Monaghan defeat Cavan to reach Ulster final
One point win over neighbours sets up Ulster decider against Donegal
Eugene Keating of Cavan with Kieran Duffy and Drew Wylie of Monaghan battle for possession at Clones. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Monaghan 1-10 Cavan 0-12: Monaghan are through to their third Ulster final in seven seasons after a hard-fought win over near neighbours Cavan in Clones. Conor McManus scored six points to lead the way for the home side, with sterling support from Kieran Hughes, Darren Hughes and corner-back Colin Walshe who completely shut down Cavan dangerman Martin Dunne. Whether or not Malachy O’Rourke’s side will trouble Donegal the final is debateable, however.
For Cavan were in command for good portions of this game, especially in the first half when they dominated possession. They should have built a strong lead early in the game but a bad mistake in their full-back line let Christopher McGuinness in for a goal in the 13th minute. It was Monaghan’s only score of the opening period and when Cavan corner-forward Niall McDermott played a smart one-two with Keating to kick a fine point after 18 minutes, it put Cavan 0-5 to 1-0 ahead.
This was a cagey affair throughout all the same and Monaghan were able to inch their way back into it as McManus found more possession near the end of the half. He kicked three points and when Darren Hughes added one of his own after a strong run through the middle just before the break, it left the half-time scores level at 1-5 to 0-8.
The introduction of Paul Finlay in the second half gave Monaghan a bit more poise around the middle and between himself and McManus, they kept the scoreboard rolling. Cavan were only able to respond with frees and didn’t score from play in the second half. McManus’s sixth point was the best of the day, a great kick on the run with his right foot to push his side two clear with eight minutes to go.
Cavan pulled one back through goalkeeper Conor Gilsenan and were unlucky not to get a late free from the referee that would have levelled it. All in all, however, Monaghan probably deserved it.
Cavan: C Gilsenan (0-1); J McLoughlin, R Dunne, K Clarke; J McEnroe (0-1), A Clarke, R Flanagan; D O’Reilly, D Givney (0-2); C Mackey (0-1), K Brady, F Flanagan; N McDermott (0-3, 0-2 free), M Dunne (0-3, 0-2 free), E Keating (0-1). Subs: M Reilly for K Brady, 49 mins; T Corr for McEnroe, 60 mins; K Tierney for Dunne, 69 mins; J Brady for McDermott, 69 mins
Monaghan: R Beggan; D Mone, D Wylie, C Walshe; V Corey, N McAdam, K Duffy; O Lennon, D Hughes (0-1); S Gollogly, T Freeman, G Doogan; C McGuinness (1-0), K Hughes (0-1), C McManus (0-6, 0-3 frees). Subs: P Finlay (0-3, all frees) for Freeman, 44 mins; D Clerkin for Doogan, 51 mins; K O’Connell for McAdam, 58 mins; P Donaghy for McGuinness, 64; D Malone for Gollogly, 72 mins
Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)