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New York GAA Return of Hennessy, Purcell boosts Stamford

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Stamford 1-14, Monaghan 1-12

A couple of components came together to provide the eventual outcome of this crucial senior Division 1 clash. The long awaited return from Ireland of Stamford’s New York players Keith Hennessy and Richie Purcell gave the Connecticut side some much needed bite in defense and attack, and the injury to Monaghan’s razor sharp forward Kieran Tavey during the tie denied Monaghan the talents of one of senior football’s most outstanding forwards.

Until Tavey’s enforced departure due, it is suspected, to cracked ribs, he was certainly Monaghan’s most efficient attacker. Victory was of the utmost importance for both sides, as Monaghan, despite opening the season with a fine win over Cork, have since slipped with losses to Westmeath and Donegal — and that when they seemed to be on the verge of winning both.

Stamford are well in contention for a playoff place following this narrow win and must surely hope that the rest of their season continues this way.

Monaghan opened as the stronger side, gaining a healthy lead thanks to a goal from Tavey and points from Eddie Murphy and Peter Coyle.

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Monaghan, as they have so often done in recent times, looked invincible. Stamford were unable to fight back and the phenomenal relationship between Tavey and Murphy upfront for Seamus Dooley’s Ulster men produced a goal and nine points before the interval.

Stamford looked to be down and out, trailing by seven points at one stage, until their forward line began to come to grips with the enormity of the task in front of them and started shooting efforts over the bar.

Much credit must go to Niall Slattery, the Connecticut team’s forward who hit two points but had a hand in a few more efforts registered by Richie Power and Eric McDonald.

Purcell and Hennessy revelled in the second half, thoroughly relishing their joint comeback to the field at Gaelic Park, and flourished in their respective departments.

Paul McGlynn hit a point for Monaghan to keep their now slender lead alive, but a late flourish from Stamford’s forward line resulting in points from Mike Martin and substitute Terry McCann gave their side the result they had been looking for.

Monaghan are clearly in trouble now and their playoff hopes have been truly battered. Stamford on the other hand are still up there however, this win bringing them to within a point of the two teams in second place in the championship. Seamus Dooley’s men, with only two points from four games must be bitterly disappointed having put in so many gutsy performances only to come out on the losing side in three of their games to date.

Stamford: John Wallace, Martin McDermott, Patrick Coyne, Brendan Brady, Declan Curtin, Richie Purcell (0-1), Mark Comerford, Richie Power (0-4), Ted Steede, Niall Slattery (0-2), Keith Hennessy, Justin O’Halloran, Mike Martin (0-4), David McDonagh (0-1), Eric McDonald (1-1) Subs Terry McCann (0-1), Jim Lyons, Tom McDonagh.

Monaghan: Damian Doherty, Gary Birdy, Bonnie Duffy, Dan Scott, Emmet McCormack, Bernard Treanor, Michael Treanor, Denis Connolly, Hughie Sullivan, PJ Rogers, Paul McGlynn (0-1), Paul McEntee, Eddie Murphy (0-5), Peter Coyle (0-1), Kieran Tavey (1-5) Subs: Liam McBride, Francie Reilly, Bernie McEntee, Brian McKenna, Stephen Rush, Louis Breslin.

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