National Hurling League – Div 3A
Monaghan 2-8 Leitrim 0-10
They say that goals winÓgames, and never was this adage more true than on Sunday last when Leitrim lost out by four points to Monaghan. The story of the game could be summed up by saying that Monaghan took the two goal chances they got where as Leitrim didn?t.
Throughout the course of the game Leitrim had three decent goal chances, but none were taken and this was to prove costly in the end. MonaghanÓgot their first goal ten minutes before half time. At this stage the game was delicately poised with Leitrim leading by 0-5 to 0-4. A long free into the Leitrim goalmouth wasn?t properly cleared and Monaghan?s David Connolly pounced to pull on the loose ball to the net.
Earlier Leitrim had taken the lead with points by Clement Cunniffe (frees) and a neat Ciaran Maxwell point from play. The goal however put Monaghan into a lead they never subsequently relinquished. At half time Leitrim went in trailing by 0-6 to 1-5.
The start of the second half soon saw Leitrim back on level terms, with points from a Clement Cunniffe free and great score on the run from midfielder James Glancy. Try as they might though, Leitrim couldn?t get back into the lead and Monaghan regained the lead mainly through frees from Walsh. Leitrim were unfortunate with some Scóring attempts midway through the half when one Cunniffe free hit the post and went wide, while another rasper hit the crossbar. A goal at that stage for Leitrim could have changed the game, but it was Monaghan who got the vital goal.
Ten minutes from time the game was decided when the Leitrim defense again failed to deal with a harmless Monaghan attack, and an easy chance was presented to O?Byrne to score from close range. Monaghan defended strongly to the finish and held out for a four point victory on a final score of 2-8 to 0-10.
Following a good result against Louth the previous week, Leitrim will be disappointed with this defeat in a game that they had a decent chance of winning. In the end though, any hopes of getting in a commanding position in this tight game were dashed by the concession of relatively soft goals. One could not fault the attitude and efforts of the players, and as this is a very youthful squad the experience of this game will prove valuable inÓgames to come.
Team: Alan O?Shea, Vinny McDermott, Niall Glancy, Dermot Kennedy, Stephen Feeney, James Keane, Shane Cardiff, James Glancy, David Poniard (Capt), Tom Cronin, Clement Cunniffe, Philly McGuinness, Ciaran Maxwell, Val Cronin, Gary Hickey. Subs: JohnÓgilhooly, Padraig McWeeney, Paul McKiernan, Micheal Dolan and Aidan Rooney.