Round 3B Qualifier: Monaghan survive tricky Carlow test
All Ireland SFC Round 3B Qualifier
MONAGHAN 1-12 CARLOW 1-7
By John Fallon at Netwatch Cullen Park
Monaghan needed Fintan Kelly’s late goal to finally shake off a determined Carlow at Netwatch Cullen Park.
Malachy O’Rourke’s side are now into Round 4B of the Qualifiers following this exciting clash.
Kelly’s goal four minutes from time put four points between the sides and Kieran Hughes and Dermot Malone finished off the job for the Farney men, but for long periods it seemed as if Carlow were on the verge of creating a huge shock.
A goal from Gary Kelly in the 49th minute and a fine Brendan Murphy point saw Turlough O’Brien’s side pull two points clear by the 54th minute, but they could only land one more score after that as Monaghan finally wore them down.
Monaghan only led 0-5 to 0-3 at half-time. The main reason for their poor return was that they kicked eight wides in that period and many of them were poor shot selections – while the Carlow defence also did well to frustrate their visitors with a solid defensive system and excellent harrying in the tackle.
Six of those Monaghan wides came inside the opening 16 minutes as Carlow’s pressure was at its greatest, but, Kieran Hughes landed a couple of great points before the interval for his side. His ninth-minute point gave Monaghan the lead for the first time after Paul Broderick’s free was cancelled out by Conor McManus.
As they have done to date in the Championship Carlow relied heavily on the powerful running of Sean Murphy through the middle, and his side drew level 10 minutes from the break from one such surge, which ended in a Brendan Murphy point.
Carlow could well have led at the interval, but Sean Gannon skewed an excellent goal chance wide a minute from the break. However, Monaghan broke away and Kieran Hughes’ second score made it a two-point lead at half-time.
Carlow impressed after the restart as Broderick and Brendan Murphy pointed to level the game after 41 minutes.
Once again Monaghan’s wide count began to mount – they ended with 14 – and Carlow inflicted further pain when Kelly blasted to the net when Darragh Foley’s long range free broke into his path.
Monaghan looked rocked at that stage, but the introduction of Conor McCarthy proved crucial. He was straight into the action with a couple of points, and Kelly’s goal earned victory.
Scorers for Monaghan: Kieran Hughes 0-3, Conor McManus 0-3 (2fs), Fintan Kelly 1-0, Conor McCarthy 0-2 (1f), Rory Beggan 0-1 (1f), Shane Carey 0-1, Ryan McAnespie 0-1. Dermot Malone 0-1.
Scorers for Carlow: Paul Broderick 0-5 (5fs), Gary Kelly 1-0, Brendan Murphy 0-2.
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Fintan Kelly, Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie, Shane Carey, Colin Walshe, Karl O’Connell; Kieran Hughes, Darren Hughes; Neil McAdam, Dermot Malone, Gavin Doogan; Owen Duffy, Jack McCarron, Conor McManus.
Subs: Dessie Mone for D Hughes (35+3 black card), Conor McCarthy for McCarron (45), Ryan McAnespie for Duffy (53), Vinny Corey for McAdam (58), Dessie Ward for Carey (70), Kieran Duffy for Doogan (70+5).
CARLOW: Robbie Molloy; Conor Lawlor, Shane Redmond, Mark Rennick; Gary Kelly, Daniel St Ledger, Danny Moran; Sean Murphy, Brendan Murphy; Sean Gannon, John Murphy, Darragh Foley; Paul Broderick, Ciaran Moran, Eoghan Ruth.
Subs: Shane Clarke for Kelly (62), Kieran Nolan for Moran (62).
REFEREE: Cormac Reilly (Meath).