Fingal in Rackard semi-final after getting better of Monaghan
Nicky Rackard Cup round 2A: Monaghan 3-14 Fingal 2-19
FINGAL have reached the semi-finals of the Nicky Rackard Cup after they once again got the better of opponents in a high-scoring affair.
In the opening round, the Dublin men prevailed against Longford on a 3-21 to 3-15 finishing score line. On Saturday in Castleblayney, they had just two points to spare against a Monaghan side who enjoyed a big win over neighbours Fermanagh in their first game.
And indeed, it was Monaghan who were on top in the opening stages of this clash. With Stephen Lambe helping himself to a goal and two points, the Farney men led 1-5 to 0-3 with almost a quarter of the match gone.
But Fingal hit back in determined and effective fashion with a telling scoring spree. The Dublin side proceeded to put an unanswered 2-2 on the board with green flags being raised by John Matthew Sheridan and Darren Renahan. Alongside the other Fingal corner-forward TJ Howard, Sheridan gave the Monaghan rearguard a torrid time and contributed to the Dublin team leading 2-9 to 1-9 at half-time.
In the second period, Fingal moved further clear and by the 57th minute, they were four points to the good. At that stage, however, it was time for a defiant Monaghan to respond with their own purple patch. Deaglán Crowe twice hit the net to move the home side in front.
The action would see-saw again though and the visitors gained the upper hand in the contest over the last 10 minutes. In that closing period, Fingal outscored Monghan 0-5 to 0-2 with Sheridan again splitting the posts twice to finish with a personal tally of 1-9. Substitute Eoin Thynne was also on target.
Monaghan, who were bidding for a first Rackard Cup semi-final spot since 2013,will play Donegal in the quarter-finals next weekend and will be disappointed not to have followed up their March league win over Fingal.
Monaghan: D McGahon; S McNally, P Finnegan, J Guinan; A Kenny, P Treanor, C McKenna; S Forde, D Crowe (2-0); M Murphy, N Garland (0-4 frees), F Rafter (0-1); S Lambe (1-6, 0-5 frees), M Treanor (0-2), B McGuigan (0-1); Subs: B Connor for McNally (43 mins), C Boyle for Murphy (53), T Campbell for Forde (63).
Fingal: M Cullen; N McCaffrey, D Fitzsimon, N Ring; K O’Flynn, P Sheridan (0-2 frees); C O’Flynn, R McGarry; S Owens (0-1), L Kelly (0-1), K O’Sullivan (0-1); TJ Howard (0-3), D Renahan (1-0), JM Sheridan (1-9, 0-3 frees, 0-2 ‘65s); Subs: J Fay Watt for McCaffrey (22), E Thynne (0-2) for Renahan (52), I Furlong for McGarry (60), E McCarthy for Kelly (63), D Cullen for Howard (70).
Referee: J Clarke (Cavan).