CLG Mhuineacháin - Official Monaghan GAA Website

Ladies Football News

May 15th, 2012

Monaghan 1-13    Cork 2-7
 MONAGHAN clinched their first National League title since 1999,  halting defending champions Cork’s bid for five titles in a row at  Parnell Park on Saturday in a superb spectacle for the game.Monaghan were superb throughout and thoroughly deserved their win .The Dublin venue has proved a lucky stomping ground for the Ulster  side. It was here that they last tasted league success all those 13  years ago against Waterford. Once again, Monaghan’s full-forward line  showed how lethal they were, Cathriona McConnell, Niamh Kindlon and  Caoimhe Mohan contributing all but two points of their side’s total.  Indeed, only one Monaghan point came from a free, and that was the  opening score of the game from a Kindlon free on five minutes.The full-forward really came to the fore in this game, putting the  frustrations of last year’s All-Ireland defeat well and truly behind  her. Not only did the Magheracloone player hit four points, but she  epitomised the hard-working ethos of the Monaghan team, getting out in  front, winning ball and setting up scores, and would have been one of  the choices for player of the final but will certainly not begrudge  her team-mate and goalkeeper Linda Martin that accolade for pulling  off some fine saves throughout the game.McConnell’s decisive left foot saw her add 1-4 to Monaghan’s total in  the second half as she finished with 1-5 while Mohan, who surprisingly  only finished with two points, was a constant threat to the Cork  defense all day and was unlucky not to bag an early first half goal.If the semi-final game against Dublin was their best performance to  date before this game, then this performance will go down as one of  the best displays ever from a Monaghan side in many years. They proved to all that that peformance wasn’t just a once off and I would even dare to say, there is still more to come from this team. McConnell doubled Monaghan’s lead on 11 minutes but that was only  after both sides had glorious goal chances. First Mohan saw her  rasping shot come back off the underside of the crossbar. Then Cork’s  Grace Kearney was denied by Martin and back down the other end,  McEnaney, was presented with a wonderful chance, but she turned the  wrong way and Kindlon’s attempt at fisting the ball over the bar came  back off the upright.Martin denied Ciara O’Sullivan not just with her initial shot but the  rebound as well before Cork corner forward Nollaig Cleary opened their  account.McEnaney and two from Kindlon made it 0-5 to 0-1 after 19 minutes, the  latter finishing off with a point after some great work from Mohan who  reacted quickest to McEnaney’s shot coming back off the upright,  winning a ball she had to right to against two Cork defenders, to  supply Kindlon with the pass.The Monaghan defence were outstanding, snuffing out every Cork attack,  and when they did find a way through, there was Martin to pull off yet  another save, this time denying Cleary in the 24th minute. But Cork  were beginning to assert their authority and four points in the last  six minutes of the half to one point from McEnaney, ensured they  trailed by just the minimum at the break.
Monaghan started the second half brightly with a Kindlon point after  just 48 seconds for a 0-7 to 0-5 lead. However, when Ciara McAnespie  blazed wide on 32 minutes and McConnell saw her effort for a point a  minute later come back off upright, it seemed like maybe this wasn’t  going to be Monaghan’s day.But the Ulster side had other ideas with McConnell finding the back of  the net after six minutes. Her first attempt was saved, but with her  second, the ball, despite hitting the underside of the crossbar,  managed to find its way past a couple of Cork defenders on the goal- line to lead 1-7 to 0-5.Cork got their first point of the second half on 10 minutes in between  two Mohan points. And when McConnell sent over three from play in the  space of three minutes to see her side lead 1-12 to 0-6 with the game  entering the final quarter, it looked good for the Oriel girls.But they knew Cork wouldn’t give up without a battle and once again,  Martin was forced into a save, this time from substitute Doireann  O’Sullivan. However, there was little she could do when Cleary found  the back of the net on 20 minutes to reduce the deficit to six points.  And it was all to play for in the last six minutes when substitute  Valerie Mulcahy grabbed Cork’s second goal from the penalty spot to  ensure a nervy finish to a superb game.But up stepped McConnell in the 27th minute for the game’s most  important score that put four between them, her trusty left foot  raising the white flag.And on the final hooter, no-one really noticed Mulcahy’s point from a  free as Monaghan went into celebration mode, and rightly so. MONAGHAN: L. Martin; G. McNally, S. Courtney (capt), C. Reilly; L.  McEnaney (0-2), N. Fahy, A . McAnespie; A. Casey, I. Kierans; T.  McNally, C. Courtney, C. McAnespie; C. McConnell (1-5), N. Kindlon  (0-4, 0-1f), C. Mohan (0-2).Subs: E. McElroy for I. Kierans, E. McCarron for L. McEnaney, L.  Connolly for N. Fahy.CORK: E. Harte, A.M. Walsh, R. Buckley (capt); B. Corkery, B. Stack,  G. O’Flynn; J. Murphy (0-3, 0-2f), N. Kelly; A. Walsh, C. O’Sullivan,  G. Kearney; N. Cleary (1-2), R. Ni Bhuachalla, O. Farmer (0-1).Subs: V. Mulcahy (1-1, 1-0 pen), for G. Kearney, L. McMahon for A.  Walsh, D. O’Sullivan for O. Farmer, A. Sheehan for A.M. Walsh.Referee: Gavin Corrigan (Down).
Once again this was another fantastic performance by this group of players. Linda Martin in goals excelled thouroughly deserving Player of the Match award. Time and time again we talk about the Monaghan defence and on Saturday they proved once again that they are probably as a unit one of the best defences in the country. The full back line were awesome, with Sharon Courtney, Grainne Mc Nally and Christine Reilly showing the class acts they are. The half back line of Aoife Mc Anespie, Nicola Fahy and Therese Mc Nally completed this rock solid defence linking with the full back and half forward lines excellently. Amanda Casey worked tirelessly in the middle helped by Isobel Kierans who was replaced at half time by Eileen Mc Elroy. The half forward line of Ciara Mc Anespie, Cora Courtney and Laura Mc Eneaney had the task of taking on the All Star half back line and they stuck to the task throughout, pushing forward and tracking back when required setting up scores for the on form full forward line, and Laura Mc Eneaney adding a few of her own scores for good measure. We have talked already about the full forward line and again they proved when on form what a deadly combination they are. They were a joy to watch as were the whole team. There were jublilant scenes at the end of the game as the loyal Monaghan supporters took to the pitch to congratulate their heroes.
They deserve to celebrate their great win, but then its back to reality. As Sharon Courtney said in her speech, the next game up is the championship game against Tyrone. The championship is what it is all about, and Monaghan will want to add the championship title to their league title. They will not want complacency to set in and they will sit down and have a look at last weekend’s game. They will see where improvements can be made, and their preparations for the championship will well and truly begin. Tyrone caused a shock 2 years ago when after a poor league performance they ousted Cork in the championship. Monaghan will have to stay focused and just keep doing what they are doing.
MONAGHAN manager Gregory McGonigle paid tribute to the county’s former  managers and the hard work of the clubs as the Ulster side finally  ended a 13 year wait for National League success.The Oriel county were fully deserved of their 1-13 to 2-7 victory in  Parnell Park on Saturday over defending champions Cork who were vying  for their fifth successive Division One title and their seventh in  eight years.Monaghan were never behind in this game. At one stage in the first  half they were 0-5 to 0-1 in front, but by half-time Cork trailed 0-6  to 0-5. With the game entering the final quarter, Monaghan’s lead had  been extended to nine points, 1-12 to 0-6. However, a nervy final 10  minutes for so, saw that lead reduced down to three at one stage,  before Cathriona McConnell pointed to leave four between them to  ensure a historic win.“Cork have raised the bar in ladies football and have set a new  standard,” said McGonigle. “We’ve worked hard the last two years and  the two years before that with John McAleer and Ciaran Quinn.“There has been a lot of groundwork put in over the years within the  county and with Donaghmoyne and other clubs.“We are just lucky get to get the benefit of managing such a great  team.”McGonigle also singled out the man who last brought an All-Ireland  title back to Monaghan, Mickey Morgan, in 1997. He has come on board  this year after Peter Clarke left for Dublin.“Bringing Mickey in has been a massive help. There’s one thing I  asking the girls to do in every game is to chase perfection. It wasn’t  perfection today, but we are on the right road.“We played the better football but we knew Cork were not going to give  the title easily. For 50 minutes we were the better side and we just  shaded it.”The Derry native also revealed that Player of the Final, goalkeeper  Linda Martin, had to be coaxed back to the county scene at the start  of the year.“Linda’s up there as one of the best goalkeepers I’ve ever seen and  coached. We’ve brought in Liam Swift this year and he’s been coaching  her and it’s given her great confidence and credit to him too.”
 Reply Forward
Mickey Morgan was involved with the successful Monaghan teams in the 90’s  and was the manager of the team when they last won the League title in 1999. This year Mickey has made a much welcome comeback and is now a valued  part of the management team. I talked to Mickey after Monaghan’s win and asked him what Saturday’s win meant to him and how it compared to 1999.
Mickey pointed out that both occasions were great. “You know how much committment and effort goes in by both management and players”. He pointed out that in 1999 Waterford like Cork were reigning All Ireland champions and that beating the All Ireland champions gives both the team and management a great confidence boost going into the championship.
Talking of championship I asked him how he felt the team were progressing and did he feel there was a championship title in this bunch of girls.

“Monaghan Ladies faced into four competitions at the start of this year. The Dowd Cup, The National League, The Ulster Championship, and The All Ireland Championship.  Winning the Dowd Cup was a good starting point for the National League. Winning the National League has given them the winning mentality at National Level, so to date, progression has been exactly as you would want. ” He believes that the  Ulster and All Ireland Championships provide the greatest challenges and if the team keep progressing they way we are, then of course anything is possible.  But for now he believes that the most important game of this year is Tyrone in the first round of the Ulster Championship.

I also put it to him that a lot of people felt that Monaghan’s performance against Dublin in the semi final was one of thier best to date and did he think their performance against Cork surpassed that?

Yes was Mickey’s answer to this question. After the performance against Dublin, management sat down and looked at every aspect ot the game, what worked out well, and could be repeated. What didn’t work and what they could improve on. There were challenges laid down in the training sessions prior to the Cork game. and he felt that the girls met those challenges head on in Saturday’s game.

Finally I asked him what he thought Monaghan needed to do now in preparation  for the upcoming championship tie against Tyrone?

Mickey’s response was that “Just as we had to do after the game against Dublin, we will need to look at our game against Cork in the League Final and build on it”
Having worked under Mickey for many years I am sure that that is exactly what Mickey has already started to do.
There were double celebrations for Monaghan when the U14 team defeated title favourites Tyrone in the Ulster A final decider in Lisnaskea. Monaghan had suffered a heavy defeat earlier in the league 5-15 t0 3-5, so were going into last Sunday’s final as underdogs.
However this group of girls have worked really hard over the past number of weeks and  they pulled off what was another magnificant victory.
The conditions on Sunday were terrible, with heavy rain and gale force winds, but the conditions didn’t deter this young group of players who put on their best performance of the year to date,to cause the upset of the championship.
Playing against the strong wind in the first half, it was Monaghan who took the game by the scruff of the neck, fighting hard for every ball and really taking the game to Tyrone. Monaghan came closest to scoring in the opening minutes  when captain Eimear Mc Anespie made a surging run forward  her shot on goal coming back of the crossbar. Indeed it wasn’t the first that the post denied Monaghan, as not long after Tyrone again were saved by the post. Tyrone did push forward but the wind was playing havoc and that along with the determination of Monaghan’s defence kept Tyrone out. Monaghan finally got rewarded for their continuous efforts when Amy Coyle’s shot on goal found the target. 19 mins of the half  had gone and this was just the lift that Monaghan needed. Eimear Mc Anespie was a real threat to Tyrone in the opening half with her menacing runs forward and Tyrone were finding it very difficult to get any momentum going against a much improved Monaghan team that we saw in Emyvale. The midfield pairing of Celine Nally and Verity O Connor were starting to take control of things in the middle an area where Tyrone had dominated in Emyvale and Monaghan’s defence were forcing Tyrone to take long distance shots from outside the 30 metre line. Emma Kirk eventually managed to open Tyrone’s scoring with a point after 24 mins and Erin Gallagher reduced Monaghan’s lead to just a point soon after. Credit to Monaghan, they stuck to their game plan, and they refused to let Tyrone gain control. They continued to push forward and with just a minute to go to the break they hit the net again, with Saoirse Treanor getting her foot to a clearance to give Monaghan a 4 point lead.
Half time score  Monaghan 2-0   Tyrone 0-2
Tyrone had it all to do and with just a minute of the second half gone it looked as if they had got themselves right back into the game only to be denied by excellent goalkeeping by Aoife Hamill.  Monaghan once again started to get momentum going and were unlucky when a number of goal opportunities were missed, their attempts  on goals being deflected wide, 3 times in a row. It looked as if Monaghan were going to rue the missed chances as Tyrone soaked up the pressure and started to push forward themselves. Monaghan’s defence worked tirlessly keeping the Tyrone forwards out . Like the first half, scores were hard to come by and it took 21 minutes for a score to be registered when Tyrone’s midfielder Slaine Mc Carroll narrowed the gap with a point for Tyrone. Monaghan’s defence had to dig deep as Tyrone continued to push forward trying to get that all important goal to get them back in the game but credit to Monaghan they held their nerve and when the hard working Emma Clerkin fired over a point to give Monaghan some breathing space and Sarah Capadi added another victory was in sight. Monaghan held out for a well deserved victory
Final score  Monaghan 2-2  Tyrone 0-3
Starting line up
Monaghan   Aoife Hamill, Hannah Mc Skeane, Micheala Mc Cabe, Megan Boylan, Siobhan Keenan, Shauna Hetherington, Rosemary Courtney, Celine Nally, Verity O Connor, Eimear Mc Anespie, Emma Clerkin(0-1), Orlaith Hamill, Sarah Capaldi (0-1), Saoirse Treanor (1-0), Amy Coyle (1-0)  Subs used  Dolores Hughes, Shannon Donnelly
Hannah Mc Mullan, Aine Hamill, Aoife Mc Connell, Rebecca Coyle, Cassie mc Clure, Emma Brennan, Aoibhinn Mc Hugh, Erin Gallagher(0-1), Slaine Mc Carroll(0-1)Sasha Byrne, Claire Tuohy, Roisin Devlin, Emma Kirk(0-1), Dearbhala Mc Donald, Naoimi Donnelly
Monaghan now meet Mayo in the All Ireland semi finals on June 9th. This Saturday they travel to Mullingar to take part in the All  Ireland blitz. We wish the team and management the very best of luck.
Following Sunday’s win, I caught up with Sean Gavan part of the management team who was delighted with Monaghan’s win. He said the feeling waking up and realising Monaghan are Ulster champions was a brillaant feeling. He felt that Monaghan adapted better to Sunday’s terrible weather conditions and that the Monaghan girls were more up for the game. He said that following the heavy defeat suffered in Emyvale, they had decided to make a few positional changes to try and stop their stronger players getting on the ball. These changes he felt had worked but he also believed Monaghan were hungrier on Sunday. In Emyvale and not taking away from Tyrone’s win that day, he felt that Monaghan’s preparations weren’t ideal due to the change of time and that fact that the team’s warm up had to be cut short. But in general he felt the management had learned a lot from that first Tyrone game. They improved against Donegal and he believes that beating and football lesson Tyrone gave Monaghan in Emyvale was to be their downfall.Maybe complacency played a factor, but Monaghan’s attitude and the never say die attitude they showed throughout the game was the telling factor in the end. Finally I asked if he believes Monaghan can improve going into their semi final against Mayo. Sean was quick to point out that Mayo like all Mayo teams in the past, wil be hard to beat. He is hoping that this weekend’s blitz will give himself and the rest of the management team a chance to look at where things can be improved. He believes that this team has been improving and that there is still a lot more to come from them. He wanted to point out that the setting up of a B team last year and the good work put into the development sessions were the foundation for this great win.
It was a good all round weekend for Monaghan ladies football and Sean summed up his thoughts by congratulation the seniors on their magnificant win, and to say that this current group of U14 players are a joy to work with and that the whole management team and players are now looking forward with increased optimism to an All Ireland semi final.
Well done to all and a good luck this weekend in the All Ireland blitz.
Aghabog  V  Donaghmoyne B  Friday 18th May @7pm
Truagh V Inniskeen  Saturday 19th @ 7pm
 Corduff V Emyvale  Sunday 20th @12.30
Monaghan  Harps V Magheracloone  Friday 18th @ 7pm
Scotstown V  Donaghmoyne  Saturday 19th @ 7pm
St Brigids V Killanny   Saturday 19th @ 7pm
Latton V  Carrickmacross   Friday 18th @7pm
Seans V Aughnamullen  Sunday 20th @12.30
O  Neills V  Doohamlet  Sunday 20th @ 12.30
U16S  –   tonight Thursday 17th @ 7pm
Division 1
Scotstown V Carrickmacross
Donaghmoyne V Monaghan Harps
Emyvale bye
Division 2
Magheracloone V Inniskeen
Truagh V Eire Og
O Neills V  Seans
Latton V  Killanny
Division 3
St Brigids V Aughnamullen
Aghabog V Doohamlet
Killevan V Corduff
Tyholland bye
Colaiste Oirial made up for their U16 final defeat winning the U14 final 5-12 to 1-6. Attached is picture of the winning team

Table Quiz Monaghan Senior Ladies

Monaghan Senior ladies are holding a fundraising Table Quiz tomorrow  night, May 18th in Aughnamullen club rooms. Please support this night by entering a team. Come along and enjoy a good night’s craic and see what the brains of the Monaghan ladies are like off the pitch.

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