By John Markey
MONAGHAN 1-11, LONGFORD 0-9 These two old foes brought the Sunday’s proceedings to a close and, as usual, they produced a great encounter. This time, however, it was Monaghan who came away victorious and in the process illustrated that they are a very competent 15 in football’s Div. II. This complete performance against fellow fancied contenders augers well for the remainder of their program and they may feel, although still very early in the season, that this is the year they may realize their potential.
Back in senior football, as Junior “A” champions, Longford showed the effects of spending the last several seasons in the lower ranks. Their second-half performance left a lot to be desired, and once Monaghan forged ahead, they didn’t show enough resolve to warrant two very important points. They will console themselves in the fact that it is only their first outing and they will have benefitted from the encounter.
As both teams traded scores in the opening 20 minutes, a late surge from the Midlanders, with points from Brendan Lennon and Brian Clarke, was enough to see them hold the slimmest of advantages at the interval, 0-6 to 0-5.
With the second half only a minute old, Eddie Murphy was upended in the Longford goalmouth and the same player duly rose to dispatch the resulting penalty to the net. The only goal of the game, it proved to be the turning point. Longford never recovered from the strike and their attacks in the ensuing minutes were few and far between. Ray Kelly, John Brown and Eamon McAvennie all helped increase the lead and approaching the game’s conclusion it proved to be an easier than expected victory for Monaghan.
Brendan Scott, Brian McKenna, Hughie O’Sullivan, John Brown, Ray Kelly and Emmet McAvennie were best for Monaghan. Eamon Crowe, Dermot York, Kevin McCarthy, Kevin Lilly, Brendan Donohue and Brendan Lennon tried hard for Longford.
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Monaghan scorers: R. Kelly (0-5), E. Murphy (1-1), J. Brown (0-3), H. O’Sullivan and E. McAvennie both (0-1).
Longford: K. Lilly (0-3), B. Donohue (0-2), B. Clarke (0-2), B. Kavanagh and B. Lennon both (0-1).