McKenna Cup: Monaghan start in style

December 29, 2018

Monaghan's Ryan McAnespie.
©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.

Monaghan 1-20
Antrim 1-12

Monaghan hit 21 scores in their season opener to down Antrim in Clones and make the perfect start to the 2019 Dr McKenna Cup.

After the visitors had made a promising, which saw Colum Duffin put them 0-5 to 0-3 in front after 15 minutes, it was Malachy O’Rourke’s experimental side that took over with the frees of Jack McCarron helping them lead by five (0-11 to 0-6) at the break.

The hosts all but killed off this first round tie in the opening stages of the restart by registering 1-4 without reply, including a superbly taken goal from James Mealiff.

From there, the winners opened up a 12-point lead with Mealiff, Michael Brannigan and Ryan McAnespie all sailing over scores.

Niall Delargy punched in a consolation goal for the Glensmen with 20 minutes to go but late scores from McCarron and Rory Beggan (free) were enough for the home side to pull up winning in a game which saw All Star defender Colin Walshe make his 100th apperance for his county while his brother Jamie also debuted. 

Monaghan - R Beggan (0-1f); John McCarron, K Duffy, C Lennon (0-1); J Mealiff (1-1), B Kerr (0-1), F Connolly; K O’Connell, J Walshe (0-1); R McAnespie (0-1), Jack McCarron (0-5, 4f), F Kelly; D Freeman (0-2), M Bannigan (0-4, 1f), B McGinn (0-3). Subs: T Kerr for F Kelly, G Doogan for K O’Connell, C Boyle for John McCarron, V Corey for B Kerr, C Walshe for J Mealiff.

Antrim - P Nugent; C Hamill, P Gallagher, O McKeown; D McCormack, N Delargy (1-0), P McCormack (0-1); F Burke, P Finnegan; M McCarry, M Sweeney, R Murray (0-6, 3f); M Fitzpatrick, C Duffin (0-1), R McCann (0-1). Subs: P McBride (0-2f) for P McCormack, D Lynch for D McCormack, A Sweeney for C Hamill, C Lemon for O McKeown, E McCabe (0-1) for F Burke.

Referee - N Mooney.

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