Monaghan off the mark at last


COBH RAMBLERS' promotion hopes suffered an unexpected setback, as they allowed bottom of the table Monaghan United to come from two goals down to earn their first point of the season at St. Colman's Park yesterday.

Third placed Cobb's dropping of two points was capitalised upon by Finn Harps, who went to Hogan Park and beat Limerick FC 4-1, thanks to a superb display by Jonathan Speake who scored a hat-trick.

Niall Abbott scored twice with headers in the fifth and 18th minutes, the first from a Tommy Cregoe corner, the second from Sean Hegarty's cross, to put Cobh in apparent command against Billy Bagster's beleaguered Monaghan.

But Kieran O'Brien scrambled a goal back when finishing from 10 yards out to get Monaghan back into the game nine minutes before the interval. Then, eight minutes into the second-half, Monaghan were level when Bobby Byrne's cross was knocked home by Mick Scully.

Managerless Finn Harps'

promotion push is back on the rails after their trouncing of Limerick, despite playing the last 40 minutes with ten men, after Maurice Toland was sent-off

Veteran midfielder Pierce Walsh put Harps in front with a cracking 20 yard drive on 36 minutes. However, Limerick were level three minutes later with an equally spectacular shot from Antonio Izzi, who collected a Daithi McMahon lay-off to score from all of thirty yards.

But Speake then took over to restore Harps lead a minute later with a fine header from Damien Dunleavy's cross. Then, 13 minutes into the second half Speake punished a slip by Limerick's Julian Lyons to race through and to make it 3-1.

The transfer-listed striker then completed his hat-trick on 72 minutes.