Ballybay leave it late to edge past Latton

The Monaghan SFC clicked into gear in earnest over the weekend with four games down for decision.

There were victories for Scotstown over Magheracloone and Monaghan Harps over Doohamlet on Saturday while yesterday, county champions Ballybay squeezed past Latton in a dramatic finish. Clontibret, defeated in last year’s final, got over the challenge of Castleblayney with something to spare.

Overall the fare on offer was somewhat mundane, particularly in the two games on Saturday evening, with the losers in each never posing any real threat.

Yesterday was a big improvement as Ballybay recorded their second victory in the series when they came with an injury-time winner against Latton but it was a somewhat controversial finish. The sides were level at 0-3 apiece at half-time with Latton taking a three-point lead with five minutes of normal time remaining, only to be caught in stoppage time with a goal by substitute Hugh Malone.

The second game in Inniskeen proved the best contest of the weekend as Clontibret made a strong statement of intent disposing of the Castleblayney challenge with relative ease. Conor McManus top scored with 1-6, the goal from a penalty and four of his six points coming from frees but Castleblayney had no player who posed the same threat. The draw for the next round will be held tonight.

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