Friday 17 November 2017

McEneaney parts ways with Farney

Laois 2-12 Monaghan 0-12 SFC Round 2 Qualifier

Eamonn McEneaney has stepped down as Monaghan boss following the county's elimination from the championship at O'Moore Park yesterday.

A three-time Ulster championship winner as a player, McEneaney said he found the defeat difficult to take and has passed the baton on, believing that a major rebuilding job needs to be undertaken with the senior team.

"I have given it all I can. The job that has to be done now will take somebody else three or four years to do," said McEneaney. "I am not a good loser and it is hard to take. I cannot thank all the lads enough for the effort they have given."

In contrast, a buoyant Laois manager Justin McNulty hailed his team's best performance in two years as they comfortably saw off the challenge of Monaghan.

Two first-half goals, from Colm Kelly and Brendan Quigley, set Laois up for their most impressive victory of McNulty's tenure, and when asked if it was the best he had ever seen his side play, he was unequivocal with his answer.

"Absolutely, without a doubt," he said. "The work ethic from the team was phenomenal, it was heart-warming to see that performance."

The Armagh man also paid tribute to his selector John Mulligan, who attended the game despite currently undergoing treatment for a serious illness. "That performance was for John Mulligan. John is fighting a serious illness and he came along today and was with the guys on the sideline for the national anthem."

Laois had started brightly with early points from Ross Munnelly (free) and Conor Boyle, but Monaghan took control for the next 15 minutes with five points on the trot.

The hosts then made a crucial switch, with Padraig Clancy, who started at midfield, moving to full-forward. Laois proceeded to wipe out Monaghan's three-point lead in just four minutes.

With their tails up, Laois kept attacking, and a superb long ball from Kevin Meaney found Kelly in space behind the Monaghan defence, and he finished past Mark Keogh.

More was to come, and when Quigley scored another fantastic goal before half-time, there was going to be only one winner.

SCORERS -- Laois: C Kelly 1-2, B Quigley 1-1, R Munnelly 0-3 (3f), D O'Connor 0-2, P Clancy, G Walsh, MJ Tierney (1 '45'), C Boyle, 0-1 each. Monaghan: C McManus 0-5 (3f), P Finlay 0-3 (2f), T Freeman, D Clerkin, O Lennon, D Mone 0-1 each.

LAOIS -- E Culliton 7; C Healy 6, K Meaney 6, J Kavanagh 6; D Strong 6, J O'Loughlin 7, C Boyle 7; B Quigley 9, P Clancy 8; R Munnelly 8, C Begley 8, B Sheehan 8; D O'Connor 8, G Walsh 6, C Kelly 8. Subs: MJ Tierney 7 for Walsh (50), P McMahon 7 for Strong (52), D Conway for Kelly (66), S O'Leary for Clancy (69).

MONAGHAN -- M Keogh 6; D Wylie 6, V Corey 6, C Walshe 5; K O'Connell 6, D Mone 7, K Duffy 6; O Lennon 7, D Clerkin 7; P Dooney 6, D Hughes 7, J Turley 6; P Finlay 6, C McManus 7, T Freeman 5. Subs: S Gollogly 6 for Dooney (52), D Hughes 6 for O'Connell (56), S Smith 6 for Turley (61), C McGuinness for Finlay (70).

Ref -- D Coldrick (Meath).

Irish Independent

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