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NFL: Monaghan 0-12 Galway 1-14

March 25th, 2012

Allianz National Football League Division Two

Monaghan 0-12 Galway 1-14                                   25/3/12


Monaghan face a battle to avoid relegation in the Allianz NFL after they lost by five points to Galway in their ‘home’ game at Pearse Park, Longford on Sunday. Monaghan had much the better of the first half and were five points up at one stage, but their lead had been reduced to two by the interval and Galway gradually took over after the restart. Monaghan still had chances to take something from the game, but Galway got their noses in front down the home straight and a last-gasp goal by Danny Cummins put a gloss on the final score. The introduction of the vastly experienced Pádraic Joyce made a difference for Galway, who also had the efforts of Paul Conroy, Finian Hanley and Gary O’Donnell to thank for taking the two points, while Paul Finlay, Dermot Malone, Kieran Duffy and Gary McQuaid led Monaghan’s challenge.

Mark Hehir opened the scoring from a 25-metre free after a foul on Paul Conroy, before Monaghan went within inches of getting off the mark when Paul Finlay attempted a shot, which Galway keeper Adrian Faherty caught above his crossbar. Finlay tapped over a 13-metre free after he had been dragged down off the ball, before combining with Dermot Malone to set up his fellow Ballybay man Christopher McGuinness to kick a good point. Hehir replied from a free from the left wing after a foul on Cormac Bane, before Monaghan had another near-miss when Kieran Hughes hit the right upright. Darren Hughes burst onto a Finlay pass and beyond the Galway cover to fire over the bar, before Dick Clerkin doubled Monaghan’s lead at the end of a well-worked move involving Gary McQuaid, James Turley and Kieran Hughes. Michael Martin linked up with Gareth Bradshaw to get a point back for Galway, but Monaghan hit the next four – three from Finlay, who started the run with a trademark point from play after good work by Turley and Owen Duffy.

The introduction of Ciarán Hanratty added pace to the Monaghan attack and he won two close-range frees for Finlay to tap over, while Darren Hughes also landed a fine score from play, following good approach play by Clerkin and Owen Lennon. Galway full-forward Paul Conroy finished the half with a flourish, however, as he got on the end of a Damien Burke pass to kick a nice point on the turn, before booting over a brace of 50-metre frees for fouls on Gary Sice and Blake. That cut Monaghan’s lead to just two points at half-time: 0-8 to 0-6.

It took ten minutes for the first score of the second half to arrive and it came from the trusty left boot of Pádraic Joyce, who made no mistake from a 25-metre free with his first touch within a minute of his introduction for Galway, taking advantage after McQuaid had been penalised for touching the ball on the ground. Shane Smyth got a good point for Monaghan after he had linked up with fellow sub Hanratty, but Conroy replied with another clinical finish, this time off his left foot. McQuaid restored Monaghan’s two-point lead at the end of a pacy counter-attack led by Dermot Malone and Hanratty, but Galway drew level thanks to points from Sice and Garry O’Donnell, the latter after Conroy had gone from finisher to provider.

Joyce tapped over a 20-metre free for a foul on O’Donnell and he added a point from play to make it four without reply for Galway, but Finlay won and scored a 30-metre free to keep Monaghan in touch and he added a great point from an acute angle after strong work by Kieran Duffy. Conroy regained the lead with his fifth point for the Tribesmen, before Monaghan missed a chance to equalise when the up-to-then-impeccable Finlay missed a scoreable free. Conroy sent over another excellent point from out on the right wing after he had been well-placed by sub Greg Higgins and Galway sealed the win deep into injury-time when a centre from Michael Boyle picked out O’Donnell, who laid it off for another sub, Danny Cummins, to crash the ball into the empty net. Monaghan now need to get a result in Omagh on Sunday, April 8 and hope other results go their way if they are to stay in Division Two.



Monaghan: M Keogh; K Duffy, V Corey, C Walshe; D Malone, D Wylie, G McQuaid (0-1); O Lennon, D Clerkin (0-1); P Finlay (0-6, 4f), Darren Hughes (Capt., 0-2), J Turley; O Duffy, K Hughes, C McGuinness (0-1).

Subs: C Hanratty for McGuinness (24 mins), S Smyth (0-1) for O Duffy, D Mone for Wylie (both H-T), N McAdam for K Hughes (55), D Morgan for McQuaid (69).


Galway: A Faherty; K McGrath, F Hanley (Capt.), C Forde; G Bradshaw, J Duane, G O’Donnell (0-1); T Flynn, J Bergin; G Sice (0-1), D Burke, M Hehir (0-2f); M Martin (0-1), P Conroy (0-6, 2f), C Bane.

Subs: D Cummins (1-0) for Bane, G Higgins for Martin (both H-T), P Joyce (0-3, 2f) for Burke (44), M Boyle for Hehir (54), N Coleman for Flynn (67).


Monaghan manager Eamon McEneaney admitted his team had made “too many mistakes” in their defeat against Galway. McEneaney pin-pointed poor finishing, as well as overly cautious play in the second half as major factors, saying “We should have been further ahead at half-time and then we drew them (Galway) back on us by sitting back. That wasn’t planned, the lads just got sucked back into protective mode. We’re not learning from our mistakes; when you get on top of a team, you have to push on.”


Referee: C Reilly (Meath).


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