Monaghan U17s Fall Short Against Clinical Down
Monaghan 1-9 Down 1-10
Monaghan’s U-17 squad lost their third group match in the Ulster Minor Football League against Down in Inniskeen on Saturday, despite scoring a last gasp goal at the death.
Seamus McEnaney’s men left themselves too much to do from the outset, conceding a goal to Down’s Justin Clarke after just three minutes of play.
The Mournemen stretched this lead with a point from Adam Crimmins, before Aaron Mulligan eventually opened Monaghan’s account with a free after six minutes.
A brace of points from the influential Tom Close helped to open a six point gap for Down, before Aaron Mulligan added Monaghan’s second after 18 minutes.
Close was to hit another brace however, but Monaghan did manage to keep their arrears to only five points at half time, thanks to scores from Donnacha Swinburne and Jordan McGarrell.
The second half showed a much improved performance by Monaghan, with points by Aaron Mulligan and Sean Jones keeping the Farney men in touch.
Goalkeeper Ryan Farrelly then struck a monster free from 50 metres out over the bar to bring Monaghan to within four points of the Mournemen.
However, Monaghan were then dealt a crucial blow, with Killanny’s Ronan Grimes being sent off for a second bookable offence in injury time. Justin Clarke pointed the resulting free to leave five between the teams.
In a frenetic finish, Donnacha Swinburne split the posts to cut the gap to four, before Aaron Mulligan’s goal-bound effort was adjudged to have crossed the white-wash by referee Mark Dorrian.
It was not to be however, as Dorrian blew the final whistle a minute later to leave one between the sides at the finish.
MONAGHAN: Ryan Farrelly (0-1, 1f), Ronan Grimes, Jack McGeown, Micheal Meehan, Christopher Flood, Brendán Óg Ó Dufaigh, Jordan McGarrell (0-2), Leon McCabe, Joel Wilson, Aaron Mulligan (1-3, 1f), Donnacha Swinburne (0-2, 1f), Karl Gallagher, Conor Smith, Loughlin Power, Jason Irwin.
Subs: Robbie Hanratty for Conor Smith, Oisín O’Hanlon for Leon McCabe, Jack Doogan for Michael Meehan, Ryan McNulty for Karl Gallagher, Sean Jones (0-1) for Joel Wilson.
DOWN: Dean Sheridan, Darragh Fegan, Lorcan Toal, Laurence Brannigan, Tony Magee, Gareth Fitzpatrick, Peter McMullen, Anthony Morgan, Matthew Cunningham (0-1), Sean Campbell, Justin Clarke (1-1, 1f), Brandon Boyd, Tom Close (0-6, 4f), John McGovern, Ryan Connolly.
Subs: Patrick Brookes (0-1) for Anthony Morgan, Adam Crimmins (0-1) for John McGovern, Paul Quinn for Peter McMullen, Tiarnan Fettes for Sean Campbell, Sheefan Johnston for Ryan Connolly, Tom Smyth for Brandon Boyd.
John McGovern for Adam Crimmins.
Blood sub: Patrick Brookes for Peter McMullen.