Division Four title goes to Sligo after extra time

Sligo 1-13 Monaghan 2-8 (aet)

Sligo won an extra-time thriller at Breffni Park to lift the NHL Division Four title.

The sides were level at 2-6 to 1-9 at the end of 70 minutes, but the Yeatsmen finished with a flourish.

Keith Raymond collected Joe Bannerton’s delivery to crack in a goal in the sixth minute, but Monaghan resumed their early dominance, and centre back Willie O’Toole blasted a penalty to the net five minutes later.

But Sligo seized control in the second quarter, with full forward Raymond showing wonderful accuracy.

He converted all five of the scoring opportunities which came his way, but his team-mates were less successful in their long range shooting, chalking up seven wides to Monaghan’s four.

Monaghan lost corner forward Noel Morgan to a yellow card just before the break for a reckless swing at the legs of David Collery.

At the break, the Connacht men led by 1-3 to 1-2, Raymond having scored their entire tally.

Others got in on the act after the restart, with Colin Herity and Damien Burke on target, after Stephen Lambe had grabbed Monaghan’s second goal.

Another Monaghan flourish saw them regain the lead with a volley of points from Stephen Lynch, Stephen Lambe and Alan Lambe.

And Sligo’s efforts to claw it back continued to be dogged by rash and inaccurate shooting from distance.

Nevertheless, sub Niall Cadden brought them level four minutes from the end at 2-6 to 0-9,

Monaghan had moved back in front, 2-8 to 1-10, by the halfway stage of extra-time, but sligo reeled off three without reply, through David Collery, Mark Burke and Colin Herity to take the title.

Monaghan: M McHugh, A Kerr, P Murphy, G Coleman, J McAnespie, W O’Toole (1-0, pen), D Crowe, A Lambe (0-1), B Phelan (0-1), J Greene, S Leonard (0-2), E MacSuibhne, B O’Brien (0-1), S Lambe (1-2, 2f), N Morgan.

Subs: A Hughes for Morgan (yellow card, 32), S Lynch (0-1) for Phelan (39), J Lacey for Greene (64), P Treanor for Leonard (yellow card, 87)

Sligo: M Kearney, F Coyne, W Gill, L Reidy, C Hackett, M Burke (0-1), J Kelly, C Herity (0-3, 1f, 1 ‘65’), D Collery (0-1), C Brennan, D Burke (0-2), J Bannerton, M Gilmartin, K Raymond (1-5, 2f), S Lynch.

Subs: N Cadden (0-1) for Coyne (yellow card (49), M Shelly for Bannerton (yellow card, 56), J Kenny for Lynch (59), M Fitzsimons for Shelly (92)

Referee: R Matthews (Antrim).

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