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GAA

Inspirational Monaghan Light Up Electric Ireland Ulster Minor Football Championship

Inspirational Monaghan Light Up Electric Ireland Ulster Minor Football Championship

Seen as the longtime scapegoat-in-chief for the influx of dour defensive football trends in recent years, this season's version of Ulster football continues to turn that perception on its head with a high-octane shoot-out between Down and Monaghan's minors providing two of the three nominees for this week's Electric Ireland Minor Footballer of the week award.

Between this and Monaghan's senior side coming out on top in an entertaining clash with Tyrone, it proved to be a superb weekend for the Farney county.

Ryan Connolly - Down

A gripping Ulster Championship encounter between Down and Monaghan at Healy Park saw some excellent displays of clinical shooting. For Down, their main marksman was Ryan Connolly.

It was his crucial late free that leveled the scores at 1-12 apiece and ensured the game would go to extra-time. While Monaghan would eventually outlast the Mournemen, Connolly's effort of 0-6 (2f) deserves huge recognition as he was a constant pain in the side for Monaghan's defence.

His consistency of scoring was evident given how his first score came in the ninth minute and he never went out of the game for long, nailing the stoppage time equaliser as well as pointing during extra-time.

Aaron Mulligan - Monaghan

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It was the Farney men who ultimately prevailed in an absorbing contest at the weekend as they pushed on in extra-time to run out 1-20 to 1-16 winners. This was in large part due to the top-scoring exploits of Aaron Mulligan who notched a total of 0-7 (2f).

Mulligan's promise was never more on show than in the second half of extra-time as he kicked a wonder score to put Monaghan three up as they kicked for home.

It completed an incredible comeback as they had trailed by as much as six early in the second half of regulation after Down's goal.

Eoghan Hawe - Derry

Reigning Ulster champions Derry dispatched of Fermanagh this week by a score of 2-11 to 0-05. Forward Eoghan Hawe was instrumental in there being such a margin of victory as he slotted home 2-1 for his side.

His explosive moments were needed as there was little in it for much of the game with Derry edging it by just 0-3 to 0-2 at the half.

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Hawe broke the game open with his first goal to put his side 1-7 to 0-4 up before scoring his second from the penalty spot to put the outcome of the match beyond any doubt. The Magherafelt man's first goal was described as a 'perfect finish' according to the match report of Derry Now.

As this brace now means he has four goals in four games this season, his stock continues to rise as Derry look to defend their crown in Ulster and go one better in the All-Ireland series where they lost out to Kerry in last season's final.

Have your say and cast your vote for the player of the week nominees on Electric Ireland's Facebook page by clicking here. All nominated players will be in with a chance of making overall team/player of the year at the 2018 Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards.

 

Paul McGoldrick

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