By Mike Fitzpatrick
When Monaghan goalkeeper Ger McGrinder saved a goalbound shot from Stamford’s Ollie O’Neill early on in this junior football "B" semifinal, it seemed that Monaghan’s luck was in. Minutes later, however, it became obvious that Monaghan were not a team that depended heavily on luck.
A narrow miss from Declan Hackett, resulting from Paul McGlynn’s artistry in midfield, was followed by exciting attacking football from the Monaghan side.
A good deal of tussling, mostly in midfield between McGlynn and his opposite number, Aidan Lennon of Stamford, opened the match, and resulted in McGlynn replying to Stamford’s early point.
The vocal Stamford crowd got behind their team but not enough to prevent some poor goalward shooting by their team’s forwards. Monaghan’s Hackett put up a dogged display, attempting to win every ball that approached him, and it was due in no small measure to his performance that Monaghan went in to halftime deservedly ahead.
The opening moments of the second half suggested that Stamford were going to try their best to take the game to Monaghan with further points from Comerford, O’Neill and Jason Williams, but a goal each from Monaghan center forward Paul Curran and Duane McAleer, followed by a point from left corner forward Paul Treanor put paid to any hopes Stamford had of advancing any further in the competition. It was Monaghan’s day and deservedly so.
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Monaghan scorers: McGlynn 0-5, Curran 1-0, McAleer 1-0, Treanor 0-1.
Stamford: Comerford 0-3, O’Neill 0-1, Williams 0-1, Kevin Brady 0-1, Kevin Quillan 0-1.