Scotstown claim fourth Monaghan football title in a row
Winners hold nerve as Ballybay turn up the pressure near the finish
Scotstown’s Conor McCarthy celebrates scoring a goal with teammate Shane Carey during the Monaghan SFC final at Clones, Co Monaghan. Photograph: Morgan Traecy/Inpho
Scotstown 1-13 Ballybay 0-13
A more resourceful Scotstown clinched their fourth title in a row and the club’s 19th in all when they proved that bit too strong for Ballybay in what was an entertaining if never spectacular contest except for the closing stages when Ballybay threw caution to the winds in an effort to salvage the situation.
Scotstown led at half time by four points 0-8 to 0-4 and while Ballybay put in a lively start to the second half and reduced the deficit to two within four minutes with points by Shane McGuinness and Aaron Toner, Scotstown’s response was quick as they responded with an unanswered 1-2 inside three minutes. Colm McCarthy goaled to open a seven-points lead.
Bally Bay kept in touch with points by the hard-working Dessie Ward and Paul Finlay who found the range in the second half and they mounted periods of pressure that saw them reduce the deficit to five points with five minutes of normal time remaining.
Approaching the end of normal time they hit a couple of bad wides and there was a query as to the accuracy of the scoreboard but they now threw caution to the winds in search of a goal that would help to salvage the situation but one point blank save by Rory Beggan denied them their best chance. While they finished with three unanswered points from Thomas Kerr, Paul Finlay from a free and Brent Wylie, there was still three in it at the finish.
Scotstown: R Beggan 0-2 (2f), P Sherlock, R O’Toole, D McArdle, J McDevitt, D Morgan 0-1, E Caulfield, F Caulfield, K Hughes 0-1, F Maguire 0-3, C McCarthy 1-3 (0-2f), J McCarey 0-3 (2f), S Carey, D Hughes, O Heaphey 0-1. Subs: R McKenna for F Caulfield (47), F McPhillips for E Caulfield (48), M McCarville for F Maguuire (53), B Boyland for P Sherlock (64).
Ballybay: B McCabe, E McKearney, R Wylie, B Wylie 0-1, M McArdle 0-1, D Wylie, C Lennon, C Galligan, T Kerr 0-1, D Ward 0-4, S McGuinness 0-2, T O’Neill, P Finlay 0-3 (2f), C McGuinness, A Toner 0-1. Subs: M Hannon for C Galligan (39), S McQuillan for T O’Neill (40), A Dixon for M McArdle(54).
Referee: A Marron (Corduff).