Jack McCarron of Monaghan, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's goal during the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Monaghan and Fermanagh at St Tiernach’s Park in Clones, Monaghan.
Jack McCarron of Monaghan, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's goal during the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Monaghan and Fermanagh at St Tiernach’s Park in Clones, Monaghan. 

Ulster SFC: Monaghan too good for Fermanagh


Ulster SFC Quarter-Final

MONAGHAN: 1-21 FERMANAGH: 0-14

By Declan Bogue at St. Tiernach's Park, Clones

All too easy for Monaghan here as they amassed an eight point lead by the break and just simply held a much weaker opponent at arm's’ length for the second.

For the second week in a row, the margin of victory between two Ulster rivals is into double figures. There is no dressing it up here, the Covid pandemic has drawn the lines between haves and have-nots even sharper while the lack of a backdoor is clearly having an impact.

Monaghan committed too many bodies to the attack for Fermanagh’s defence, stacked as it was with two sweepers. Four of the back seven scored and it was another corner-back, Kieran Duffy who had his shot parried by young Sean McNally for Jack McCarron to palm home the only goal on 18 minutes.

Prior to that, Aaron Mulligan opened the Oriel scoring with a point on the end of a patient move involving Ryan McAnespie and Michael Banningan to get what was the first of his three from play. That kind of pattern, with players running clever angles towards goal and around loops to create the right opportunity, was something that Seamus McEnaney’s men did all day here.

The pattern of the game hardly shifted from that. Seven up at the break, at it's tightest Fermanagh only shaved one off that margin.

With the goal coming just before the water break, Fermanagh needed an answer but none was forthcoming as Dessie Ward sauntered through to notch his point after passes through Ryan Wylie and Conor McCarthy. It was all too easy.

Fermanagh might point to penalty shouts when Ultan Kelm was tugged in the first half, or when Eoin Donnelly was impeded by Killian Lavelle when heading for goal. But it would be a straw-grasping exercise. If this was to be Eoin Donnelly’s last outing in the county jersey after a decade of sterling service, then he deserved to go out better than this.

The winners are on what is considered as the ‘soft’ side of the draw and there is a huge push on to get veterans Conor McManus and Darren Hughes over the line and up the steps once more on Ulster final day.

Both men here left the pitch in disrepair – Hughes limping gingerly with what appeared to be a hamstring injury towards the end of the first half, while McManus had to be helped off following a heavy impact in injury time.

Scorers for Monaghan: J McCarron (1-2, 0-2f), C McManus (0-4, 0-2f, 1x’mark’), A Mulligan (0-3), M Bannigan (0-2), C Walshe (0-2, 1x’mark’), C Boyle, R Wylie, K O’Connell, D Ward, K Lavelle, N Kearns (0-1 each), R Beggan (0-1, 1x’45’), C McCarthy (0-1, 1x’mark’)

Scorers for Fermanagh: S Quigley (0-7, 5f, 1x’45’), A Breen (0-2), J Cassidy, C Corrigan, U Kelm, D McGurn, J Largo-Ellis (0-1 each)

MONAGHAN: R Beggan; K Duffy, C Boyle, R Wylie; K O’Connell, D Ward, R McAnespie; D Hughes, K Lavelle; S O’Hanlon, C McCarthy, M Bannigan; A Mulligan, J McCarron, C McManus. Subs: N Kearns for D Hughes (33m), C Walshe for McCarron (51m), S Carey for O’Hanlon (56m), K Hughes for McCarthy (63m), F Kelly for O’Connell (68m), K McMenamin for Lavelle (77m)

FERMANAGH: S McNally; K Connor, J Cassidy, L Flanagan; D McCusker, J McMahon, K McDonnell; S McGullion, E Donnelly; C Corrigan, T Bogue, J Largo-Ellis; D Leonard, D McGurn, S Quigley. Subs: A Breen for McDonnell (26m), R O’Callaghan for McGurn (42m), S Cassidy for McManus (59m), T Bogue for McMahon (65m), M McCauley for McGullion (65m)

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry)