Swilly Rovers 2-2 Monaghan United FC 4-2 AET
SFAI National Cup Ulster Section Final
United made the long jouney to Ramelton just outside Letterkenny to play Swilly missing several key players including Conor Doyle up front, Martynas Pilvinis, Niall Crawley and Cormac McKenna who played a big role in their victory over Illistrin a few weeks earlier. This is not to take anything away from the game or the opposition who were of the highest quality. The Mons did seem lost without they target man Conor with Alvaro Soriano, Besorah Moba, Soki John and Jordan Murray all having a stint up front during the game. United took time to get used to the surface and Swilly pressed them well during the opening half. Shane McNamee and Conor Gormley were Rovers’ main threats going forward. Shane with his skill and Conor with his power and pace. Shane got the first receiving the ball on the edge of the box, turning he curled the ball into the far top corner to make it 1-0. United were rattled and being overrun in midfield time and time again with Conor Gormley showing why there is so much interest in him. The second came just before the half and was a killer blow to Monaghan. From a kick-out the ball was headed back towards goal between goalie and centre back. Unfortunately for both Shane nipped in between them and slotted home his second.
In the second half United looked a changed team full of optimism that they could close the deficit. Besorah and Eli played a more influential role in the game while Soki played up front and reveled in the role. Tommy Croarkin also had an excellent second half at right back bombing up and down the line. Abraham Dixon also did his job superbly making some great punches from Swilly corners. Monaghan pressed and had both Jordan and Soki playing forward with Finbar McGinn now playing at left back. United gained several set-pieces in dangerous positions with James Bourke always a threat now on the pitch. Soki played excellently as striker using his pace to great effect. For United’s first he dribbled into the box srrounded by defenders he still managed to play in Eli who fired home with his unfavoured left foot. This gave United hope and in the dying embers of the game Soki got a free-kick on the edge of the box to the left hand side.
James stepped up and with the referee looking at his watch James pinged the ball straight into the top of the net Ronaldo esq and the players went mad. The referee blew for full time and with light failing Extra Time loomed. Just a few minutes in though, disaster for Monaghan as a defensive mistake led to a third Swilly goal which broke United’s resistance to an extent. They soon grabbed a fourth as a dejected Monaghan side wondered what they had to do to get a place in the last 32 of the SFAI Cup. Abraham made a very good save near the end and the boys can be proud of their performance. Darren Geoghegan also had another very good game playing a year above himself he put in a great shift in midfield. Mattie pushed up into midfield in the later stages of the game and led the team well. Well done to Swilly who were excellent on the day.
Man of the Match goes to Soki John who revitalized United’s game in the second half especially on the attack.
Monaghan United Squad:Abraham Dixon, Thomas Croarkin, Finbar McGinn, Ethan O’Leary, Soki John, Mathew McQuaid(C), Lewis Gibson, Marc Treanor, Eli Ward, Besorah Moba, Alavaro Soriano, James Bourke, Darren Geoghegan, Jordan Murray.
No Joy For Monaghan
Monaghan United 0
Monaghan United U – 12’s suffered their third defeat of the season on Saturday last against a strong Ballyjamesduff side in Gortakeegan. United started well controlling much of the play with new signing Josh Hagan linking up well with Terry McDonald upfront. The midfield four of Kevin Fitzpatrick, Dylan Ballantine, Joshua Clerkin and Josh Deeney held their own and were ably supported by James McKenny, Tiarnan O’Rourke, Tiarnan Kierans, Dean Doherty at the back with Nathan Lavery in goal. Monaghan were unlucky not to go ahead and were thwarted only by the brillance of the Ballyjamesduff keeper. The first half ended in stalemate with neither side holding the advantage.
Monaghan introduced Adam McBride and Adam McGarry at the start of the second half and continued to press forward. A costly defensive error in the 10th minute allowed the Ballyjamesduff winger to score with a speculative left footed shot. The goal rocked the home side and within 5 minutes they conceded another. Monaghan introduced Riaghan Gallagher, Shay Cooney, Dylan Reilly and Jake Power to add impetus to the attack but to no avail. The home sides inability to hold onto the ball and some poor decision making allowed Ballyjamesduff to score another goal in the dying minutes to leave the final score at 0-3.
Monaghan United: Nathan Lavery, Dean Doherty, Tiarnan Kierans, Tiarnan O’Rourke, James Mc Kenny, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Dylan Ballantine, Joshua Clerkin, Josh Deeney, Terry Mc Donald, Josh Hagan, Dylan Reilly, Adam Mc Bride, Adam McGarry, Jake Power, Riaghan Gallagher, Shay Cooney.
This team is sponsored by The Hillgrove Hotel and Monaghan Electrical.
Six Of The Best For United
Monaghan United 6
Cootehill Harps 2
Cootehill where the visitors to Gortakegan on Sunday last and United put in another excellent performance.
Monaghan began the game with venom and were firing in attack after attack and kept the pressure on the backline of Cooethill for long periods and were playing some very impressive football. Leon McCabe and Aaron Mulligan totally owned the two wings and where superb, taking on players and crossing some sublime balls into the Cootehill box Shea Treanor and Terence McDonald the two mons strikers were unlucky not to have both scored in the first 5 mins.
The deadlock was broken when a perfectly timed pass from Jakob Frizelwich to Joseph Duffy who in turn flicked on a lovely header to the oncoming Shea Treanor who calmly chipped the keeper,1 nil.
Cootehill created a fair few chances and broke away a few times but their attacks were easily dealt with by the backline of Annan Connors, Dylan Ballintine, Steven McClusky and Lorcan O’Rourke, who were all brilliant throughout the game. Dylan Ballintine made a great run up the right wing and set Aaron Mulligan on his way to cross in a perfect ball for Terence McDonald to slot home, 2 nil.
Cooethill were awarded a free kick just outside the mons 18 yard box which beat the mons keeper, who was having a pretty good game up to that point 2-1.
The young mons kept pressing and attacking and after some great work from Leon McCabe got their third goal from a sweet cross from leon to Terence McDonald who sloted home. Terence has proved to be a nuisance to all defences in every game and then came off to let Caomihn Woods into the action and the young player got stuck in straight away and showed great skill, ability and strength. Conor McGuire came on also and fought hard and won some great tackles and like Caomhin Woods he showed strength and ability
Jakob and Joseph also came off to allow subs Jack McKenna and Harry Mallon to come on. They also got straight into the game and dominated the centre of the park. Ryan Leonard also came on and played great for Shea Treanor and took annan’s left back position to allow Annan a more attacking role. Annan tore Cootehill apart and was unstoppable. He could have went through a few times but set up goals instead of going himself which has to be praised. Aaron Mulligan once again took on player after player and got on the score sheet himself 4-1. Annan made a another powerful run and in turn set up Leon McCabe for United’s 5th goal and quickly afterwards Leon made a solo run and powered his way into the box and scored United’s 6th of the game. Leon always works hard and totally deserved his two goals. 6-1.
Cootehill got another free kick closer than the last one and made it count by getting their 2nd goal as a consolation. united dominated most of the play for most of the game. But credit has to go to Coothill who kept plugging away and their keeper pulled off some pretty great saves. Well done to both teams. Man of the match Annan Connors.
This team is sponsored by Kieran McMahon Tyres, Plantation and The Four Seasons Hotel.