Allianz FL D1: Monaghan too good for Donegal
Allianz Football League Division 1
MONAGHAN 1-16 DONEGAL 1-10
By Colm Shalvey at St. Tiernach's Park
Monaghan copper-fastened their Allianz Football League Division 1 status for another year with a fairly comfortable win over Donegal in Clones.
Despite hitting nine wides in the first half, Monaghan changed ends a point to the good and when Ryan Wylie made an instant impact off the bench with a goal just after the restart, they had the momentum to push on and seal the win.
Monaghan had nine players on the scoresheet as they saw off a Donegal side sorely missing the influence of Paddy McBrearty and Ryan McHugh.
Donegal were first off the mark through a Michael Murphy free, but Conor McManus brought Monaghan level with the first of his three points from play in the opening half. The sides remained deadlocked at one apiece until the 15th minute when a 50-metre free by Monaghan keeper Rory Beggan edged his side ahead, before David Garland doubled the hosts’ lead.
A Dermot Malone point, another Beggan free and a quick-fire brace from McManus put five between the teams, but having seen a Murphy free end a barren spell, Donegal soon found their stride. Having failed to score from play in the opening 25 minutes, Donegal changed that with points from Jamie Brennan and Niall O’Donnell.
Brennan then cut in along the endline to fire to the net in the 29th minute and he added another point to move the visitors ahead. A brace of frees from Garland had Monaghan 0-9 to 1-5 up at half-time, however.
Monaghan made a flying start to the second half, as substitute Ryan Wylie drove forward to drill a left-footed shot home with his first involvement. Kieran Hughes quickly added a point, before Karl O’Connell scythed through the Donegal defence to make it 1-2 inside four minutes.
Eoghan Bán Gallagher responded for Donegal, before McManus and Murphy exchanged points from frees. The Donegal talisman converted another placed kick to leave his side within four, but Dessie Mone landed an inspirational score at the other end, before Beggan sent over his third free.
Donegal closed the gap again thanks to sub Ciarán Thompson and another Murphy free, but McManus responded once again. Monaghan had the final say via another sub, Conor McCarthy, as they secured their fourth win of the league.
Monaghan face unbeaten Dublin at Croke Park in the final round next Sunday, while Donegal must beat Mayo in Ballybofey to stay up.
Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McManus 0-5 (2fs), Rory Beggan 0-3f, David Garland 0-3f, Ryan Wylie 1-0, Dessie Mone 0-1, Conor McCarthy 0-1, Kieran Hughes 0-1, Dermot Malone 0-1, Karl O’Connell 0-1.
Scorers for Donegal: Michael Murphy 0-5f, Jamie Brennan 1-2, Eoghan Bán Gallagher 0-1, Ciarán Thompson 0-1, Niall O’Donnell 0-1.
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Colin Walshe (Capt.), Conor Boyle, Barry Kerr; Kieran Duffy, Drew Wylie, Karl O’Connell; Darren Hughes, Niall Kearns; Ryan McAnespie, Dermot Malone, Dessie Ward; David Garland, Kieran Hughes, Conor McManus. Subs: Ryan Wylie for Walshe, Dessie Mone for Kerr (both H-T), Conor McCarthy for Garland, Owen Duffy for Malone (both 50), Paudie McKenna for Ward (63), Aaron Lynch for Kearns (70 + 2). Temporary sub: Vincent Corey for K Duffy (57-63).
DONEGAL: Shaun Patton; Dáire Ó Baoill, Caolán Ward, Conor Morrison; Frank McGlynn, Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Éamonn Doherty; Michael Murphy (Capt.), Leo McLoone; Ciarán McGinley, Hugh McFadden, Stephen McBrearty; Niall O’Donnell, Michael Langan, Jamie Brennan. Subs: Martin O’Reilly for McGinley (39), Nathan Mullins for McLoone (42), Ciarán Thompson for McBrearty (48), Caolán McGonagle for Ward (64), Tony McClenaghan for McGlynn (70 + 1). Temporary sub: Ciarán Thompson for McFadden (23-26).
Referee: Seán Hurson (Tyrone).