Ulster Minor Football League Section A
Derry 0-12 Monaghan 1-8
Monaghan opened their 2019 Ulster Minor Football League campaign with a one-point loss to Derry at a windy and extremely wet Lavey.
In desperate conditions, it took both teams a while to settle down and it was almost the end of the first quarter before Derry opened the scoring through full-forward Marc Dixon. Monaghan then had a dominant period scoring four points in five minutes via Diarmuid Marron, Liam McDonald (two) and Ronan Boyle. During this period the Monaghan backs were keeping the Derry forwards quiet, with their scoring chances coming from distance and many of them going wide. This pressure eventually led to the Derry forwards being fouled which left it easy for Charlie Diamond to slot over frees. Monaghan’s full-forward Liam McDonald closed the scoring for the half when he pointed from a free to leave it finely balanced: Derry 0-6 Monaghan 0-5.
As they did in the first half, Derry opened the scoring, this time a lot earlier on. Monaghan then had their most productive period of the game, with sub Aodhán Brennan kicking a beautiful point from the left wing to leave the minimum in it. Another Liam McDonald free left it all square, before a Tiarnan Kearns point edged Monaghan ahead for the first time. Conor McKernan then tapped in the only goal, but this proved to be Monaghan’s last score.
Derry started to exert more pressure on the Monaghan kick outs and gradually ate into their deficit to leave the bare minimum in it with 10 minutes left. Both sides had opportunities, but it wasn’t until late on that Derry levelled matters with a Matthew Downey point. Derry sub Dara Wade hit a great added-time point to put the hosts ahead and despite two attempts from Monaghan, they couldn’t register another score.
In the U-16 Buncrana Cup game that took place afterwards, Derry also emerged victorious on a 0-9 to 1-5 scoreline. Both teams will take on Armagh next Saturday in Clones: the U-17s at 12 followed by the U-16s at 2pm
Derry: Callum Lagan; Oisín McClafferty, Ronan McFaul, Odhrán McLarnon; Jamie Duggan, Aidan McCluskey, PJ McAleese (0-1); Tiernan Higgins, Daniel Madden; Charlie Diamond (0-4, 3f), Enda Downey (0-1), Shea McGuckin; Lee Brady, Marc Dixon (0-2), Donnacha Gilmore
Subs used: Dan Higgins, Matthew Downey (0-3, 2f), James McGuirk, Jude Óg Moore, Darragh Wade (0-1).
Monaghan: Joe Kirk; Cian Maguire, David Kerley, Ronan Boyle (0-1); Darragh Treanor, Shane Hanratty, Tiarnan Kearns (0-1); Conor McKernan (1-0), Karl Gallagher; Diarmuid Marron (0-1), Jason Irwin, Declan Courtney; Kyle Connolly, Liam McDonald (0-4, 3f), Michael Hamill.
Subs: Aodhán Brennan (0-1) for Irwin, Ali Stewart for Kerley.
Referee: Kevin Falloon (Down).