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In The Irish News - Mar 16 1998: Monaghan halt the Red Hands

CLEAN PAIR OF HEELS...Tyrone’s Fergal Coyle is too quick for Monaghan’s Edwin Murphy during yesterday’s National League game in Omagh

THE width of the post was all that separated these two sides yesterday and helped Monaghan pull off a surprising 0-11 to 2-6 victory which puts them into the quarter-finals of the National Football League.

In the closing seconds, injury-time substitute Ciaran Loughran ran 30 yards and with his first touch of the ball elected to shoot, only to see his effort rebound off the post and away to safety denying Tyrone the equaliser which would have been enough to put them through

Tyrone now face an anxious few months without a hard-fought game before the pair meet in the preliminary round on May 17.

Both sets of players were slow and the game was riddled with mistakes.

Despite not scoring for long spells, Monaghan soaked up the pressure and defended admirably. To their credit, they took any chances which were presented to them and while Peter Canavan missed a penalty early in the second half, Declan Smuth made no mistake at the other end when the Farney county were awarded one in the 46th minute. Tyrone were to rue their missed opportunities.

They looked inept in many departments and squandered lots of possession, six first half wides and countless balls which dropped into the hands of keeper John O’Connor in the end proving extremely costly.

It was Monaghan who finished the game the stronger and they defended superbly while corner-forward Declan Smyth came into his own in the last quarter scoring 1-2, including a penalty midway through the half which completely fooled Finbar McConnell.

Tyrone: F McConnell (capt), D Teague, C Holmes, S McLaughlin, Pascal Canavan, P Devlin, B Dooher, P McLaughlin (0-1), J Gormley, G Cavlan (0-2), Peter Canavan (0-2, both frees), S Lawn (0-1), A Cush (0-3, two frees), E Gormley (0-1), F Coyle (0-1)

Subs: D McIlroy for P McLaughlin (48), M McGleenan for S Lawn (53), C Loughran for F Coyle (61)

Monaghan: J O’Connor, E Murphy (capt), G McGuirk, N Marron, D McArdle, S Mullen, J Conlon, P McShane, C Ronaghan, D Swift (0-1), M Daly, K Hughes (1-2, one free), D Smyth (1-2, one free), D McKiernan (0-1), S McGinnity

Subs: P Duffy for D Swift (35), D Freeman for P McShane (42), C McAree for M Daly (62)

Referee: Mick McGrath (Donegal)

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DOWN produced one of their best displays in the current Church and General NFL Section D to completely outplay Roscommon in Orchard Park Elphin, running out 1-12 to 1-7 winners.

Down collected the points which sent them to the top of the section with a merited five-point victory.

On top in all departments Down completely outplayed the opposition but nowhere more than at midfield where Conor Deighan and Gerard Colgan dominated.

Playing combination football with clever passing movements Down should have won by a much larger margin.

Their cause was not helped by some puzzling refereeing decisions including a penalty to Roscommon midway through the second half.

In the final five minutes Roscommon staged a mini rally with two pointed frees by Derek Dougan and one from Francie Grehan but Down ran out comfortable winners.

Roscommon: B Morkan, M Ryan, D Donlon, E Gavin, C Heneghan, C McDonnell, M Kelly, A Nolan, G Keane, T Ryan, V Glennon, E Lohan (0- 1), F Grehan (0-2), F O’Donnell (0-1), D Dougan (1-3).

Subs: L Dowd for M Kelly, R Doorey for F O’Donnell, T Grehan for E Lohan

Down: M McVeigh, F Caulfield (0-1), B Burns, M McMurray, S Poland, M Magill, Sean Ward, C Deighan (0-2), G Colgan, G Deighan (0- 1), P Withnell (0-1), A Quinn (0-2), M Linden (1-1), R Carr (0-2), Shane Ward (0-2).

Sub: J McCartan for Shane Ward

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CATHERINA McKiernan showed she is bang on form for her tilt at the London marathon next month when she won the Lisbon half marathon yesterday.

The Cavan runner broke the course record with a time of 67.50.

Her run was 70 seconds inside her personal best for the distance and those in her wake included Liz McColgan and Joyce Chepchumba who will both also race in London next month.

1997 world half marathon championship silver medalist Christina Pomascu took second place 19 seconds behind McKiernan while another Romanian Alina Tecuta was third in 69.13.

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