Monaghan 4-13 Cavan 1-4
Caitriona McConnell sparkled for Monaghan as they were convincing winners over Cavan in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC qualifiers at Kingspan Breffni Park this afternoon.
With the hosts coming in on the back of a huge win over Down, and Monaghan having lost to Donegal in the Ulster final, a tight game may have been expected but the Farney women were in devastating form once they surged ahead late in the first half.
Before that, it had been a close affair. Cavan’s Roisín O’Keeffe hit the post with a goal effort early on and was then fouled for a penalty. While Aisling Doonan’s spot-kick was savedby Linda Martin, the full-forward was on hand to convert the rebound.
Points from McConnell drew Monaghan level at 1-2 to 0-5, however, and then Ellen McCarron goaled after Cavan goalkeeper Jennifer Kane was pressured well. Monaghan should have pushed further ahead only for poor shooting, but points before the break from Caoimhe Mohan and McConnell gave them a five-point advantage.
An unanswered 2-3 upon the resumption served to put the outcome beyond any doubt. McConnell, McCarron and McAnespie all pointed before McConnell struck for a goal, with Kane injuring herself as she almost kept out the rasping shot.
On the three-quarter mark, McConnell got her second and Cavan’s third goal after her initial effort was kept out and sub goalkeeper Elaine Ward had to save well to prevent her getting a hat-trick immediately after.
Doonan did end the Cavan wait for a second-half score and O’Keeffe also pointed late on but it was Monaghan’s day. Mohan and McAnespie both tacked on points and, with five minutes left, McConnell capped a wonderful display as she got her third goal to help leave 18 points between the teams at the end.
Scorers for Monaghan: C McConnell 3-6 (0-4f), E McCarron 1-1, C McAnespie 0-3, C Mohan 0-2, C Courtney 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cavan: A Doonan 1-3 (0-3f), R O’Keeffe 0-1f.
MONAGHAN: L Martin; J Geoghegan, S Courtney, G McNally; A McAnespie, N Fahy, E McAnespie; E McElroy, F Lafferty; C Courtney, C McDermott, C Mohan; C McAnespie, E McCarron, C McConnell.
Subs: L McEnaney for Geoghegan (20), T Fleming for Lafferty (52), T Scott for Mohan (54), R McKenna for McElroy (57), E O’Rourke for McDermott (58).
CAVAN: J Kane; S Lynch, G McGlade, E McDermott; S Reilly, J Moore, S Greene; M Sheridan, R Crowe; R O’Keeffe, D English, S King; R Jordan, A Doonan, C Smith.
Subs: A Kiernan for Lynch (25, injured), E Ward for Kane (43, injured), G Sheridan for Crowe, S Murray for Kiernan (both 44), B Farrelly-McGee for Greene (54).