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Monaghan goals net senior status

 

By John Campbell

A season that has delivered little in the way of encouragement for Monaghan finally provided a ray of optimism when the side retained their place in the All-Ireland Senior Championship following a 2-15 to 0-15 win over Cavan at the weekend.

Monaghan's erratic form had been a source of concern but when Ciara McAnespie and Muirnean Atkinson posted goals, the team's spirit and work-rate soared appreciably.

While Cavan offered dogged resistance throughout and indeed at one stage threatened to take control of the contest, they were unable to match their opponents in a pulsating finish.

Ellen McCarron played a major role in Monaghan's win by helping herself to six points while the defence held firm in the final quarter as Cavan sought to pull the match out of the fire.

In an All-Ireland Intermediate championship play-off, Down overcame Longford by 4-9 to 2-5 at Inniskeen.

Down have found it difficult to achieve any consistency but their finishing on this occasion ensured that they always had the upper hand on their opponents who relied heavily on individual effort rather than on a more cohesive team strategy. But Fermanagh found the going difficult against Offaly and succumbed by 6-18 to 4-11, their defence proving much too porous on occasions when the Offaly attacked probed for scores.

The Erne girls looked to have the measure of the midland outfit in the first half but they fell away after the break with Offaly finding scores much too easy to come by. Antrim, though, went on a scoring spree against Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Junior Championship Group A Round Three.

The Saffrons piled on the pressure at Corrigan Park where they came out on top by 9-22 to 2-7 in a one-sided encounter in which they led by a whopping 5-13 to 1-3 at the half-way stage

While Antrim's win has been welcomed, the fact that Kilkenny, disjointed and spiritless, represented very poor opposition, served to render the game meaningless to some extent.

Indeed, the obvious disparity in standards between sides is a cause for some concern within the ladies game right now.

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