Group F of the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge continued this week with Monaghan travelling to the home of Cavan GAA and coming away with a huge win over their local rivals.
Elsewhere in Group F, Louth and Longford played out an entertaining draw in Kells in a game that could have gone either way but a draw probably reflected the effort of both teams.
Here is our round-up of this week’s action from Group F of the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge.
Goals Win Games In Local Derby Clash
Three second-half goals secured victory for Monaghan in this Celtic Challenge game played in Kingspan Breffni Park on Wednesday evening. Played in perfect conditions on the new turf, it lent to some excellent quality hurling from both sides.
The first half was evenly contested with just the minimum separating the two sides at the break. Mikey Carville opened the scoring for the visitors in the first minute with Conor McHugh doubling their account four minutes later. There was never any more than two points between the sides throughout the half.
Long distance frees from Monaghan’s Slevin brothers, Shane and James, and Cavan’s, James Smith, was a feature of the opening half, scoring seven points between them. Other players to raise white flags included Declan Mernagh, Brían O’Rourke, Cormac Smith, Cian Farrelly for the Breffni boys and Leo Moloney for the visitors. Cavan’s Cormac Smith could have had a goal ten minutes before the half but for a brilliant stop from Monaghan net-minder, Niall Birmingham.
Half-time: Monaghan 0-8, Cavan 0-7.
The Monaghan lads got the best possible start to the second half when Shane Slevin shot past Shea Denning who had an excellent game in the Cavan goals. Both sides tagged on scores but the visitors found them easier to come by. When James Slevin finished Monaghan’s second goal at the end of the third quarter, the score read 2-13 to 0-11 and the result was almost beyond doubt. The contest may have been closer were it not for some wasteful shooting by the hosts. A second goal from James Slevin ensured Monaghan’s second victory in the competition.
Next up for Cavan is a trip to face Wicklow Gold, while Monaghan play Longford in the final round of group games.
Well done must go to Monaghan’s Senan O’Brien and Shea Denning of Cavan who won the best and fairest awards on the day.
Report by: Mark O’Rourke
Monaghan: Niall Birmingham, Conor Brennan, Caleb McArdle, Paudie Heavin, Senan O’Brien, Daniel Boyle, Darragh O’Callaghan, Kieran Martin, Shane Slevin (2-5, 3f), Leo Moloney (0-1), Conal McHugh (0-1), James Slevin (1-4, 3f), Pauric Bolger, Mikey Carville (0-1), David Moorehead, Cillian Hanratty, Zac McArdle, Cathal McCoohey, Jack Cassidy, Darragh Watters, Jack Mohan, Aidan McKenna (0-2), Padraig Treanor.
Cavan: Shea Denning, Dwayne Mulvey, Jamie Masterson, Gary Tully, Tadhg Larkin, Odhran Keating, Jack Dunne, Ross O’Gorman (Annalee Gaels)(0-1), Brían O’Rourke (0-1), Declan Mernagh (0-1), Cillian Boyle (0-1), James Smith (0-6, 4f), Conor Bannon, Cormac Smith (0-1), Dylan Greenan, Joshua McKiernan, Cormac Clarke, Colm Brady, Michael Wall, Gavin Fitzpatrick, Aaron Crowe, Cian Farrelly, (0-1), Colin McKiernan, Fionn Keating, Daniel Harten, Colin McCauley, Piaras McManus, Conor Smith, Ryan Galligan, Andrew McDermott, Jack Kelly.
Referee: Gerard Devlin.
Louth & Longford Share The Spoils In Kells
Louth 3 – 9
Longford 1 – 15
Louth and Longford met in Kells for the fourth round of the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge.
Longford got off to a good start with a point from play through Liam Browne within the first two minutes with Adam Murray following it up shortly after. Louth then got their game going with a fine goal by Louth’s Tom Matthews followed closely by two points from Brandon Johnson.
Both teams traded points, Longford’s Murray scored three excellent points followed by some fine scores from Louth’s Conor Murphy, Evan Maher and Matthews. Longford’s first goal came through Murray who rattled the net, followed by another great point from play from Browne to put Longford ahead. Murray then tagged on three more scores before Louth were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time. However, Longford’s, Daniel Gallagher, made a super save to send Longford in at the break three clear of Louth.
Half-time: Louth 1 – 5 Longford 1 – 8.
Louth came out strong in the second half scoring two goals in quick succession through Evan Maher. Longford’s Adam Connaughton got a super point from play followed by another Murray double.
Longford defended like trojans with Jack Linnane and Shane Courtney clearing a lot of ball. Louth kept coming with two super points from Fionn Cumiskey followed by scores from Conor Murphy and Tom Matthews. Longford were now behind but fighting hard and showing great spirit. Three more points from Murray left Longford just a point behind with a couple of minutes to go. They were then awarded a free which Murray sent over the bar to level the game.
It wasn’t to be anyone’s day in the end but the amount of work, desire and passion displayed throughout is what the competition is all about. From the catching, hooking, blocking and tackling this game had it all, down to the fight and determination of both teams.
Well done to Longford’s Daniel Gallagher and Tom Matthews Louth who received the best and fairest awards.
Report by: Carol Murray
Longford: Michael Mulcahy, Jack Linnane, Shane Courtney, Adam Halpin, Iarlaith Dolan, Pearse Mc Nally, Ali Iqbal, Donal Sheahan, Dean Wykes, Christopher Faherty, Adam Murray (1- 12), Liam Browne (0 -2), John Murray, Adam Connaughton (0- 1), Jim Crossan, Stephen Murray, Daniel Gallagher, Conor Leonard, Dan Crossan, Eoin Noonan.
Louth: Josh Murtagh, Fionnán Mc Gurk, Seamus Birch, Niall Quigley, Zac Lennon, Brendan Prendergast, Seán Magill, Conor Byrne, Jake Mc Namara, Brandon Johnson (0-2), Conor Murphy ( 0-2), Aidan O Brien, Cillian Mc Kenna, Mikey Mc Court, Fionn Cumiskey (0-2), Tiernan Mc Kenna, Robert Mc Caughey, Jack Mc Caughey, Ronan Reid, Connor Geraghty, Tom Matthews( 1-2 ), Evan Maher (2 – 1 ), Paddy Wehrly.
Referee: James Clarke