Cork 3-14 Monaghan 0-9

Cork continues to move forward in convincing form after another senior football victory to follow their league title. 

While they made hard work of this one, particularly in the first half, one always felt that there would only be one winner. 

Granted they did get a gift when they were awarded a penalty in the 25th minute of the first half with both sides sitting on eight points. The Monaghan keeper was adjudged to handle the ball outside the box, on the ground. Cork were given a penalty, which they converted to start an onslaught of 2-3 before the break. 

Monaghan were raucous in their protests to this decision as it should have been a 14 yard free. But the damage was done and Monaghan only added 0-1 to their total in the second half despite playing with the wind. 

The first half was a close affair for a full 25 minutes. It was what happened in the last five that changed the game. 

With the sides level and Cork attacking the ball went to ground in the large parallelogram. Alan Hearty grabbed the ball off the ground in that area and a penalty were awarded. Hugh Curran hit the net and a wave started. 

Immediately from the kickout Cork won the ball again. Mickey Lenihan soloed to the end line and flicked across the goal giving O’Neill the easy task of fisting home. 

They followed with points from McCarthy, Morrissey and a gem from O’Neill to go into the break 2-11 to 0-8 ahead. What a difference a goal makes. 

To that point Monaghan had clawed back to 0-8 each with Paul O’Hara getting four points from play in a sterling performance. Cork had small leads each time but Monaghan kept pulling it back. 

Monaghan did add a Gary White point to their total nine minutes into the second half. Amazingly that was their final score. 

Cork added 1-3 against the breeze and had the luxury of emptying their extensive bench as time ticked away. The goal was converted by O’Neill who had a wonderful hour. 

Curran with a free, O’Neill and McNamee added the minors as the Rebels cruised to the end line. The defense was also dominant with the O’Sullivans shutting down any attack that dared to endanger the sacred posts. 

For the winners, Gary Lowney was never troubled and his kickouts for the most part found a teammate effectively. The O’Sullivans, Cormac Ryan and Darren Walsh all covered a lot of ground. Walsh followed Dave Harvey to the other end of the field and he got on a lot of ball in the Monaghan half, especially in the first half. 

Brain Gallagher impressed in his debut. He’s a good ball handler and passes and runs well. Another weapon in the arsenal. Sean O’Neill was tremendous, 2-5 from play and popped up constantly. 

Adrian Morrissey is a very good link man as his kick passing is top notch. The full forward line had a quiet day and still scored 1-5. 

For Monaghan, Paul Lamb and Paul Farhan were the strongest of the back line. Lamb is a tenacious tackler and got stronger as the game went on. Paul O’Hara scored four points from play into the wind and was taken off in the second half! Kevin Connolly battled throughout.  

Cork: 1 Gary Lowney, 2 Darren Walsh, 3 Donnagh O’Sullivan, 4 Cormac Ryan, 5 Denis O’Sullivan, 6 Paul O’Connor, 7 Keith Scally, 8 Brain Gallagher, 9 Rory Stafford, 10 Sean O’Neill (2-5), 11 Jason Kelly (0-2), 12 Adrian Morrissey (0-1), 13 Mickey Lenehan (0-1), 14 Hugh Curran (1-2), 15 Ger McCarthy (0-2). Subs: Sean McNamee (0-1), Derek Courtney, Dave O’Callaghan, John Power. 

Monaghan: 1 Alan Hearty, 2 Paul Lamb, 3 Mike O’Regan, 4 Eddie McPhilips, 5 Paul Farhan (0-1), 6 Sean Kelly, 7 Shane Bogue, 8 Kevin Smith, 9 Gary White (0-1), 10 Caoimhin O’Callaghan, 11 Paul O’Hara (0-4), 12 Liam Deane, 13 Kevin Connolly, 14 James Connolly (0-3), 15 David Harvey. Subs: Bonnie Duffy, Shane McKenna.

Man of the Match: Sean O’Neill (Cork). 

Referee: John Fitzpatrick.