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NHL: Monaghan maintain unbeaten run

April 5th, 2012

Allianz National Hurling League Division 3A

Monaghan 4-18 Sligo 2-10                            1/4/12


Monaghan warmed up for the NHL Division 3A Final against Fingal in perfect style and completed their group games unbeaten with a comprehensive win over Sligo in Inniskeen last Sunday. Brian McGuigan returned from injury to score an impressive 3-2 (all from play), while Stephen Lambe and Seán Leonard also picked up the scoring responsibility after ace marksman Mickey McHugh was sent off in the first half. Keith Raymond was in inspirational form for Sligo, who finished with 13 men, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a fourth defeat from five games.

Sligo’s captain Keith Raymond opened his side’s account with a point in the first minute of play but Éanna Mac Suibhne quickly equalised for Monaghan, who took the lead when Mickey McHugh got Monaghan converted a ’65. Gary Waldron brought Sligo level, but goals by Brian McGuigan and Seán Leonard and a McHugh free allowed Monaghan to take charge and Sligo were reduced to 14 men when Conor O’Mahony received a straight red card for reckless use of the hurl. The visitors rallied, however, with a point from Damien Burke and a goal by Keith Raymond, by which stage Monaghan had lost Mickey McHugh to a red card after an off-the-ball incident.

Raymond tapped over a free as the half came to a close and the home side responded with two points from play, including a great score by Seán Leonard’s. The visitors had two “exhibition” points to finish out the half – one a Niall Cadden effort from inside his own half and the other from Keith Raymond; a sideline cut left of the posts. Monaghan still led at half-time: 2-5 to 1-6.

On the resumption Keith Raymond opened the scoring with a nice point from play, but McGuigan hit back with his second goal after a good pass by Stephen Lambe, who added two points from play. McGuigan found the net once again to complete his hat-trick and points followed from Lambe, Mac Suibhne and Leonard, although a fine goal by Larry Cadden and a free by Raymond put some respectability on the score for Sligo.

Gary Waldron and Keith Raymond (‘65) added to the visitors’ tally, but Monaghan landed another three points – two from Stephen Lambe – and to add to Sligo’s woes, Jamie Kenny was shown a second yellow card a few minutes from time. Tougher tests lie ahead for Monaghan, not least in the league final against Fingal on Sunday week, when Sligo will have to contest a relegation play-off against Donegal.


Monaghan: R McAteer; P Dowdall, J McHugh, M Treanor (0-1); P Meegan, P Treanor, S Loftus; G Boyd (Capt.), T Hilliard; É Mac Suibhne (0-3), S Lambe (0-6, 2f), M McHugh (0-2, 1f, 1 ’65); B McGuigan (3-2), S Leonard (1-2), N Morgan (0-1).

Subs: J Lacey for Morgan (48 mins), C McKenna for Boyd (50), Alan Lambe for Boyd (57), Shane McNally for Mac Suibhne (65), M Lennon (0-1).


Sligo: D Loughnane; D O’Brien, D Tobin, T Cawley; E McGowan, J Kenny, N Cadden; A Cawley, G Cadden; K Gilmartin, T Conneely, D Burke (0-1); C O’Mahony, K Raymond (Capt., 1-7, 0-4f, 0-1 ’65), G Waldron (0-1).

Subs: L Cadden (1-1) for Gilmartin (H-T), J Porter for Cadden (50), N Treacy for Cadden (58), P Quinn for Cawley (65).


Referee: B Sweeney (Cavan).


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