Allianz FL D1: Monaghan win in the west
Allianz Football League Division One
MONAGHAN 1-11 MAYO 0-12
By Cian O'Connell at Elverys MacHale Park
This was precisely the type of performance and result Monaghan craved as Malachy O’Rourke’s team secured a valuable victory in the west.
Ultimately, Darren Hughes’ 38th minute goal following a typically crafty piece of Conor McManus skill proved to be the decisive blow.
Mayo contributed to a match that was high on perspiration, but Monaghan had sufficient grit and guile to close out the deal even though Karl O’Connell was sent off in the closing stages for a second bookable offence.
A competitive first half featured encouraging bursts from both teams with Mayo eventually skipping off ahead by 0-6 to 0-5 at the break.
Fergal Boland, making his debut for Mayo, drilled over a splendid early point, but Monaghan responded impressively reeling off five scores without reply.
Inevitably Conor McManus’ smooth free taking carried significance in attack for Malachy O’Rourke’s team, who were solid defensively.
Monaghan edged 0-5 to 0-1 ahead, but the locals stayed composed despite Monaghan’s gritty approach with the Green and Red patience rewarded.
Stephen Rochford’s charges finished the opening period strongly kicking five points in a row from Evan Regan (2), Cillian O’Connor, Kevin McLoughlin, and Alan Freeman which gave Mayo a slender advantage at the interval.
The complexion altered after the restart when Hughes goaled and Colin Walshe banged over a point from distance.
Monaghan had the defensive doors bolted once more as they moved four clear when Rory Beggan (free) and McManus struck points.
Three of the next four scores arrived courtesy of Cillian O’Connor, but Gavin Doogan, diligent throughout, landed a critical point for Monaghan.
In the five minutes of additional time Mayo had the gap down to a point before McManus decorated Monaghan’s success with an ice cool score.
Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McManus 0-6 (3fs, 145), Darren Hughes 1-1, Colin Walshe 0-1, Gavin Doogan 0-1, Thomas Kerr 0-1, Rory Beggan 0-1 (f).
Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O'Connor 0-7 (5fs), Evan Regan 0-2 (1f), Fergal Boland 0-1, Kevin McLoughlin 0-1, Alan Freeman 0-1.
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Fintan Kelly, Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie; Colin Walshe, Neil McAdam, Kieran Duffy; Darren Hughes, Kieran Hughes; Karl O'Connell, Shane Carey, Gavin Doogan; Conor McCarthy, Thomas Kerr, Conor McManus.
Subs: Dermot Malone for Conor McCarthy (36 mins), Ryan McAnespie for Shane Carey (52 mins), Owen Duffy for Thomas Kerr (58 mins), James Mealiff for McAdam (68 mins).
MAYO: David Clarke; Donie Newcombe, Keith Higgins, Paddy Durcan; Colm Boyle, Stephen Coen, David Drake; Donal Vaughan, Danny Kirby; Fergal Boland, Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty; Evan Regan, Alan Freeman, Cillan O'Connor.
Subs: Diarmuid O’Connor for Evan Regan (50 mins), Tom Parsons for Danny Kirby (53 mins), Andy Moran for Alan Freeman (56 mins), Conor O’Shea for Jason Doherty (68 mins).
REFEREE: Conor Lane (Cork).