Cork minor footballers too good for Monaghan
Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football Championship Quarter-Final
CORK 3-19 MONAGHAN 2-10
By Kevin Egan at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park
Cork produced what was arguably the most dominant, complete performance of the eight minor football championship counties over the weekend as they powered past a strong Monaghan side at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park in Tullamore this afternoon, adding 1-7 in the final ten minutes plus stoppage time of an enjoyable contest.
Kerry remain the benchmark county at this grade after making it 34 wins in succession at minor level earlier in the day at the expense of Tyrone, but Cork came as close as anyone to dethroning them in this year’s Munster final and they proved this afternoon that there was no hangover from that defeat as they produced a fantastic display of attacking football.
The first 20 minutes saw both sides feel their way into the contest, with Cork taking the lead six times and Monaghan replying in kind on each occasion. Darragh Dempsey and Eoin Duffy kicked the best of the scores for Monaghan while Darragh Cashman and Patrick Campbell caught the eye for Cork with good solo scores.
At that stage it was hard to split the teams, but the game exploded into life just before half time when Cork shot two goals in a minute. Michael O’Neill was the scorer of their first after 27 minutes but the bulk of the credit must go to Conor Corbett, who made the tackle that forced a turnover of a Monaghan defender coming out, and he was able to get back into the play and make himself available to slip the last handpass into O’Neill.
Corbett didn’t have long to wait to get his own name on a goal as he collected a pass from a Hugh Murphy free on the next kickout and kept his composure as two Monaghan defenders tried to dive in and make the dispossession. His low shot was parried by Joe Kirk in the Monaghan goal, but the ball bounced along towards the net and crept over the line anyway.
Quickfire scores from Darragh Dempsey and Jason Irwin gave Monaghan some hope before half time, making it 2-8 to 0-8, but Cork continued to press on after half time and two points in 30 seconds from Keelan Scannell and Daniel Lenihan pushed the lead back out to eight again. Monaghan needed a break and got it when Eoghan Nash was deemed to have illegally impeded Dempsey as he shot for goal. A powerful penalty from Liam McDonald drew the biggest roar of the day so far, but Cork responded perfectly with further points from Lenihan and Campbell to extend their advantage.
Another penalty from McDonald – this time for a foot block by Lenihan – was converted with equally impressive accuracy and a well-worked team score from Dempsey cut the gap to just three with ten minutes to play.
From then on, Cork gave a masterclass in how to emphatically win a game. Substitute Ryan O’Donovan kicked three excellent points and made a strong case for inclusion in their starting team against Mayo next time out, Adam Walsh Murphy blasted one over from close range and Patrick Campbell would have made the purists very happy when he was put through on goal late on and instead of punching the ball over the bar, he backed himself to deliver more and did exactly that with a well-placed daisy cutter into the bottom corner of the Monaghan net.
On a day when the Cork U-20’s secured their place in an All-Ireland final, the Rebel County minors offered further evidence that the future is bright down south – both for the remainder of 2019, and beyond.
Scorers for Cork: Patrick Campbell 1-5 (0-4f), Conor Corbett & Michael O’Neill 1-3 (0-2f) each, Ryan O’Donovan 0-3 (0-1f), Daniel Linehan 0-2, Darragh Cashman, Keelan Scannell and Adam Walsh Murphy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Monaghan: Liam McDonald 2-0 (2-0 penalties), Darragh Dempsey 0-4, Jason Irwin 0-3 (0-2f), Eoin Duffy, Diarmuid Marron, Aodhán Brennan 0-1 each.
CORK: Cian O’Leary; Joseph O’Shea, Neil Lordan, Daniel Peet; Darragh Cashman, Daniel Lenihan, Adam Walsh Murphy; Jack Lawton, Eoghan Nash; Hugh Murphy, Patrick Campbell, Keelan Scannell; Michael O’Neill, Jack Cahalane, Conor Corbett. Subs used: Ryan O’Donovan for O’Neill (37), Keith O’Driscoll for Cahalane (55), Seán Andrews for Cashman (60), Luke Murphy for Walsh-Murphy (60+2), Tadhg O’Donoghue for Campbell (60+4).
MONAGHAN: Joe Kirk; Cian Maguire, Eoin Duffy, Ronan Boyle; Kyle Connolly, Shane Hanratty, Shane Slevin; Conor McKernan, Karl Gallagher; Diarmuid Marron, Liam McDonald, Jason Irwin; Darragh Treanor, Darragh Dempsey, Michael Hamill. Subs used: Michael Coyle for Marron (half-time), Ali Stewart for Slevin (44), David Kerley for McKernan (44), Aodhán Brennan for Stewart (54, black card), Daniel McCahey for Maguire (56), Declan Courtney for Hamill (60+3).
Referee: Liam Devenney (Mayo)