Hayes strikes late to break Farney hearts
Cork struck late in Scotstown yesterday for three unanswered points inside the closing seven minutes to record the narrowest of victories over Monaghan in a thrilling, high-scoring encounter that built to a nerve-tingling finish.
Played at a cracking pace throughout, this was a game where Cork looked like winning easily enough at one stage as they dominated the first half but Monaghan fought back repeatedly and probably deserved to take something out of the match, although they have to look at a series of missed chances that saw them hit 14 wides in all, 11 in the first half. The sides were level six times in all, five in a thrilling second half which produced some excellent scores from both teams.
Cork got off to a great start with a goal by Paul Kerrigan in the fifth minute after Conor McManus had opened the scoring for Monaghan with a point three minutes earlier. By the 17th minute, Monaghan were level thanks to points by Paul Finlay and Tomas Freeman and they went on to take the lead for the second time with free by Finlay in the 21st minute.
Finlay added another in the 24th minute but Cork went into the half-time break ahead by 3-4 to 1-6, hitting Monaghan with a brace of goals inside a minute as Patrick Kelly and Paul Kerrigan both found the Monaghan net in the 27th minute.
Within three minutes of the resumption Daniel Goulding extended Cork's lead to five points but four minutes later the margin was down to two with a goal by Tomas Freeman.
By the 45th minute Monaghan were level with an absolute cracker of a goal by Darren Hughes and the sides were to be level on four other occasions in the second-half.
Three points between the 55th and 60th minutes brought Monaghan from being a point in arrears to two in front, at which stage they looked as if they might consolidate but Cork rallied strongly in the closing stages with Nicholas Murphy and Paudie Kissane driving them forward.
An excellent point by Kissane in the 62nd minute reduced the margin to the minimum with Kerrigan then bringing the sides level with two minutes of normal time remaining. A draw would probably have been a fair result but, with just over a minute of normal time left, substitute John Hayes lofted over an excellent point that ultimately proved the winner.
Scorers -- Cork: P Kerrigan 2-2; P Kelly 1-1; D Goulding 0-3; P O'Neill, D O'Connor 0-2 each, P Kissane, A Walsh, J Hayes 0-1 each. Monaghan: T Freeman (0-1f), D Hughes 1-2 each, V Corey 1-1, C McManus 0-4 (2f), P Finlay 0-3 (2f).
Cork -- K Murphy; R Carey, M Shields, E Cadogan; G Spillane, P Kissane, A Walsh; P O'Neill, F Goold; P Kelly, D O'Connor, P O'Flynn; D Goulding, N Murphy, P Kerrigan. Subs: C O'Neill for P O'Flynn, C O'Driscoll for G Spillane, J Hayes for F Goold.
Monaghan -- S Gorman; D McArdle, D Hughes, D Morgan; D Freeman, G McQuaid, N McAdam; D Clerkin, F Caulfield; P Finlay, D Malone, C McManus; M McElroy, V Corey, T Freeman. Subs: C Greenan for D Morgan, C Hanratty for M McElroy, K Hughes for D Freeman, H McElroy for T Freeman.
Ref -- D Coldrick (Meath).