Sunday 18 March 2018

Mighty Monaghan demolish Armagh

Monaghan 2-16 Armagh 0-9

Niall Loughman celebrates his side's victory at the final whistle (SPORTSFILE)
Niall Loughman celebrates his side's victory at the final whistle (SPORTSFILE)
Barry Kerr in action against Conor Martin (SPORTSFILE)
Jamie Cosgrove in action against Michael O'Dowd (SPORTSFILE)

Monaghan booked a place in a first Ulster U-21 FC final since 2007 as substitutes Fearghal McMahon and Francis Maguire scored second-half goals in a routine win over Armagh in Pairc Esler.

McMahon's 37th-minute penalty and a late Maguire goal put the gloss on an easy semi-final win, with Barry McGinn and Conor McCarthy impressive up front.

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, who haven't won a provincial title at this grade since 1999, went on to kick five points in a row to take a 0-9 to 0-6 lead at the break.

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 before Maguire capitalised on a defensive lapse late on.

Scorers - 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. 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 Loughman, 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).

REF - R Barry (Down).

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