How the Monaghan players rated - Brilliant Beggan, hard-working Hughes but Cavan take the win

Last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists Monaghan fall short in Championship thriller

Rory Beggan scored three points and made a brilliant save on his return for Monaghan. Pic Philip Walsh
Rory Beggan scored three points and made a brilliant save on his return for Monaghan. Pic Philip Walsh

Rory Beggan: Showed off those kicking skills with three points (a 45, a long-range free and one from play) and made a brilliant one-handed save to keep out Lynch’s low drive. Little chance with Faulkner and Smith’s piledrivers. Caught off his line by Lynch at the death. 8

Ryan Wylie: Picked up Cian Madden and worked to put pressure on Cavan ball-carriers in the first half. Lost possession in second half and Cavan countered for O’Connell’s point. 6

Kieran Duffy: Foul on Niall Carolan gave Lynch a dead ball opportunity which he took. Marking role on Gerard Smith who lost him for second half goal. 6

Ryan O’Toole: His supporting run led to Monaghan’s first point. Defensively solid against Oisin Brady although Brady did manage a point. 6.5

Karl O’Connell: Excellent score from the right wing in the first half. Vital hand in as Tiarnan Madden threatened to break through. 6.5

Killian Lavelle: Was up against Paddy Lynch and he stuck to his task, restricting him to a single point from play before Lynch broke for his late goal. 6.5

Conor McCarthy: Early tackle broke up Cavan’s first attack. Hit post and dropped another shot short. Second half shot saved but Hamill scored the rebound. 6.5

Cavan's Raymond Galligan marked his managerial Championship debut with victory over Monaghan. Pic Philip Walsh
Monaghan were ahead in injury-time but a late Cavan flurry decided the issue at Clones. Pic Philip Walsh

Gary Mohan: Began in midfield and made a brief switch to full-forward. Burst of speed into space and swift off-load to O’Toole led to Monaghan’s opener. Took wrong option with a late shot. 6

Darren Hughes: Used his experience as the spare man in defence and beefy tackles stopped Cavan attacks. Upsetting to see the Scotstown veteran stretchered off early in the second half with a serious leg injury. 7

Ciaran McNulty: Dragged back Oisin Brady and conceded first half free. The Inniskeen clubman worked hard around the middle. 6

Kevin Loughran: Gilt-edged goal chance well saved by goalkeeper. Turned by Padraig Faulkner midway through second half and the Cavan vice-captain buried the chance. 6

Jason Irwin: Didn’t lack effort – he worked up and down the right wing hard – but it didn’t quite come off for him. Penalised twice for over-carrying and conceded two of Lynch’s five first half frees. Booked then subbed at the break. 5.5

David Garland: Audacious first half score was the highlight for Garland. Worked hard in attack with Cian Reilly for company and was called ashore after 50 minutes. 6

Jack McCarron: A mixed bag. Goal attempt blocked on the line but a long range point followed. Ran down blind alleys occasionally and his poor pass led to Cavan equaliser. 6

Conor McManus: Showed experience and class when he drew marker Brian O’Connell in and used his body to beat him, broke into space and curled over a point. Two frees as well. Couldn’t get on the ball in second half. 6


Michael Hamill: Replaced Irwin at half-time. Earned free for McManus when he was fouled as he shaped to shoot. Took his goal well. 7

Joel Wilson: On for the stricken Hughes 13 minutes in second half. Leapt to take a mark and sent it over bar to edge Monaghan ahead. 6.5

Sean Jones: Made an impact when he came in for Garland after 50 minutes, Handpass created Hamill’s chance. Confident mark followed. 7

Micheal Bannigan: Not on long enough to be rated.

Stephen Mooney: Not on long enough to be rated.

Top Score
Gerard Smith

THERE were around three minutes of injury-time left and Monaghan were leading by a point when Smith turned the game decisively Cavan’s way. Killian Brady motored into Monaghan territory from full-back and passed the ball infield to Padraig Faulkner – immense for his county in the latter stages – who won it under pressure.

Faulkner spotted an incisive supporting run from substitute Cormac O’Reilly and the Mullahoran clubman did likewise when he played in Smith who broke into space and then lashed a thumping drive past Rory Beggan. There was no way back for Monaghan.