Sunday 17 December 2017

Monaghan cling on to beat Cavan

Conor McManus in action against Killian Brady
Conor McManus in action against Killian Brady

Monaghan will face Donegal in this year's Ulster final after they clung on by their fingernails to beat Cavan by 1-10 to 0-12 in Clones.

Monaghan should have been awarded a penalty early on when  Christopher McGuinness' shot was prevented from going over the line  by Alan Clarke who flicked the ball away on the ground with his hand.

Eugene Keating and David Givney put Cavan in front before McGuinness finally got his goal for Monaghan after an error by Cavan goalkeeper Conor Gilsenan.

Givney equalised and then Niall McDermott  put Cavan in front.

Both sides traded scores as the tit for tat nature continued and the sides went in level at 0-8 to 1-5 at half-time.

In the first 17 minutes of the second half both sides only managed a point each for Conor McManus and Niall McDermott respectively.

Monaghan were able to introduce Tommy Freeman, Paul Finlay and Dick Clerkin and that experience would tell.

McDermott's second free of the half but it was cancelled out by Paul Finlay.

Conor McManus was fouled after a fantastic run and he pointed his own free only for Martin Dunne to do the same at the other end,

McManus put Monaghan back in front as he continued to look dangerous despite his isolation in the full-forward line.

A superb rearguard action from Monaghan kept Cavan at bay and they broke to earn a free that Finlay converted.

Cavan just could not the ball over the bar and although Cavan goalie Gilsenan came up to slot over a long range free in the second minute of injury time to cut the lead to a solitary point.

The Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan seemed to have fouled the ball in the final seconds but the ref waved play on and the Farney men clung on.

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