Monaghan begins rout after just 50 seconds

Roe Valley 0

Magherafelt Sky Blues 8

The Sky Blues coasted to victory in a one sided encounter which ended with Magherafelt ensuring their second place finish in the league, writes Darren Beattie.

It was complete and utter dominance for the away side as soon as the game kicked off and the Blues were threatening from the first whistle. It took just 50 seconds to break the deadlock as the dangerous Cassidy played a ball to right winger Stewart who in turn found the onrushing Connor Monaghan who easily dispatched the ball into the bottom corner.

The early goal was a sign of things to come and with the Blues playing with such confidence, especially with Connor Monaghan and Hawe controlling the midfield, and it wasn’t long before it was two. A lovely, free flowing move involving both wingers and Stewart put the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-0 after only eight minutes on the board,

The pressure continued and in the 15th minute that pressure on Roe Valley showed as their defender headed it into the back of his own net to make it 3-0.

This early hammering sparked Valley into life as they tested keeper O’Neill with a couple of decent saves and then hit the crossbar from only two yards out.

That bright spell for Valley only lasted a short while and on 30 minutes Sean Monaghan finished off a great team move to make it 4-0. Going into the break with a comfortable victory, the Blues were able to make two substitutions with Brady and O’Neill making way for Campbell and Scullion who slipped effortlessly into the team.

Campbell made an instant impact as a sub as he missed a glorious chance only to make amends with a classy finish to make it 5-0. Shortly after that goal, Hawe made way for Martin to make his Sky Blues comeback after two years of injury hell. It seemed Martin had never been away as he really impressed the Sky Blues management. Cassidy moved into midfield and despite his aging years, he put in a powerhouse performance in the middle of the park.

Number six duly arrived when sub Campbell slotted home his second and then Walls got in on the act when he slotted home number seven. Connor Monaghan hit the post with a rasping free-kick and Stewart also hit the bar with arguably the best move of the match.

Campbell finally completed the rout with his second half hat-trick to make it a thrilling 8-0 away day victory.

An emphatic victory was matched with a great performance and although every Sky Blues player was terrific, Connor Monaghan edged the Man of the Match award.

Sky Blues: M O’Neill, Brady, O’Kane, Cassidy, Mallon, Stewart, Hawe, C Monaghan, Walls, S O’Neill, R Monaghan, Subs; Scullion, Campbell, Martin