Super 8s: successes, sickeners, and some cracking battles still ahead
MONAGHAN were within minutes of reaching the All-Ireland semi-final this afternoon, but were left reeling by a David Clifford goal which kept Kerry’s hopes of progress just about alive.
Kerry were always behind in the game, and looked like they were down and out in this year’s championship as Monaghan, seeking a first ever championship win against the Kingdom, led by five points with almost an hour gone.
Monaghan, who got off to the perfect start when Conor McManus netted after a minute, were the better side throughout, but will rue missed chances and a lack of composure, even after Clifford’s clinical strike from a tight angle, when they worked the ball into a point scoring position only to fluff their lines.
A win for the Farney would have saw them join Galway in qualifying with a round to spare. As it is, they will play the Tribesmen on August 4, knowing that a draw will see them through.
In today’s earlier game, Galway made it through to the last four as they had three points to spare against 14-man Kildare.
The Lilywhites, who are now eliminated, lost Daniel Flynn to a red card on 46 minutes, but were still in contention – just a point behind - as the game went into stoppage time. Late points from Sean Kelly and Damian Comer saw Galway over the line.
On Saturday, a Michael Murphy inspired Donegal were too strong for a Roscommon side beaten by Ulster opposition for the second consecutive weekend. Murphy hit 0-9 and Odhrán Mac Niallais contributed 0-4 as Declan Bonner’s side recovered from their opening day loss to Dublin.
The reigning All-Ireland champions beat Tyrone in Omagh in Saturday’s second game. The Red Hands performed with credit throughout, with James McCaffrey’s rather fortuitous second half goal ultimately proving the difference between the teams.
Donegal and Tyrone meet in Ballybofey on August 5, where a draw for Tyrone will see them through to the last four.