Seamus McEnaney's Monaghan claimed a vital Allianz Football League win over Mayo.
Seamus McEnaney's Monaghan claimed a vital Allianz Football League win over Mayo.

Allianz FL D1: Monaghan triumph in Clones

Allianz Football League Division One


By Colm Shalvey at St Tiernach's Park

Monaghan moved towards securing their Allianz Football League Division One status with a convincing win over Mayo in Clones.

Goals in either half by Conor McCarthy and Kieran Duffy were key as Monaghan pushed on after a slow start to claim the spoils, racking up 1-11 after the restart. McCarthy marked a stand-out performance with 1-3 from play and a handful of assists as Monaghan beat Mayo on home soil for the first time since 2011.

Mayo were first off the mark through points from Pádraig O’Hora and Ryan O’Donoghue and although Monaghan responded via Conor McCarthy, a fine score from Darren Coen kept the visitors two clear after 10 minutes. A Conor McManus special halved Monaghan’s deficit, before Karl O’Connell blazed a goal chance over the bar.

Jordan Flynn regained the lead for Mayo and after McManus replied from a free, James Horan’s side hit a quick brace, with James Durcan converting an advanced mark and Oisín Mullin striding forward for an excellent point from play.

Monaghan hit the front for the first time in the 25th minute when McCarthy evaded a couple of tackles to slide home the opening goal. A long-range free by Rory Beggan doubled the hosts’ lead, but a Diarmuid O’Connor free and a second point from Darren Coen brought Mayo back on level terms. The teams were tied at 1-5 to 0-8 at half-time.

Niall Kearns hit the lead score in some style after the restart and although Kevin McLoughlin opened his account from a free, quick points from McManus and Jack McCarron moved Monaghan clear. Coen and McLoughlin kept Mayo in touch, but with McManus and the electric McCarthy adding to their tallies, Monaghan stayed on the front foot.

Mayo suffered a double blow just after the hour mark, as Flynn was shown a second yellow card, moments before a flowing Monaghan move saw Kieran Hughes square the ball for Kieran Duffy to palm to the net.

Monaghan kicked on with points from McManus and Conor Boyle and while Paul Towey curled one over for Mayo’s only score of the final 15 minutes, the winning margin was stretched in added time by subs Shane Carey and McCarron.

Mayo finished with 13 men after O’Hora’s second booking late on. Mayo host Kerry next Saturday, while Monaghan face an all-Ulster clash away to Donegal on Sunday.

Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McCarthy 1-3, Conor McManus 0-6 (3ms, 1f), Kieran Duffy 1-0, Jack McCarron 0-2 (1f), Niall Kearns 0-1, Conor Boyle 0-1, Karl O’Connell 0-1, Shane Carey 0-1, Rory Beggan 0-1 (f)

Scorers for Mayo: Darren Coen 0-3, Kevin McLoughlin 0-3 (2fs), Pádraig O’Hora, Ryan O’Donoghue 0-1, Paul Towey 0-1, Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1 (f), Jordan Flynn 0-1, James Durcan 0-1 (m), Oisín Mullin 0-1.

MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Kieran Duffy, Drew Wylie, Conor Boyle; Ryan Wylie, Karl O’Connell, Dessie Ward; Darren Hughes, Niall Kearns; Ryan McAnespie, Conor McCarthy, Dermot Malone; Mícheál Bannigan, Kieran Hughes, Conor McManus.

Subs: Shane Carey for Malone (11-13), Jack McCarron for Malone (41), Colin Walshe for D Wylie (53), Shane Carey for Bannigan (59), Christopher McGuinness for McManus (70), Pádraic Keenan for Kearns (70+3).

MAYO: Rob Hennelly; Lee Keegan, Oisín Mullin, Pádraig O’Hora; Jordan Flynn, Michael Plunkett, Paddy Durcan; Stephen Coen, Aidan O’Shea; Diarmuid O’Connor, Ryan O’Donoghue, Fergal Boland; Kevin McLoughlin, Darren Coen, James Durcan.

Subs: Tommy Conroy for Boland (H-T), Keith Higgins for J Durcan (57), Paul Towey for D Coen (64), Eoin O’Donoghue for Plunkett (68), James Carr for R O’Donoghue (70+3).

REFEREE: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow).