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NFL Division 1 – Monaghan v Cork
Cork defeated Monaghan by 3-13 to 3-12 in Round 1 of the National Football League Division 1 on Sunday at Scotstown.
Cork 3-13 Monaghan 3-12
From the GAA.ie web site
Cork opened their Allianz GAA National League Division One campaign with a 3-13 to 3-12 win over Monaghan at Scotstown on Sunday. Paul Kerrigan scored two goals in the first half as the Rebels led by 3-4 to 1-6 in a high-scoring encounter. However, Monaghan hit back after the break with Tommy Freeman and Darren Hughes both on target to set up a thrilling finale. The sides were level at 3-12 apiece going into the final minutes, but attacker John Hayes struck a 69th minute winner to give the Rebels two league points on their return to the top division.
Kerrigan had grabbed Cork’s opening goal after five minutes, when Dónal Morgan pushed the ball onto the crossbar and the Nemo Rangers clubman prodded into the empty net. Remarkably, the Rebels led by 3-1 to 0-6 after just 28 minutes after Kerrigan had set up Paddy Kelly’s goal and helped himself to a second. Monaghan’s goal came in somewhat bizarre circumstances as Cork goalkeeper Kevin Murphy misjudged Paul Finlay’s free and allowed the ball to sail over his head and into an empty net. Daniel Goulding hit two quick points after the break to nudge Cork further ahead, but Tommy Freeman grabbed a second goal for the Farney men when he hammered home after Murphy had failed to hold Dermot Malone’s shot.
Monaghan completed the turnaround when Hughes hit the back of the net and then added a point to put them 3-8 to 3-7 ahead. However, Cork hit back with points from Paudie Kissane, Kerrigan and substitute Hayes, who drove over a fine effort from the 45-metre line. Hughes, who struck 1-2 in the second half, did have a late chance to level the game, but he fired Monaghan’s 13th wide of the game and Conor Counihan’s Cork will have the comfort of an opening day league win on the long trip back to Leeside.
Counihan praises Rebel spirit
Monaghan 3-12 Cork 3-13
By Brendan O’Brien for the Irish Examiner newspaper
Monday, February 08, 2010
IT has been over four months since that crushing All-Ireland final defeat but the Cork footballers returned to competitive action for the first time yesterday with the sort of performance that oozed character and determination. Considering the venue, the opposition and the lack of game time, this was a standout display by Conor Counihan’s men. Alan Quirke, Graham Canty and John Miskella had been ruled out due to injury early last week and the visitors were hampered still further by subsequent knocks to Alan O’Connor, James Masters and Derek Kavanagh and Noel O’Leary’s unavailability. That said, it was still a strong squad that Counihan brought north with him yesterday, one with eight of the CIT players who played in the Sigerson Cup last week, as well as UCC’s Michael Shields.
Facing them was a Monaghan side containing five men who were making their competitive inter-county senior debuts and without a handful of injured first-teamers but it was, nonetheless, no scratch 15 either. As one glance at the scoreboard would suggest, this was a delight of a game, one riddled with scores and entertainment, and it was in the melting pot until referee David Coldrick called for the ball. “We’d be reasonably happy,” was the assessment of Counihan, a man known to greet victory and defeat with the same poise. “At the same time, when you concede 3-12 you’d be disappointed about that. It gives us plenty of room for work. On the plus side, we did score 3-13. We did come from a situation where we were behind to coming around and getting out the right side of it.”
Counihan suggested that experience was key to this win. He was right. With ten minutes to play, the visitors were two points down and seemingly on the ropes but they scored the last three points from play. It wasn’t just the scores in that spell that impressed, it was the manner in which they went about regaining the lead and then closing the game out with the winner coming courtesy of a superb John Hayes strike from play. If anything was the difference between the two sides however it was Monaghan’s shooting. Seamus McEnaney’s side finished the afternoon with 14 wides, 11 before the break. Cork were living off scraps for much of that period and, a Paddy Kelly point aside, their only contribution to the scoreboard in the first 25 minutes was a scrappy, rebounded goal from Paul Kerrigan after six minutes.
Such was Monaghan’s dominance at that point that they were able to intersperse their copious wides with the odd point here and there and they had six to their credit before being hit by a double whammy. First Kelly latched on to a Kerrigan pass before shooting low to the net and then, less than 60 seconds later, Kerrigan himself fielded a long ball from Nicholas Murphy before claiming his second green flag. That left Cork with a bizarre score of 3-1 after half an hour and, while they racked up the points from there to the final whistle, Monaghan were soon to get in on the goal-scoring act with three of their own inside ten minutes either side of the interval. Vincent Corey claimed the first after Kevin Murphy dropped Paul Finlay’s long free into his lap. The Cork keeper did better six minutes after the interval but his save from Dermot Malone’s shot rebounded to Tommy Freeman who blasted home.
Monaghan’s third was perhaps the best of the six with full-back Darren Hughes, operating out the field to huge effect thanks to Cork’s two-man full-forward line, rounding off a well-worked team move. By the time the glut of goals dried up the sides were level at 3-7 apiece and there was still nearly half an hour to go in front of what was, understandably, an increasingly animated crowd. The next ten minutes were spent shadowing one another with three points apiece. Monaghan then made a break for the tape when they moved two ahead but replies from Paudie Kissane, Kerrigan and Hayes finally swung it Cork’s way. “It was a combination of three missed chances and conceding three bad goals early on in the game but I will be taking the positives out of today’s game,” said McEnaney. “We started five debutants today. We do need to address the concession of the three goals but the character that the team showed was absolutely magnificent and I am disappointed for them that they didn’t take at least a point out of the game. “We were completely on top in the first-half but we just couldn’t get the scores. But it was the first game for our whole team to be together this year so I was more than delighted with the performance and the character shown.”
Scorers for Cork: P Kerrigan 2-2, P Kelly 1-1, D Goulding 0-3, P O’Neill 0-2, D O’Connor 0-2, P Kissane 0-1, A Walsh 0-1, J Hayes 0-1.
Scorers for Monaghan: T Freeman 1-2 (0-1f), D Hughes 1-2, V Corey 1-1, C McManus 0-4 (2f), P Finlay 0-3 (2f).
Subs for Cork: C O’Neill for O’Flynn 60, C O’Driscoll for Spillane 60, J Hayes for Goold 65.
Subs for Monaghan: C Greenan for Morgan 29, C Hanratty for McElroy 35, K Hughes for D Freeman 65, H McElroy for T Freeman 68.
The Cork team to play Monaghan in Sunday’s Allianz NFL Division 1 clash at 2.30pm in Scotstown is as follows:
1. Kevin Murphy – Boherbue
2. Ray Carey – Clyda Rovers
3. Michael Shields – St. Finbarrs
4. Eoin Cadogan – Douglas
5. Ger Spillane – Ballygarvan
6. Paudie Kissane – Clyda Rovers
7. Noel O Leary – Cill na Martra
8. Alan O Connor – St. Colums
9. Nicholas Murphy – Carrigaline
10. Paul Kerrigan – Nemo Rangers
11. Pearse O Neill – Aghada
12. Paul O Flynn – Ballyclough
13. Daniel Goulding – Eire Og
14. Colm O Neill – Ballyclough
15. Donncha O Connor – Ballydesmond
This game is a repeat of last year’s Allianz NFL Division Two final, but both sides have made very different progress in the interim. Cork look the team most likely to end the All-Ireland dominance of Kerry and Tyrone in recent years after a brilliant Championship campaign, while Monaghan disappointed in the Ulster Championship against Derry and exited the qualifiers in the second round against the same opposition.
Monaghan gave a superb performance in beating Cork by seven points on a very tight pitch in Scotstown last year, but the Rebels travel north with an experienced side this time, although they may be rusty after spending the early part of January on a team holiday. Monaghan topped the Division Two table last year but could find the going tough against better quality opposition in the top tier.
Cork are without Anthony Lynch, John Miskella and Graham Canty, and manager Conor Counihan has included Eoin Cadogan and Paudie Kisane in defence in their absence. Up front, Counihan has plumped for most of the forward line that played in last year’s All-Ireland final.
Monaghan boss Seamus McEnaney is without the suspended Dick Clerkin after his dismissal in the McKenna Cup match against Fermanagh. Owen Lennon and JP Mone are out injured and doubts persist over the availability of Desie Mone and Stephen Gollogly.