Date Time Competition Season
24 June 2023 4:45 pm Sam Maguire Cup 2023

Match Report

Monaghan advance in tense Tullamore tie

Full Time in Glenisk O’Connor Park, and it’s the visitors Monaghan who progress to the All-Ireland Qaurter Finals after beating Kildare by just a singular point in the dying minutes of the game. Monaghan finish the game with 1-11 to Kildare’s 0-13

It was a game that was defined by two moments of brilliance from Monaghan’s Conor McCarthy, scoring a goal in the fourth minute, and the winning point in the 74th. It wasn’t the prettiest game of football, but that won’t matter to Vinny Corey and his Monaghan side who now progress to the All-Ireland Quarter Finals.

The match got off to a frantic start, with both sides scoring points inside the opening minutes. Monaghan capitalized on this open start to the game and took the lead through an excellent goal from Conor McCarthy in the fourth minute. McCarthy found himself in a world of space, just metres out from the Kildare goal and displayed some excellent footwork to dance away from the oncoming Kildare defense before calmly slotting the ball underneath the torso of Mark Donellan and into the back of the net.

Kildare responded brightly, however, and thanks to a series of scores from Neil Flynn and Ben McCormack had managed to draw level and surpass Monaghan on the scoreboard. The visitors were scoreless for 9 minutes after scoring their goal, as they came up against a stubborn Kildare defense. Michael Bannigan ended Monaghan’s 9-minute-points-drought in the 13th minute, scoring a difficult free from the left flank. The Forward gave his side momentum with scores again in the 15th and 17th minute to put his side back in control of the fixture.

After securing their early goal, Monaghan appeared to be happy to dominate possession and play a patient game, waiting for opportunities to pounce. Kildare, on the other hand, preferred a more direct route, and looked to run the ball through Ben McCormack and Neil Flynn. Monaghan often found themselves with 14 players in front of the ball, with their entire team camped in the Kildare half as they poked and probed away at a resolute defence. After holding on to possession for the final 5 minutes of the first half, they lost the ball and Darragh Kirwin scored what felt like a significant point for Kildare.

Monaghan’s decision-making was certainly questionable at times, but their patient, cautious approach paid off throughout the second half. It took the visitors 11 minutes to register their first points of the half in what was beginning to look like a one-sided affair. Kildare piled on the pressure at the start of the half, scoring two excellent points through Darragh Kirwin and Neil Flynn. The Oriel County responded brilliantly however, and refused to succumb to the pressure; Two scores in as many minutes from Darren Hughes and Jack McCarron had the visitors right back in the game, as their deficit never strayed beyond 3 points.

Monaghan had managed to swing the momentum in their favour and draw level with the Lilywhites, but a Neil Flynn free in the 69th minute looked to have secured a victory for the home side. Flynn’s point was their first score since the 50th minute, such was the momentum Monaghan had gathered.

Kildare’s ill-discipline let them down in the final few minutes, as Jack McCarron was able to convert an easy free to level the score-board. In the 74th minute, the undisputed man of the match, Conor McCarthy, produced a moment of brilliance to secure an away victory for his side. Running at pace at the Kildare defence, McCarthy struck the ball with the outside of his left boot from 20 metres and watched on as his strike curled and straightened to sail through the posts, giving Monaghan the lead with just seconds remaining.

Referee Jerome Henry blew his whistle after the resulting kick-out, and that was that. Conor McCarthy produced two moments of brilliance, one at the very start of the game, the other right at the end, to send his side to an All-Ireland Quarter Final. Nail-biting stuff right to the end.


1Mark Donnellan Goalkeeper
2Mick O’Grady Defender 27'
3Shay Ryan Defender
4Eoin Doyle Defender
5David Hyland 21 Defender
6Kevin Flynn Defender 37'
7Jack Sargent Defender
8Kevin O’Callaghan Midfielder
10Paddy McDermott Forward
11Ben McCormack 20 Forward 10', 11', 25', 30'
12Alex Beirne Forward 2', 50'
13Neil Flynn 23 Forward 2', 7', 23', 41', 69'
14Darragh Kirwan Forward 37'
17Kevin Feely 9 Forward
18Daniel Flynn 24 Forward
9Aaron Masterson Midfielder
15Paddy Woodgate Forward
16Aaron O’Neill Goalkeeper
19Harry O’Neill Defender
20Jack Robinson 11 Forward
21Darragh Malone 5 Defender
22Tony Archbold Defender
23Jimmy Hyland 13 Forward
24Paul Cribbin 18
25Barry Coffey Forward
26Matthew Kelly


1Rory Beggan Goalkeeper 29'
2Ryan O’Toole 4 Defender
3Kieran Duffy Defender
21Dessie Ward 17 Defender
5Karl O’Connell Defender
6Conor Boyle Defender
7Conor McCarthy Defender 4'
62', 74'
8Karl Gallagher 18 Midfielder
9Killian Lavelle Midfielder
10Stephen O’Hanlon Forward
11Micheal Bannigan Forward 13', 15', 17'
12Ryan McAnespie 15 Defender
13Jack McCarron Forward 1', 49', 71'
14Gary Mohan Forward 53'
20Darren Hughes 15 Midfielder 46'
4Ryan Wylie 2 Defender
15Shane Carey 19 Forward 60'
16Darren McDonnell Goalkeeper
17Kieran Hughes 21
18Conor McManus 8 Forward 43'
19Sean Jones 15
22Kevin Loughran
23Fabian Beggan
24Darragh McElearney
25Francis Hughes
26Colm Lennon

Past Meetings

(Round 6)
0-24 1-12
NFL Division 1
St Conleth's Park


Glenisk O’Connor Park
O'Connor Park, Ardan Road, Tullamore Urban ED, The Municipal District of Tullamore, County Offaly, Leinster, R35 YF98, Ireland