Monaghan romp to victory over Armagh to book place in Eirgrid Ulster under-21 final
Monaghan 2-16 Armagh 0-09
Monaghan comfortably booked a place in a first Ulster U21 FC final since 2007, substitutes Fearghal McMahon and Francis Maguire scoring second-half goals in a routine win over Armagh in Pairc Esler.
McMahon's 37th minute penalty and a late Francis Maguire goal put the gloss on an easy semi-final win, with Barry McGinn and Conor McCarthy impressive up front.
Monaghan, who haven't won a provincial title at this grade since 1999, kicked five points in a row in the 10 minutes before half time to take a decisive 0-9 to 0-6 lead at the break.
Armagh were 0-6 to 0-4 ahead but were rocked when senior defender Shea Heffron was black-carded for a foul on McGinn in the 22nd minute. Half time could not come quick enough after conceding three points in a four-minute spell from McGinn, McCarthy and Aaron Lynch.
Monaghan played with more purpose and conviction and hit 1-5 in a row in the second half.
They were awarded a penalty for an innocuous foul off the ball, which McMahon converted.
Oisin O'Neill ended a 22-minute scoring drought for Armagh, who only kicked three points in the second half before Maguire capitalised on a defensive lapse late on.
Scorers for Monaghan – F McMahon 1-2 (pen, 1f), B McGinn 0-4 (2f), C McCarthy 0-4 (2f), F Maguire 1-0, C Forde 0-2 (1f, 1 '45'), A Lynch 0-1, M Murnaghan 0-1, D Ward 0-1, B McBennett 0-1. Scorers for Armagh – C McKenna 0-3, C Martin 0-2, O O'Neill 0-2 (1f), C McConville 0-1, J Freeman 0-1.
MONAGHAN: C Forde; B Kerr, M Murnaghan, K Loughran; D Ward, J Mealiff, N Rooney; N Loughran, A Lynch; R McAnespie, B McGinn, D Meegan; M O'Dowd, C McCarthy, A Treanor. Subs: F McMahon for Treanor (34), F Maguire for O'Dowd (41), C Rice for Ward (55), B McBennett (0-1) for Meegan (58), M McCarville for Lynch (58), A Kiernan for Mealiff (60)
ARMAGH: B Hughes; G McCabe, A Rushe, J Cosgrove; C McConville, S Heffron, J McElroy; D McKenna, O O'Neill; P Quinn, J Rafferty, C Boylan; C McKenna, S McPartlan, C Martin. Subs: J Freeman for Quinn (12), R Finn for Heffron (BC, 22), J Og Burns for Rafferty (28), A Conlon for McPartlan (47), P Savage for McKenna (51).
REFEREE: Ronan Barry (Down)