SportGAA

Monaghan pip neighbours Cavan

GAABy Sean McGoldrick
Monaghan's Colin Walshe turns to celebrate after scoring his side's last point
Monaghan's Colin Walshe turns to celebrate after scoring his side's last point

MONAGHAN 0-16 CAVAN 0-15

Cometh the hour, cometh the men.

With Monaghan facing elimination from the Ulster championship at Kingspan Breffni Park their most experienced players, Conor McManus, Dessie Mone, Dick Clerkin and Colin Walshe came to the fore and kicked crucial points to get their side over the line.

Cavan will rue missed chances near the end, particularly a long-range free and more particularly a 45 from Cavan goalkeeper Raymond Galligan.

What will annoy them even more is that they got into a winning position in the third quarter - leading by
four points (0-13; 0-9).

But in their moment of crisis Monaghan - who are aiming to reach their third successive Ulster final - responded with the senior players leading by example.

Mone, Clerkin - who had been introduced as a substitute - and McManus, who kicked crucial scores from play and frees throughout the afternoon - stepped up to the plate and dragged the Farney County back into the contest with crucial scores.

In the end they held their nerve in an exciting finish. After Galligan's two misses another substitute Colin Walsh - back in action for the first time since damaging his cruciate ligament in last year's All-Ireland quarter final against Dublin - kicked what proved to be a crucial point in injury time for Monaghan.

Cavan substitute Martin Dunne kicked a long-range free to leave the minimum between the sides again but time ran out for Terry Hyland's side and the fact that they only scored two points in the last 20 minutes proved their undoing.

But Terry Hyland's side made light of their underdog status to lead 4-1 at the end of the first quarter. However, the concession of a succession of frees allowed Monaghan to get back on level terms before retaining the lead.

However, Cavan enjoyed another purple patch at the end of the half and led at half time 0-9 to 0-7.

Cavan simply didn't have the same number of quality players as Monaghan so they will have to try their luck in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

Monaghan, meanwhile, can look forward to a semi-final encounter between the winners of next Sunday's Antrim v Fermanagh quarter-final.