U-13 CMUL League
Monaghan United 4-1 Ballyjamesduff
Ballyamesduff were the visitors to Gortakeegan, last weekend in what proved to be an entertaining match. Both teams have met several times this season and the Cavan side really put United under pressure on those occasions.
Both teams began strongly and Ballyjamesduff were first to score early in the first half with a well taken free kick just outside box. But the Monaghan lads just shook it off and kept the pressure on playing fast flowing passing football. United were winning every ball and kept the Ballyjamesduff keeper very busy and were justly rewarded with the equaliser with some fine passing between Aaron Mulligan, Harry Mallon , Terence McDonald and eventually to Leon McCabe who then rifled the ball home. Both sets of supporters were very impressed with the passing movement of the Monaghan lads.
Annan Connors made some really strong creative runs up the left wing and the Cavan team just could not handle him and he bagged himself a very well taken and deserved goal to make it 2-1 to United.
Elijah Dixon returned for his first game in nearly 5 months and was a constant thorn in the side to Ballyjamesduff on the right wing.
Leon McCabe and Terence McDonald played the striker’s role to perfection and set each other up time after time and kept the Ballyjamesduff keeper very busy. Terence McDonald and Aaron Mulligan showed their natural ability and ball control today with flicks ,trickery and one touch passing. Harry Mallon and Jakob Frizelwich dominated midfield and were at the heart of everything. Jakob also made some great clearences and assisted the defence several times. The United backline of Joseph Duffy, Dylan Ballentine and Steven McCloskey were rock solid and encouraged and helped each other superbly throughout and showed exactly what team work is all about. The next United goal came from a long pass from Steven McCloskey which fell to Leon McCabe who made a fine solo run and rewarded himself with his second of the game with a fine shot.
Caolain Woods came off the bench for Terence McDonald who had worked tirelessly throughout the game and young Woods made a few fine runs and was unlucky not to find the net himself. Conor McGuire also came on and used his speed to its full potential as Ballyjamesduff found it difficult to contain. He put in cross after cross to give the visitor’s defence all kinds of trouble. Harry Mallon put the game to bed with his first goal of the season, with a fierce shot that the keeper could not handle.
Final score: Monaghan United 4-1 Ballyjamesduff
Monaghan United 5-2 Carrick Rovers
CMUL U15 League
In what can only be described as “Typical Sunday evening weather” two top teams played out a top of the table clash. It never stopped raining throughout the game but Monaghan had a full compliment of players including Cormac McKenna from the U14 team. Ethan O’Leary stepped back into his centre-half role alongside Mattie McQuaid. Lewis Gibson and Besorah Moba anchored the midfield with Eli Ward being given license to support Conor Doyle up front. Monaghan reverted to having two wingers, Soky John and Darren Geoghegan.
United were very slow to start giving away possession and sitting too deep allowing Carrick to press them high up the field. Indeed it was sloppy defending and this deep line that lead to Rovers’ first goal, Jerome played Lorcan Murnaghan through with a lovely pass, Abraham saved his shot but Sean Burns finished the rebounder. After 20 mins Besorah was replaced by Cormac in midfield who had an outstanding game. His introduction seemed to be the game changer as United were now winning the ball in the middle and pressing Carrick into their own half. Monaghan hit Carrick on the counter, Conor Doyle’s pace and acceleration was too much for the Carrick defender, he took it by him and finished coolly from close range to level the game. A smart set-piece move from the training ground led to the Mons second. A clever 1-2 between Eli and Darren running from the near post led to Eli laying the ball to Cormac inside the box, however he miss hit his shot. Luckily it landed straight to Soky’s feet and from close range he couldn’t miss for 2-1. Eli came very close with a well hit free-kick from the right side of the box brushing the side netting.
United certainly seemed on top but had another slow start to the second half. Jerome got by Thomas Croarkin on the right flank and crossed the ball in, Abraham parried it but it fell kindly to Lorcan who smashed home their equalizer. The impetus then went back to Monaghan who had taken Soky off due to injury and replaced him with an impressive Jordan Murray. Jordan had some excellent plays on the left wing, with clever turns and a burst of pace he beat his marker but seemed to take one touch too many at the end. From another set-piece which Darren took Monaghan went ahead. After some ricochets around the box Cormac volleyed the ball into the roof of the net, no less than he deserved for his performance.
The game took another twist as Carrick had a man sent off for a handball on the goal-line preventing a certain goal. Conor stepped up and calmly placed the ball into the bottom corner to widen the gap between the sides. Rovers’ didn’t give up and had some good play with 10 men but left a lot of space behind their defence. On the break Abraham played the ball long down the field to Conor who took an excellent first touch and played to Eli, Eli played the ball through first time to Conor who rounded the ‘keeper and tapped in for his hat-trick. The game finished 5-2 with both teams having given excellent account’s for themselves. The football was intense and the passing was superb for the most on both sides, a good advertisement for schoolboy football in the county.
Man of the Match goes to Cormac McKenna, who despite playing a year above himself dominated the midfield. He tackled and incepted many Carrick moves but his passing was also slick and accurate. Many of United’s good plays came from him winning the ball back for his team.
Monaghan United Squad: Abraham Dixon, Thomas Croarkin, Mathew McQuaid, Cormac McKenna, Besorah Moba, Lewis Gibson, Eli Ward, Conor Doyle, Darren Geoghegan, Soky John, Alan McMahon, James Bourke, Martynas Pilvinis, Jordan Murray, Niall Crawley, Ethan O’Leary.
Ballyhaise Celtic 1-5 Monaghan United
CMUL U16 League
Monaghan played perhaps their best football all season in the first 20 minutes and subsequently went 5-0 doing so. They played with pace and at an intensity the Cavan side could not match. The passing was slick and accurate all the way from Abraham Dixon in goals to Conor Doyle upfront. Stephen Corrigan replaced ill Colm Lennon at centre-halve and was perhaps United’s Man of the Match tackling and intercepting nearly anything Ballyhaise threw at them. Shane McMahon played alongside and also put in a solid performance getting forward to join in on the attacks which he does so well.
Monaghan’s first goal was set-up by Spanish playmaker Alvaro Morales, he cleverly chipped the ball over the centre back to Keelan O’Reilly who lobbed the ‘keeper from close range. Jason McBride then got on the scoresheet with an impressive long range shot, the ‘keeper with the sun in his eyes couldn’t see the shot coming until it was too late. Conor Doyle was next in line to score, Keelan O’Reilly’s cross from the left was cleared but dropped to Conor just inside the box to fire home into the bottom corner for 3-0.
Alvaro added to his assist with a well taken goal, a superb volley from the penalty spot driven into the top corner. Conor then made it 5 with another excellent goal. Tyler O’Hanlon had a shot which deflected into Conor’s path, he shifted the ball across the defender with his right foot before placing the ball in the corner with his left. It was some great footwork from the big forward.
Half-time came and Monaghan were comfortable and clear. The second half was another dominant display though without the clinical finishing seen in the first. Alvaro, Jason, Conor and Tyler all had chances but the Ballyhaise ‘keeper made some fine saves. Ballyhaise then got a consolation goal, Alpha their best player on the day hit a free-kick from 40 yards out, it was meant as a cross but nobody ended up getting anything on it and it surprising bounced into the bottom corner. Abraham was disappointed in goal but was in better spirits shortly afterwards with a fine save from close range. Conor Gaffney and Conghal Treanor got good spells on the pitch and both put in good displays. Dillon Kelly pushed into the no.10 role and prospered their always looking dangerous on the ball. Despite the chances the Mons didn’t manage to score in the second half and it finished 5-1. Another player who had a great game was Remy McKenna on the right wing. He showed great energy and beat his marker numerous times getting several good crosses into the attackers in the box.
Our Man of the Match today was Stephen Corrigan who was excellent in an unfamiliar position of centre-half. He read the game brilliantly and always found a pass in the tight spaces.
Monaghan United Squad:Abraham Dixon, Stephen Corrigan, Dillon Kelly, Shane McMahon(C), Lewis Gibson, Keelan O’Reilly, Remy McKenna, Jason McBride, Tyler O’Hanlon, Conor Doyle, Alvaro Morales, Conghal Treanor, Conor Gaffney.