By Mike Fitzpatrick
Once again, Monaghan’s senior footballers held leads at crucial times, and once more they finish up defeated by an extremely narrow margin Sunday. The hearts of many of the Gaelic Park faithful must surely go out for Seamus Dooley’s team. Having led teams such as Tyrone, Stamford and Donegal and lost out by a couple of points, once more they came extremely close to turning their season around but lost out on any points at the death.
Monaghan opened the scoring thanks to an early effort from Paul McGlynn, playing arguably his most convincing game so far this season. McGlynn frustrated the Cavan backline throughout the first half and turned provider when linking with another on-form Monaghan player, Hughie Sullivan. Cavan hit back almost immediately, and Shane Nugent, playing his second game of the day
in the blistering heat, scored a goal for his side to take the lead back into Cavan’s hands. From then on, the first half escalated into a tug of war between the two local rivals. Andy McEvoy hit another goal for Cavan, and points for Monaghan followed from P.J. Rogers, Paul Hassan, Eddie Murphy and Noel McEntee. Dessie Reilly got into his stride toward the end of the half and hit a few for Cavan for Anthony Reihill’s men to go into the interval leading by three points.
Monaghan stormed into the second half, with McGlynn firing on all cylinders, hitting three consecutive points for his side to bring Monaghan right back into the fray. Declan McCarthy and Reilly hit another couple for Cavan to sneak slightly ahead of their rivals, but after these two points, it was all Monaghan for much of the remainder of the half. Missing Gary Birdy in defense, and top scorer Kieran Tavey in attack, much emphasis was placed on the reliable shoulders of the aforementioned McGlynn, who proceeded to hit five second-half efforts over the bar for Monaghan, his fifth leveling the
tie. Monaghan substitute Louis Breslin came on and scored an expertly taken point to give Monaghan a late lead, but two efforts late in the game from Cavan’s sub Sean Sorohan equalized, then a winning point from Gary McDermott sealed victory for Cavan and yet more heartache for Monaghan.
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Cavan: Finbarr Flood, Barney Brady, Emmet McGinlay, Jimmy McGirr, Gareth Toner, Joe Cassidy, Barry Annette, Adrian Carville, Declan McCarthy (0-1), Dessie O’Reilly (0-5), Gary McDermott (0-1), Anton Diver, Sean Lennon, Shane Nugent (1-1), Andy McEvoy. Sub: Sean Sorohan (0-1).
Monaghan: Damian Doherty, Emmet McCormack, Dan Scott, Michael Traynor, Brian McKenna, Bonnie Duffy, Paul Hassan (0-1), Hughie Sullivan (0-2), Noel McEntee (0-1), P.J. Rogers (0-1), Liam McBride, Peter Coyle, Eddie Murphy (0-1), Paul McGlynn (0-6). Subs: Louis Breslin (0-1), Paul McEntee, Mickey Fitzpatrick.