Monday 11 December 2017

Monaghan on the rampage

Monaghan 5-13 Wicklow 3-10

Monaghan consolidated their position at the top of the table with this rousing victory in a thrilling affair in Clones.


Monaghan consolidated their position at the top of the table with this rousing victory in a thrilling affair in Clones.

While the result made Monaghan even hotter favourites for promotion, Wicklow remain in a relegation dogfight, still searching for a first win in the league.

Wicklow, who have yet to beat the Farney County in the league, started well and led by 1-2 to 0-0 in the first quarter, with Austin O'Malley finding the net for the game's opening score.

Monaghan gradually came to grips with their opponents, opening their account with a Paul Finlay free in the 15th minute.

By the 19th minute they had drawn level with an unanswered 1-2 inside three minutes, Conor McManus scoring a fine solo goal in the 17th minute.

A second goal by Finlay in the 26th minute gave the home side a three-point cushion and that margin separated them at the break, with the Ulster side 2-6 to 1-6 ahead.

Monaghan got off to a flying start in the second half. Within 10 minutes, they had extended their lead to nine points, notching 1-4 to the concession of a point, with McManus scoring the goal. He finished with 2-7 to his credit – with just three points of that coming from frees as he led Wicklow a merry dance.

Entering the final quarter, Monaghan led by all of 13 points, with Colin Walshe getting the fourth goal.

However, they proceeded to take their eye off the ball and Wicklow came back for two goals and two points to bring the margin down to six with five minutes remaining.

But Monaghan closed it out with a fifth goal by Dermot Malone.

Scorers – Monaghan: C McManus 2-7 (0-2f, 0-1 '45'), P Finlay 1-1 (1f), C Walshe 1-0, D Malone 1-0, K Hughes 0-2, D Hughes, N McAdam and T Freeman 0-1 each. Wicklow: A O'Malley 2-1, S Furlong 1-3 (0-3f), C McGrayor 0-2 (2f), D Hayden, B McCrea, J Stafford and JP Dalton 0-1 each.

Monaghan: M Keogh; D Mone, F Kelly, K Duffy; C Walshe, D Hughes, C Galligan; O Lennon, N McAdam; G Doogan, K Hughes O Duffy; C McManus, P Finlay, T Freeman. Subs: D Malone for Hughes (temp), D Wylie for Galligan, C McGuinness for Freeman (temp), V Corey for Kelly, S Gollogly for Doogan, D Clerkin for Lennon, P Donaghy for Finlay.

Wicklow: J Flynn; C Hyland, L Benson, A Byrne; D Hayden, C McGraynor, D Healy; J Stafford, A McLoughlin; R Finn, P McWalter, N Mernagh; B McCrea, JP Dalton, A O'Malley. Subs: S Furlong for McCrea, P Dalton for Mernagh, P McLoughlin for Benson, J McGrath for McGraynor, K Murphy for McWalter.

Referee: F Kelly (Longford).

Irish Independent

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