Oscar Traynor Report Cavan/Monaghan V Sligo/Letrim
Cavan/Monaghan 5-2 Sligo Letrim
The major game of the weekend on the representative front was the second-round Oscar Traynor clash at Cootehill between the Monaghan / Cavan League and the Sligo Leitrim District Soccer League. This was a tough call for Manager John Loftus and assistant Lee Marshall as Cavan/Monaghan having already beaten the Donegal League by the odd goal in three knew a win here would give them certain qualification to the latter stages of the competition. Sligo Leitrim without the influential Conor Griffin because of suspension plus the unavailability of some key players due to social commitments meant the inclusion of some young guns for the big stage.
Net minders were two stalwarts of the game the massive Stephen Heraughty of Boyle Celtic and St John’s FC stalwart Ciaran Doyle. The brilliant defender Damien Scanlon and his team mate’s young guns Mark Mc Callion Ryan Mc Manus Kyle Harrigan and Mark Mc Goldrick Strand Celtic. Captain Marvel Ross Mc Loughlin Ballygawley Celtic and Manor Rangers Star Paddy Woulfe. The big players of Boyle Celtic Sean Purcell, Aaron Calpin and Danny Browne Dylan Edwards of Carbury FC and Danny Hargadon of Ballymote Celtic and Stephen Armstrong of St John’s FC were the players carrying the hopes and aspirations of the league of their shoulders.
The game was played at John Sherlock Park, Astro facility at Cootehill so the tempo was going to be high from the start with the advantage to the home side having used the facility but in the end the rub of the green may well prove a factor. Sligo Leitrim had the better exchanges for long periods in the first half and were unlucky on two occasions not to be awarded a penalty but such is the joy of away ties. Captain Ross Mc Laughlin and Ryan Mc Manus were dictating matters in midfield and on eighteen minutes Mark Mc Goldrick shot just narrowly wide. Monaghan/Cavan started to make headway and with two minutes to half time Captain Mark Thornton fired home from close range following a goal mouth scramble. However, Sligo Leitrim responded within a minute a cross from the left from Paddy Woulfe was met by the head of Aaron Calpin who scored a glorious equaliser to leave it all square at the break.
Cavan / Monaghan wasted no time in regaining the lead two minutes into the second half and Ronan Sturrat fired home and Sligo Leitrim were starting to show signs of wear. They were further exposed twelve minutes later then Mark Thornton netted his second a rather speculative shot from twenty-five yards that slid under the body of Stephen Heraughty in the Sligo Leitrim goals. Sligo Leitrim continued to battle and were rewarded six minutes from time when Mark Mc Goldrick netted. The joy was however once again short lived when three minutes later Monaghan / Cavan completed the job with two more scores the fourth goal from Stephen Smith and the fifth from Ronan Sturrat. This was a fine result for Monaghan / Cavan that will now see them progress to the final rounds of the competition and on this display, they will be a handful for most sides particularly at home.