FOOTBALL: Waterford 3-12 Monaghan 0-6 (TG4 All-Ireland SFC Relegation Play-Off)
By TOMÁS MCCARTHY
Lauren McGregor scored 2-2 and Waterford ended Monaghan’s 30-year stay in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship in scorching weather at the Bray Emmets club this afternoon.
Caoimhe McGrath also found the net as the Déise preserved their top-flight status in style. Kellyann Hogan kicked four points from play for Pat Sullivan’s side. A solid defensive unit, led by Megan Dunford, Hannah Power and Emma Murray, stifled Monaghan’s attacking threat.
Katie Geoghegan was given her senior debut between the posts for Waterford. Monaghan captain Muireann Atkinson made her first start of the 2022 championship.
Goals from McGrath and McGregor gave Waterford a 2-4 to 0-3 half-time lead. The sides were tied at two points each after a cagey first quarter in the blistering heat. Hogan kicked the opener for Waterford inside a minute before Atkinson replied from a free. Áine O’Neill and Amy Garland then traded scores.
On 24 minutes, McGregor found the unmarked McGrath in front of goal. The former full-back coolly rounded Orna Kelly and banged it in. McGrath then assisted a point for McGregor. Two minutes before the break, Waterford cut open the Monaghan defence again and McGrath supplied McGregor who rifled the ball to the top corner of the net. An injury-time effort from Katie Murray left Sullivan’s side seven points up.
Murray was sin-binned in the third quarter for a challenge on Amy Garland.
McGregor slotted home her second goal to the bottom corner on 49 minutes. Hogan hit four points off her lethal right boot. Aileen Wall, Sheena McGuckian and Kate McGrath also scored points for a rampant Déise who will enjoy an eighth straight season at senior level.
It took Monaghan 30 minutes to register in the second half as Lauren Garland eventually split the posts. Sub Jodie McQuillan added two more consolation scores.
Scorers – Waterford: L McGregor 2-2, K Hogan 0-5 (1f), C McGrath 1-0, A O’Neill, K Murray, A Wall, S McGuckian, Kate McGrath 0-1 each.
Monaghan: J McQuillan 0-2 (1f), L Garland, A Garland, R Courtney, M Atkinson (f) 0-1 each.
Waterford: K Geoghegan; A Murray, L Mulcahy, M Dunford; H Power, E Murray, Kate McGrath; Karen McGrath, K Murray; K Hogan, B McMaugh, A Fitzgerald; A O’Neill, C McGrath, L McGregor.
Subs: C Fennell for McMaugh (40), A Wall for C McGrath (40), S McGuckian for Fitzgerald (50), M Wall for Karen McGrath (50), L Cusack for Power (53).
Monaghan: O Kelly; S Brady, A McCarey, C Brennan; A Burns, R Courtney, C Jones; L Walsh, L Jones; L Garland, C Treanor, E Clerkin; A Garland, M Atkinson, H Sherlock.
Subs: J Drury for Burns (26), J McQuillan for A Garland (42), E Corley for C Jones (47), L Carey for Sherlock (50), U Connolly for Brady (52), K Nolan for Burns (52).
Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow).