Stunning Scotstown silence Harps at St Tiernach's Park to lift Monaghan senior football championship title
Former Tyrone star Mattie McGleenan lost no time in unveiling what he felt was a central tenet of Scotstown's success in reclaiming the Monaghan senior football championship title in some style at St Tiernach's Park, Clones yesterday.
McGleenan saw his side overcome Monaghan Harps by 2-12 to 0-9, thus replicating their 2013 triumph, before outlining his players' dedication.
"We have had 6am gym sessions that obviously worked for us," he said.
"Any time the boys were asked to jump in training they just asked how high and got on with it. Now we hope to give the Ulster Club Championship a big lash," declared McGleenan.
McGleenan, who also coaches the St Patrick's GS Armagh side that is about to embark on their MacRory Cup campaign, can certainly approach the provincial championship in which Scotstown will meet new Donegal champions Naomh Conaill with some degree of confidence given the quality of their display yesterday.
A goal in the sixth minute from Orin Heaphy followed by a second from Conor McCarthy in the 14th minute set the tone for a smooth passage to the county crown.
Scotstown went on to lead at half-time by 2-4 to 0-5 with Monaghan Harps missing a number of chances just before the break.
They restarted well and four minutes into the second half they had the margin down to just three with points by Shane Smyth and Gary White and looking like they might make a real go of it.
Scotstown - who were driven on by the Hughes brothers, Kieran and Darren in particular - rallied though for points by Darren Hughes, Dermot McCrudden and goalkeeper Rory Beggan from a '45 to again open a six points gap entering the final quarter.
Monaghan Harps pulled back a point through Gary White but four on the trot between the 17th and 20th minutes from Darren Hughes, Conor McCarthy, Shane Carey from a free and Orin Heaphey pushed Scotstown nine points clear and there was no way back for a beleaguered Harps outfit.
Harps' misery was further compounded with the dismissal of Neil McAdam in the final minute.
But it occurred too late to have any real bearing on the outcome.
Naomh Conaill, meanwhile, just managed to get the better of St Eunan's by 0-11 to 0-10 in a tingling Donegal decider that now sets them up for what will be an interesting showdown with McGleenan's men.
Meanwhile, Dan Gordon and Gareth 'Magic' Johnson scored Loughinisland's goals in their 2-15 to 0-11 win over Derry side Greenlough in the Ulster Intermediate Football Championship semi-final.
In the Junior Football Championship semi-final, Fermanagh side Coa beat Armagh champions Tullysaran by 0-10 to 0-8 while Eoghan Rua and Ballela will meet in the provincial junior hurling championship final following their semi-final wins over MacCumhaills and Sean Tracey's respectively.