HURLING | Frustrating day for Moninne as they exit Leinster in controversial fashion
Leinster Junior Club Hurling Championship
Fr Dalton’s 2–11 Naomh Moninne 0–9
Louth champions Naomh Moninne made a first round exit from the Leinster Club Junior Hurling Championship on Saturday, losing out to Westmeath outfit Fr Daltons in a tough encounter played in Ballymore.
Heavy overnight rain required the home side to bring in pumps to remove excess water from the pitch which made underfoot conditions for both sides very difficult from the outset.
The Dundalk side travelled to the midlands short five of their Championship winning XV with Chris Lennon (injured), Oisin Drumm (ill), Andrew Mackin (abroad) and the pairing of Feidhlim Joyce and Mattie Fee involved with the Geraldines in the Minor Football Championship Final in Drogheda on Sunday.
Despite that, Ronan Geoghegan opened the scoring for Brian Brady’s side with a pointed free from the left wing, awarded for a foul on the experienced Eddie McArdle after four minutes.
Fr Dalton’s full forward Colum Mackey responded with a brace of pointed frees of his own. In between, Geoghegan struck over his second point from a placed ball.
On 12 minutes, a great move involving Geoghegan and Stephen Ryan ended with midfielder Darren O’Hanrahan firing over a terrific point to put his side in front again.
Moninne fell behind for the first time in the match when the home side struck for successive points from Mackey (free) and Ronan O’Loughlin to lead by one.
The sides, however, were level again on 20 minutes when Ronan Geoghegan availed of an advantage played by the referee to fire over his first point from play.
A foul conceded by David Yore allowed Colum Mackey to grab his fourth point of the half but the hosts were then lucky to keep 15 men on the field.
Jack O’Kelly Lynch was extremely fortunate to escape with just a yellow card from Kildare referee Killian Jones after a dangerous frontal tackle on Diarmuid Murphy that saw the Moninne man requiring treatment for several minutes before he was replaced as a blood substitute by James Murphy.
In the time that was added on, midfielder Brian Finerty fired over a good point from the right wing to leave the home side leading by two, 0–6 to 0–4, at half time.
Murphy reappeared for the second half but before the ball was even thrown in, the referee produced a yellow card to Darren O’Hanrahan.
Moninne accounted for three successive wides on the resumption before the reliable Ronan Geoghegan struck over the opening score of the half with a free on 40 minutes.
The black and amber also wasted a glorious opportunity to grab the game’s opening goal, denied on two occasions by goalkeeper Sean Wesson, before losing O’Hanrahan to a second yellow card with over 15 minutes still to play.
Fr Dalton’s restored their half time lead when Mackey took advantage of a poor clearance from keeper Paul Delaney to score from the left wing.
The game then swung in their favour when the same player took a pass from O’Kelly Lynch to fire to the net for the game’s opening goal on 45 minutes, 1–7 to 0–5.
Geoghegan took his tally to six points with another brace of scores in between which Mackey struck over another free from 35 metres.
The home side all but sealed their place in the next round of the competition with a second goal on 55 minutes, scored from close range by one Jack O’Kelly Lynch, whose presence on the pitch was still questioned by the travelling supporters following that earlier incident involving Murphy.
To their credit, Moninne battled gamely to the end with both the experienced Collins Connolly and John Martin accounting for good points.
However, it was tarnished by the late dismissal of Diarmuid Murphy for a straight red card as Moninne ended the game with 13 men and ended their season in disappointing fashion.
FR DALTON’S: Sean Wesson; Eoin Ryan, Kenneth Kincaid, Jack Kearney; Sean Keena, Robert English, Sean McCabe; Peter Fielding, Brian Finerty (0–1); Jack O’Kelly Lynch (1–1), John Gilligan (0–1), Ronan McLoughlin (0–1); Pete Murray, Colm Mackey (1–6, 5f), Kieran Martin. Subs: Sean Egan (0–1) for P Murray, 52 mins; Liam O’Neill for R McLoughlin, 55 mins; Barry McKnight for P Fielding, 58 mins.
NAOMH MONINNE: Paul Delaney; Andrew McArdle, Niall Cafferkey, Paul Challoner; David Yore, Diarmuid Murphy, Philip Englishby; Darren O’Hanrahan (0–1), Tadhg Moore; Stephen Rafferty, John Martin (0–1), Stephen Ryan; Collins Connolly (0–1), Eddie McArdle, Ronan Geoghegan (0–6, 4f). Subs: Daire Flanagan for E McArdle, 25 mins; James Murphy for A McArdle, 56 mins, Tadhg Litchfield for S Rafferty, 60 mins.
REFEREE: Killian Jones (Kildare).