Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke speaks to his players after their victory over reigning champions Dublin in Division 1 of the Allianz Football League.
Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke speaks to his players after their victory over reigning champions Dublin in Division 1 of the Allianz Football League. 

Allianz FL D1: Magnificent Monaghan stun Dublin

Allianz Football League Division 1


By Colm Shalvey in St. Tiernach's Park, Clones.

Monaghan turned league and All-Ireland champions Dublin over for the second Allianz Football League campaign in a row in a cracking encounter in Clones.

Niall Scully hit the net early on as Dublin raced into a five-point lead, but after gradually closing the gap before half-time, Monaghan turned things around in a pulsating second half. Goals by league debutant Stephen O’Hanlon and Shane Carey won it for the hosts in front of more than 10,500.

Dean Rock kicked three points in the opening 12 minutes for Dublin and with Niall Scully netting after linking up with Brian Fenton, the holders raced into a big lead, with Monaghan’s only reply coming from a Micheál Bannigan free.

Further frees by Bannigan and Jack McCarron kept Monaghan in touch, but Dublin pulled away again through Paul Flynn, Con O’Callaghan and Brian Fenton. Dublin had John Small black-carded at the end of the opening quarter for bringing McCarron down, while they finished the first half with 14 men after Robert McDaid – on as a temporary sub for Michael Darragh MacAuley – was sin-binned for his challenge on David Garland.

Fintan Kelly ended Monaghan’s 28-minute wait for their first score from play, while McCarron had a goal chalked off after taking a quick free that caught the Dublin rearguard unawares. McCarron and Dermot Malone added points to halve Monaghan’s deficit by half-time to 1-7 to 0-8.

Dublin began the second half on the front foot, with Rock and O’Callaghan doubling their lead to four, but McCarron swung over a fine score for Monaghan, who got a major boost on 44 minutes when Stephen O’Hanlon’s first involvement saw him scythe through for a brilliant goal after catching a high ball in from Colin Walshe.

Conor McManus also made a quick impact off the bench by pointing a couple of frees from offensive marks and the two subs combined, following an incisive pass from McCarron, to set up Shane Carey to palm to the net in the 49th minute. Ryan Basquel came on to kick a brace of points for Dublin, who also had scores from Cormac Costello and O’Callaghan as they threatened a late comeback, but the accuracy of McManus guided Monaghan to an opening-day win that delighted the home support.

Scorers for Monaghan: Jack McCarron 0-5 (4f); Conor McManus 0-4f; Stephen O’Hanlon 1-0; Shane Carey 1-0; Micheál Bannigan 0-2f; Fintan Kelly 0-1; Dermot Malone 0-1.

Scorers for Dublin: Con O’Callaghan 0-4 (1f); Dean Rock 0-4 (2f); Niall Scully 1-0; Ryan Basquel 0-2; Brian Fenton 0-1; Paul Flynn 0-1; Cormac Costello 0-1f.

Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Kieran Duffy, Conor Boyle, Ryan Wylie; Karl O’Connell, Barry Kerr, Colin Walshe; Darren Hughes, Fintan Kelly; Ryan McAnespie, Jack McCarron, Shane Carey; David Garland, Dermot Malone, Micheál Bannigan. Subs: Stephen O’Hanlon for Garland, Conor McManus for Bannigan (both 43), Dessie Ward for O’Connell (60), Conor McCarthy for Malone (68), Neil McAdam for McAnespie (72).

Dublin: Evan Comerford; Michael Fitzsimons, Eric Lowndes, Jonny Cooper; Conor Mullally, Brian Howard, John Small; Brian Fenton, Michael Darragh MacAuley; Paul Flynn, Con O’Callaghan, Niall Scully; Cormac Costello, Paul Mannion, Dean Rock.Subs: Robert McDaid for MacAuley (temporary, 29), Ryan Basquel for Flynn (48), Conor McHugh for Rock (50), Cian O’Connor for MacAuley (55), Paddy Andrews for Costello (60).

Referee: David Coldrick (Meath). * Replaced at half-time by Paudie Hughes (Armagh).