off to a good start, and against Laois this was a very good result for the Monaghan girls, They worked tirelessly throughout the game and fought hard for every ball. The only worrying thing was the amount of missed chances, which on another day could have proved costly, but on a positive note, they created a lot of good chances, and hopefully over the league campaign, they can improve on their score taking.
This weekend they travel to Cork to take on the All Ireland champions. Monaghan will be missing Amanda Casey and Isobel Kierans. Hopefully Nicola Fahy will have recovered to stake her claim on a place but Monaghan have a number of players ready to step in and I’m sure they will push Cork all the way. That last weekend in September will still be fresh in the minds of the Monaghan girls, and they will be hoping to get revenge for that All Ireland final defeat.
We wish the players and the management the very best of luck. Another player who I didn’t mention being absent this weekend is Lavina Connolly. Lavina has another very important match this weekend. This Friday Lavina gets married to Stephen Fitzpatrick and on behalf of myself and the county board I would like to wish Lavina and Stephen the very best of luck.
The Annual Presentation night is fast approaching so once again a reminder to all clubs to get your order for tickets in. Tickets are €15. Our senior ladies will recieve their Ulster and All Ireland runners up medals and our U16 team will also receive their Ulster winners medals. Presentations will also be made to U14, U16, Minor and Senior Players of the Year, and to the Div 1, Div 2, Div 3 and Div 4 players of the year. Presentation will also be made to most improved club of the year and Overall Club of the Year. Special guests on the night will be the 1992 All Ireland winning team. This should be a great night for all. Music by Rula Bula