Allianz FL D1: Dublin snatch unlikely draw with Monaghan
Allianz Football League Division 1
MONAGHAN 1-15 DUBLIN 1-15
By Paul Keane at Croke Park
Those who braved the stormy conditions and turned out at Croke Park were treated to a cracker as Dublin fought back from 10 points down to secure a dramatic Allianz football league Division 1 draw.
Seamus McEnaney's Monaghan were still nine points up with 10 minutes to go but were remarkably reeled in by the five-in-a-row All-Ireland winners for whom defender David Byrne emerged as their unlikely saviour.
The full-back got on the end of an 80th minute move to kick the equaliser off his left foot following an earlier goal by sub Kevin McManamon that ignited the comeback.
Sean Bugler also had a huge impact for Dublin with three points after his introduction, helping to secure their second stalemate of the campaign.
Monaghan will kick themselves for not holding on after a great start as they chased a third consecutive win over Dublin in the league.
They netted inside the opening minute when Conor McManus, who top scored for them with 1-4, latched onto a long diagonal ball in from Ryan McAnespie, turned Michael Fitzsimons and slipped a low scuffed shot beneath Evan Comerford in the Dublin goal.
Dean Rock responded with a converted free for Dublin in the fourth minute but the 2018 league champions didn't score again until the 22nd minute, an 18 minute spell in which everything seemed to turn to gold for the visitors.
Monaghan racked up seven points in a row during this period, McAnespie and Micheal Bannigan helping themselves to a brace of scores each.
Dublin also lost experienced forward Paddy Andrews to injury in the 12th minute.
The St Brigid's man pulled up when in possession out on the right wing beneath the Hogan Stand and immediately left the pitch, knowing his evening was over.
Dan O'Brien, starting his second game in a row for the Dubs, broke the chain of Monaghan scores with his team's first from play in the 23rd minute.
It was a fine score from a central position about 30 metres out but it was also a rare moment of quality as Dublin struggled in front of the posts, dropping three efforts into goalkeeper Rory Beggan's arms in the first-half.
Beggan, who played an exciting sweeper 'keeper role, nailed a long-range free in the 28th minute and Conor McCarthy dropped a left footed effort just over on the half hour mark to leave a whopping 10 points between the teams.
A Rock point just before the interval left Dublin nine points behind, 1-9 to 0-3 down, and badly in need of inspiration.
Monaghan played without Darren Hughes for the opening minutes of the second-half due to a black card sin-binning late in the first-half for apparent dissent.
Dublin enjoyed a strong restart with points from Rock and Ciaran Kilkenny though Monaghan were settled by points in response from Beggan and McManus from placed balls.
The Ulster outfit retained a nine point lead with 10 minutes of normal time remaining but just couldn't hold on as Dublin set to work on reeling them in, outscoring Monaghan by 1-7 to 0-1 from the 60th minute.
Substitutes yielded 1-4 for Dublin including McManamon's 70th minute goal when he blasted in after Bugler's flick on into space.
Bugler then kicked back to back points and with just one in it at the death, Byrne emerged as Dublin's hero with that last gasp leveller.
Monaghan scorers: Conor McManus 1-4 (0-2f, 0-1m), Rory Beggan 0-3 (0-2f, 0-1 45), Micheal Bannigan 0-2, Ryan McAnespie 0-2 (0-1M), Dessie Ward 0-1, Niall Kearns 0-1, Conor McCarthy 0-1, Conor Boyle 0-1
Dublin scorers: Dean Rock 0-6 (0-4f), Kevin McManamon 1-0, Sean Bugler 0-3, Dan O'Brien 0-1, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-1, James McCarthy 0-1, Niall Scully 0-1, Colm Basquel 0-1, David Byrne 0-1.
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Drew Wylie, Conor Boyle, Kieran Duffy; Ryan Wylie, Ryan McAnespie, Karl O'Connell; Darren Hughes, Niall Kearns; Dessie Ward, Micheal Bannigan, Conor McCarthy; Dermot Malone, Kieran Hughes, Conor McManus. Subs: Aaron Mulligan for Bannigan (48), Shane Carey for K Hughes (60), Christopher McGuinness for McCarthy (65), Paraic Keenan for Ward (73), Hughes for Kearns (73).
DUBLIN: Evan Comerford; Michael Fitzsimons, David Byrne, Liam Flatman; James McCarthy, John Small, Eoin Murchan; Brian Fenton, Brian Howard; Niall Scully, Ciaran Kilkenny, Dan O'Brien; Dara Mullin, Paddy Andrews, Dean Rock. Subs: Aaron Byrne for Andrews (12), Paul Mannion for Mullin (h/t), Sean Bugler for Flatman (41), Colm Basquel for O'Brien (52), Kevin McManamon for Byrne (59).
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down).