TG4 Ulster Senior Championship Semi Final

TG4 Ulster Senior Championship Semi Final

Monaghan 2-13

Down 1-7

MONAGHAN took a step closer to retaining their Ulster title after defeating a strong Down side in Crossmaglen on Sunday afternoon.

Edel Byrne was the star of the show for the Oriel girls as she hit 2-6, both goals coming in the opening period which saw Monaghan lead 2-7 to 1-5 at the break. However, this was far from a canter for the reigning champions as Down pushed them all the way.

Byrne hit the first of her majors after just a minute when she slotted home from the penalty spot. When she fired her second on 19 minutes with a stunning finish it looked game over. A point almost immediately from the All Star opened a seven point lead.

Despite having Lyndsey Cunningham sin binned a goal by Kyla Traynor from a penalty and a point from Aileen Pyers had Down within three as the first half entered added time. Byrne and the excellent Ciara McAnespie extened the advantage to five by the half time whistle with a point a piece.

The high tempo of the game continued on the restart but Down struggled to break down the Monaghan defence. When they did create an opening they were twice denied by Linda Martin who made good saves to deny both Kyla Traynor and Aileen Pyers.

With Amanda Casey calling the shots at the centre of the park Monaghan were always looking the more dangerous and could have found the net on numerous occasions. They were content in slotting over the points with both Edel Byrne and Ciara McAnespie to the fore.

Down had Grainne McClean sin binned three minutes from time but at that stage the game was over as a contest as they only added two points in the second half but on this performance they will go into the qualifiers with confidence of playing a part in the championship yet.

For Monaghan their attention turns to Tyrone on July 5 in Cavan and a repeat of last years final.

Monaghan: L Martin, Y Connell, S Courtney, C Reilly, G McNally, E Hackett, L Connolly, A Casey, N Fahy, A McAnespie, E Byrne (2-6), C McConnell (0-1), C McAnespie (0-3), N Kindlon (0-2), N Lynch

Subs: F Courtney for N Lynch, C Courtney (0-1) for E Byrne

Derry: B Russell, J Connell, E Downey, A Keary, K O’Neill, A Downey, S Murphy, K Traynor (1-0), F Carr, L Cunningham, L Morgan (0-1), O Fegan, G McClean, M Downey (0-3), A Pyers (0-3)

Subs: S Fegan for J Connell

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