McKenna Cup bursts into life as Monaghan survive late Donegal comeback 1 year ago

McKenna Cup bursts into life as Monaghan survive late Donegal comeback

Donegal 0-13 Monaghan 1-11

Donegal's poor first half cost them the McKenna Cup, and even a Michael Murphy-inspired comeback to reduce the deficit to a single point wasn't enough.


Monaghan's goal came early in the first half when a bit of magic from Jack McCarron resulted in the ball being slipped to a marauding Dessie Ward, who dipped past the defence and slotted it home.

From there on Monaghan were firmly in contro. Shane Carey in particular was causing lots of problems from half forward, going on mazy runs and kicking two scores himself.

Things went from bad to worse when Tír Chonaill manager, Declan Bonner, seemed to give the official who was manning the sideline an earful about something, only to then be told off by the referee and sent to the stands.


After half-time the team from the hills actually managed an incredible resurgence, with the introduction of big-name players like Michael Murphy and Michael Langan making an impact from the bench.

Goalkeeper Michael Lynch also injected a bit of excitement and positivity for those in green and yellow, as he often took the ball way out to the half-way line, getting involved in the attacking play.


His direct opposition was of course Rory Beggan, who is famed for his sweeper keeper role, particularly against All-Ireland champions Tyrone in last year's Ulster final.

Murphy was in fine form, particularly from the dead ball situation, continuously chipping away at Monaghan's lead.

However, it was a case of 'too little, too late' and Monaghan were crowned McKenna Cup champions for the first time since 2003.