Category: Archive

New York GAA: Second-half surge propels Monaghan

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Monaghan 0-14, Offaly 0-10

On a stifling hot afternoon at Gaelic Park on Sunday, Monaghan eventually overcame the threat of their noble opponents Offaly in a senior football Div. II semifinal. Coming from the disadvantaged position of being 2 points behind going into halftime, Monaghan returned from the break having made a number of seemingly inspired substitutions, and really began to step up a few gears.

Manager Paul Curran obviously instilled some fighting words into his half-time pep talk, as the Monaghan side that emerged after the intermission appeared to possess a lot more spirit than they previously had.

Liam O’Neill opened the scoring for Monaghan with a precisely taken point and this was followed by a free kick taken by Paul McGlynn, who proved that he can be just as important a player for the seniors as he has been before for the junior side. David and Collie Reynolds responded for Offaly with three points between them before the break, and a clever run from David Reynolds resulted in the hand pass that John Kiernan received to score another point for Offaly, albeit admittedly against the run of play at the time. The Monaghan forward, Eddie Murphy, began to acclimatize himself to the game toward the end of the first half and this resulted in a stirring run through the Offaly back line to pass to McGlynn, who scored his second point of the afternoon. Murphy rounded off Monaghan’s scoring in the first half by adding his own name to the scoresheet following some unselfish play from John Brown.

Sean Nolan and David Reynolds retaliated for Offaly in the closing stages of a match that Offaly seemed to be taking control of. But then, a 2-point lead in a highly competitive game of football isn’t such a big deal after all and with the introduction of fresh Monaghan legs in the shape of P.J. Rogers and Michael Treanor, and an apparent resurrection in the form of Ray Kelly, the Ulster men really began to take control.

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John O’Connor, in exceptional form in goal for Monaghan, spectacularly saved a goalbound penalty from David Reynolds, though in hindsight, it’s easy to say that perhaps Reynolds should really have gone for the safer choice of a point. Murphy linked well with Kelly for Monaghan resulting in an expertly taken point for Murphy. Kelly staked his claim for man of the match with a stirring second-half performance after having played little part in the more lackluster first half. Latching on to a pass from the very bustling P.J. Rogers, Kelly went on to score probably the best score of the afternoon. Mark Daly came on for Offaly, to add some freshness to their tiring side, and was involved in the point scored by Danny Leavy, after having scored one himself. With the game tied at 10 points apiece, it always seemed it could have gone either way but with a vocal Monaghan support, and the excellent form of Rogers and Kelly the onus was on Offaly to stir themselves and reclaim control.

It was not to be. Kelly rifled in another two points, both taken with considerable skill and accuracy, and with Hughie Sullivan adding a late point himself, Offaly were beyond hope. An excellent second-half performance from Monaghan, and in particular from Kelly and goalkeeper John O’Connor who constantly outwitted the Offaly forwards, saw this tie end the way the Ulstermen wanted it to

Offaly: Kieran Farrelly, John Hannify, Pat Leavy, Mike Quigley, Fergal Bacon, Colm Scanlon, Collie Reynolds, John Higgins, David Farrelly, Danny Leavy, David Reynolds, Brendan Lynch, Greg Farrelly, Sean Nolan, John Kiernan.

Offaly scorers: D. Reynolds 0-5, C. Reynolds 0-1, Kiernan 0-1, Nolan 0-1, Daly 0-1, Leavy 0-1.

Monaghan: John O’Connor, Emmet McCormack, Brendan Duffy, Gary Birdy, Liam O’Neill, Bernie McEntee, Aidan Burke, Hughie Sullivan, Brendan Scott, Noel McEntee, Paul McGlynn, Brian McKenna, John Browne, Eddie Murphy, Ray Kelly.

Monaghan scorers: Kelly 0-5, McGlynn 0-3, Murphy 0-2, Sullivan 0-1, Rogers 0-1, McEntee 0-1, O’Neill 0-1.

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