Allianz FL D1: Impressive victory for Donegal
Allianz Football League Division One
DONEGAL 2-12 MONAGHAN 0-8
By Chris McNulty in Ballyshannon
Donegal eased their relegation fears with a deserved 10-point win over Monaghan.
Caolan Ward and Hugh McFadden netted the goals in either half as Declan Bonner’s men bagged a second League win of 2020.
Monaghan saw captain Ryan Wylie sent off and goalkeeper Rory Beggan black carded as the Farney fell to a disappointing defeat.
Ward blasted to the bottom corner on 32 minutes to open up a five-point lead for the hungry hosts, who saw midfielder Michael Langan kick five points in an excellent display. The St Michael’s man has had a fine campaign so far and weighed in with a handful of magnificent scores as well as an assist for the opening goal.
St Eunan’s defender Ward isn’t usually renowned for his goalscoring, but a superb arrowed finish past Beggan was his second goal of the year.
Previously, Ward netted in Donegal’s Dr McKenna Cup win over Derry in January. He was the picture of cool here as he took receipt of Langan’s off-load before smashing beyond Beggan.
Ward’s goal helped Donegal to lead 1-5 to 0-2 at the break.
Conor Boyle broke the Monaghan duck with a fisted point in the 27th minute while Conor McManus stroked over a free soon after.
‘Keeper Beggan was off target with two first-half frees, with the home crowd taking great delight in the Scotstown man’s difficulties.
Langan arched over two splendid scored to complete Donegal’s first-half scoring as they headed down the tunnel leading by six.
Donegal handed a first start of 2020 to Patrick McBrearty and the 2019 All-Star nominee hoofed over the game’s opening two points.
A long-range Ciarán Thompson effort stretched the Tir Chonaill lead before Ward’s excellent finish put a little daylight between the teams.
McBrearty widened the margin in the opening minute of the second half and a third neat score by Langan had Donegal eight in front.
Having passed up on leads several times over the last two years, there was a noted worry from home followers, but there was no danger for them here.
Ryan Wylie, the Monaghan captain who had been black carded in the first half, was sent off 13 minutes into the second half when a foul on Langan drew yellow and the accompanying red from referee David Coldrick.
It got worse for Monaghan 19 minutes into the second half. McFadden hammered into an empty net after McBrearty offloaded as Donegal caught the Farney on a breakaway.
As Beggan dragged McBrearty to the turf, the inevitable arrived as a double dose, Beggan watching helplessly as McFadden hit the net before Coldrick landed to give him a black card for his troubles.
Sub Niall O’Donnell added two points in the second half and fittingly it was Langan who closed the game for Donegal with a pair of points.
Scorers for Donegal: M Langan 0-5 P McBrearty (1f) 0-3, H McFadden, C Ward 1-0 each, N O’Donnell 0-2, P Mogan, C Thompson 0-1 each.
Scorers for Monaghan: J McCarron (1f) 0-3, C McManus 0-2f, C McCarthy 0-1, C Boyle, K Hughes 0-1 each.
DONEGAL: Shaun Patton; Caolan Ward, Neil McGee, Eoghan Bán Gallagher; Ryan McHugh, Daire Ó Baoill, Odhrán McFadden-Ferry; Hugh McFadden, Michael Langan; Paul Brennan, Ciarán Thompson, Caolan McGonagle; Patrick McBrearty, Michael Murphy, Peadar Mogan.
Subs: Niall O’Donnell for P.Brennan (34), Eoin McHugh for McFadden-Ferry (38), Andrew McClean for McGonagle (54), Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí for Mogan (68), Eamonn Doherty for McBrearty (69).
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Drew Wylie, Conor Boyle, Kieran Duffy; Karl O’Connell, Ryan Wylie, Mícheál Bannigan; Darren Hughes, Niall Kearns; Ryan McAnespie, Conor McCarthy, Dessie Ward; Dermot Malone, Kieran Hughes, Conor McManus.
Subs: Jack McCarron for Bannigan (half-time), Chris McGuinness for D.Hughes (50), Shane Carey for Malone (50), David Kirk for McAnespie (55), Colin Walsh for Beggan (66).
REFEREE: David Coldrick (Meath).