Monaghan 1-13 St Mary's 2-6: Monaghan got their 2013 season off to a winning start with this four point victory over an under-strength St Mary's University College Belfast in Clones yesterday.
Played in difficult and greasy conditions this was a game that rarely rose above the mediocre and was downright scrappy at certain times but it afforded both managers a competitive outing as they prepare for the season ahead, St Mary's for the Sigerson Cup and Monaghan for the Allianz football league.
Monaghan got off to much the better start and dominated proceedings for most of the first-half with Darren Hughes orchestrating from centre back, Dick Clerkin controlling midfield and Conor McManus causing the St Mary's defence problems at full forward.
Monaghan led at half-time by 1-9 to 1-2, the Monaghan goal bundled over the line by debutant Pauric Donaghy in the 22nd minute with Niall Sludden tucking away a major for the students two minutes before the break.
While Marlon opened the scoring with a point from a free by Conor McManus nine minutes into the second-half it was the students who became increasingly dominant and went on to outscore Monaghan in the second period by 0-4 to 1-4, their second goal coming from a penalty by Brendan Herron after a foul on Daniel McKinless and with a little more composure in front of goal they might well have turned it around completely.
Monaghan: R Beggan, D Mone, F Kelly, K Duffy, M McElroy (0-1), D Hughes, K O’Connell, D Clerkin (0-2), N McAdam (0-1), S Smith (0-2), P McArdle, O Duffy (0-1), P Donaghy (1-0), C McManus (0-5,2f), D Malone (0-1). Subs: R McNally for K Duffy, C Galligan for K O’Connell, O Lennon for N McAdam, D Hahessy for P Donaghy, S McQuillan for S Smith.
St. Mary’s University: D McAnenly, S Mullan, A Maguire, M Murray, R Loughran, C O’Hara, B Doyle, R O’Callaghan, E McCaffrey, R Sexton, B Herron (1-1,1-0pen, 0-1f), N Sludden (1-0), D McKinless (0-4,4f), J Johnston, J Duffy. Subs: S O’Neill for E McCaffrey, R Johnston for B Doyle, O MacIomhair (0-1) for A Maguire.
Referee: E McHugh (Tyrone)