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Ulster MFL: Monaghan off to winning start

March 24th, 2012

Ulster Minor Football League Group A

Monaghan 2-6 Down 0-10                24/3/12



Monaghan made a winning start to their Ulster MFL campaign when they held off a strong comeback from Down in Clones on Saturday. Monaghan were much the better team in the first half and were well worth their six-point lead, but they lost their way in the second half, where their only score was an early point from Adam Treanor, but they did enough to get over the line. Conor McCarthy, Pádraic Keenan, Adam Treanor, Ryan Wylie, Ryan McAnespie and Jake Rehill led the way for Monaghan, while Ronan McAlinden, Declan Doyle, Rory Wells and Donal McKeown were prominent for Down.

Monaghan got off to a blistering start, as Conor McCarthy raced onto a Fergal McGeough pass to fire to the net in the second minute. Conal Gallagher got a point back for Down, who missed a goal chance of their own when Declan Doyle hit the side-netting. Ronan McAlinden won and scored a 30-metre free to bring Down to within a point, but Monaghan had their second goal in the ninth minute when Pádraic Keenan set up Adam Treanor to drill a precise finish into the bottom corner.

Ryan McAnespie added a point and although McAlinden cancelled it out, Keenan converted a 30-metre free for a foul on McGeough to keep Monaghan in command. Rory Wells linked up with McAlinden to get a point back for Down, but McCarthy swung over a great score from the left wing. McAlinden was again the provider for a Rory Mason point, but Monaghan had the final say of the half when Shaun Buckley took a pass from James McElroy and took his point to make it 2-5 to 0-5 at the interval.

Treanor got Monaghan up and running in the second half after good approach play by Ryan McAnespie, but Rory Burns kept Down in touch when he sent over a free following a foul on McAlinden. Conal Gallagher took another point off Down’s deficit, but he was then sent off as the midway point of the second half approached, following an off-the-ball incident. Monaghan were also soon reduced to 14 men, however, as Lorcan Smyth was shown a second yellow card for a foul on McAlinden, who nailed the resulting free from 40 metres out.

Doyle landed a fine point for Down, who almost got right back into the game when substitutes Packy O’Hagan and Micheál O’Hare linked up well, only to be denied by Monaghan keeper David Kirk. Doyle then had a goal-attempt blocked, before McAlinden had a fisted effort deflected around the post, as Down began to pile on the pressure. McAlinden kicked a point from the resulting ’45 to close the gap to two points, but Monaghan held on to secure the points. Colin McAree’s side are away to Armagh next Saturday.


Monaghan: D Kirk; J Rehill, R Wylie, R McGuinness; M Magee, S Conlon, P Keenan (0-2f); J McElroy, S Buckley (0-1); K Rudden, C McCarthy (1-1), R McAnespie (0-1); L Smyth, F McGeough, A Treanor (1-1).

Subs: A Curran for McGuinness (44 mins), D McElroy for Rudden, S Mohan for McGeough (both 54), K Rudden for Magee (inj., 58).


Down: R Brannigan; A McDonald, D McKeever, S Cochrane; J McDonald, A Doherty, R Wells (0-1); D Doyle (0-1), R Burns (0-1f); C Gallagher (0-2), S McGonigle, R McAlinden (Capt., 0-4, 2f, 1 ’45); L McMullen, J Haughey, R Mason (0-1).

Subs: D McAleenan for Mason (33), D McKeown for McMullen (36), P O’Hagan for McGonigle, M O’Hare for Wells (44), D McCarthy for Cochrane (52).


Referee: N Cullen (Fermanagh).

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