Monaghan 3-9 Westmeath 2-9
Monaghan had to dig deep to overcome Westmeath in the dying moments of the 3rd round tie of the Gerry Reilly U-16 FT played in Millbrook, Oldcastle on Saturday. Hot favourites, Monaghan, certainly had it put up to them and it's Westmeath that had far more scoring chances.
Westmeath had the wind advantage in the first half and within seconds of the start had their first point from Kevin O'Sullivan and followed up with a goal chance wide of the upright.
Jamie Evans added another point before Enda Gaffney' goal had Westmeath leading by 1-2 to 0-0. Indeed Westmeath had more great chances of scores , but they were off target with poor shots. Jordan McGarrell's goal brought Monaghan back into the game, but again Westmeath's shooting was letting them down. They had 7 wides to none for Monaghan before Shane Fleming pointed to have Westmeath up by 3 points at this stage. Three successive Monaghan points (Lochlain Power, David Irwin & Jordan McGarrell) by the 21st minute had the sides level. Westmeath regained the lead with a Shane Fleming point and the followed up quickly with a Oisin Raleigh point (f) and a goal. Lochlainn Power's goal in the 24th minute gave life back to Monaghan, but it was Westmeath's Jamie Evans that pointed for the last score of the half.
H/T: Westmeath 2-6 Monaghan 2-3
If anything, the wind seemed to get stronger in the second half, however Monaghan had the sides level again by the 34th minute with successive points. Westmeath's Shane Fleming's converted free put them ahead again, however they again filed to convert other chances. Monaghan were beginning to do the same with their chances, however Conor Smith got the equaliser . Shane Fleming, who was having a star game for Westmeath, converted 2 frees to regain the lead by the 52nd minute.
Monaghan substitute, Ronan Grimes, had a big influence when introduced and his point had the sides level for the 4th time. He was instrumental in Nathan Power's goal that was to give victory to Monaghan. Westmeath did not give up and in injury time had 2 attempts on the Monaghan goal, but Monaghan's defence held out.
Monaghan will now play either Laois or Meath (who play on Sunday evening, 16 July) in the Gerry Reilly Cup Final
Monaghan's, Jordan McGarrell was presented with the RESPA 'Man of the match' award by Bobby Kellett (Kelletts Oldcastle Ltd).
Monaghan: Larry McCluskey, Cillian Conlan, James Clerkin, Conor Devlin, Micheal Meehan, Oggie Duffy, Eoghan Casey, Jordan McGarrell (1-1), Lochlain Power (1-0), Conor McCooey (0-1), Kian McAree, Tommy Finn, Conor Smith (0-4), David Irwin (0-1), Conor Lappin
Subs: Mark Mooney (0-1) for Lappin, Darragh McElearney for McAree, Josh Mone for Finn, Ronan Grimes (0-1)for Casey, Nathan Power(1-0) for McCooey
Westmeath: Ryan Judge, Charlie Drumm, Ciaran Daly, Aidan Stone, David Manning, Michael McCormack, Liam Moran, Shane Fleming (0-5,3f), Jack Murtagh, Jordan McDonnell, Kevin O'Sullivan (0-1), Enda Gaffney (1-0), Jack Torpey, Oisin Raleigh (1-1), Jamie Evans (0-2)
Subs: Wayne Smith for McCormack (inj.), Michael McCormack for Moran, Cian McCourt for Manning, Nathan Lynott for McDonnell, James Clavin for Judge
Ref: Michael Lee (Cavan)