Saturday 16 December 2017

McManus the late, late hero

Monaghan's Conor McManus
Monaghan's Conor McManus

When his county needs him Conor McManus, more often than not, produces the goods for the Farney.

Yesterday was no different as McManus proved to be Monaghan's late, late hero as his goal sealed the deal for Monaghan in their 1-15 to 0-15 Ulster SFC quarter-final victory at Kingspan Breffni.

The Farney County now progress to face Down in their provincial semi-final.

Two points each from Cian Mackey and Niall McDermott helped Cavan to a 0-9 to 0-7 interval lead, with McManus hitting four Farney scores.

The sides had been level nine times when McManus netted on 59 minutes, and they held on, despite Cavan's Ryan Connolly smashing a shot against a post in stoppage time.


Monaghan's introduction of Conor McCarthy off the bench aided their push for victory as he slotted over immediately, and a superb Colin Walshe score brought the sides level for the eighth time with just over 15 minutes remaining.

And Monaghan could have had a goal when Jack McCarron unleashed a ferocious shot which Cavan keeper Raymond Galligan pushed around the post - Rory Beggan slotted the resulting '45'.

These rivals counties were prised apart in the 59th minute when McManus ran on to Owen Duffy's pass, rounded Conor Moynagh at his ease and expertly fired a low shot past Galligan.

With Ryan McAnespie and McCarthy playing the impact sub role magnificently, Monaghan had momentum on their side, and they kicked on with scores from McCarty and Duffy to go four clear.

But a Seánie Johnston's free gave Cavan hope and they almost took it with sub Connolly's late drive cannoning off the upright in stoppage time.

SCORERS - Monaghan: C McManus 1-4 (0-2f), O Duffy 0-4, R Beggan 0-3 (0-2 '45', 0-1f), C McCarthy 0-2, C Walshe, J McCarron 0-1 each. Cavan: S Johnston 0-4 (0-4f), C Mackey, N McDermott (0-3f) 0-3, J McEnroe, C Moynagh, L Buchanan, G McKiernan, M Reilly (0-1f) 0-1 each.

MONAGHAN: R Beggan; F Kelly, D Wylie, R Wylie; C Walshe, V Corey, N McAdam; K Hughes, K O'Connell; G Doogan, K Duffy, O Duffy; D Malone, J McCarron, C McManus. Subs: R McAnespie for Doogan (ht), C McCarthy for Malone (47), D Ward for K Duffy (55), D Mone for D Wylie (67), D Hughes for McCarron (68), S Carey for O Duffy (73, BC).

CAVAN: R Galligan; P Faulkner, K Clarke, N Murray; J McEnroe, C Moynagh, G Smith; L Buchanan, G McKiernan; C Mackey, C Madden, M Reilly; N Clerkin, N McDermott, S Johnston. Subs: C Brady for Madden (25), D McVeety for Buchanan (ht), R Connolly for McDermott (53), J Dillon for Clerkin (63), J McLoughlin for McEnroe (64), C O'Reilly for Murray (73).

REF: P Neilan (Roscommon).

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