Monaghan bounce back to winning ways
Louth facing a real relegation struggle following latest defeat
Vincent Corey: first start in the league
Monaghan were looking to bounce back after a seven -points defeat at the hands of Donegal.
Eoin Lennon and Vincent Corey make their first starts in the current campaign although Corey had come in as a substitute against Donegal.
Conditions were difficult with a greasy surface and light rain falling throughout but Monaghan were always that bit stronger in the latter stages of the first half with Conor McManus posing a real threat any time he got on the ball.
Goals by Gavin Doogan in the seventh minute and Dermot Malone in the 32nd minute gave Monaghan a strong foothold with Louth relying almost exclusively on the accuracy of Brian Whyte from frees.
Monaghan led at half-time by 2-8 to 0-6 and might have been a bit further in front had they capitalised on a couple of scoreable frees.
Louth suffered a major setback on the resumption when Dessie Finnegan, who had been in the wars earlier, got his marching orders within three minutes and thereafter they never looked like posing a major threat.
Monaghan though were not able to kill the game off completely and were caught on counterattacks on a number of occasions. But their defence held firm and Louth were limited to shooting mostly from distance.
To their credit Louth stuck to the task but, as legs tired on both sides, the final stages were played out at training ground pace. Monaghan were always that bit too experienced and street-wise to be caught and it is going to be a real struggle for Louth to retain Division Two status.
MONAGHAN: R Beggan (0-1, free), R Wylie, D Wylie, F Kelly, C Walshe, D Mone (0-1), P Keenan, G Doogan (1-1), E Lennon, K Hughes, V Corey, P Donaghy, D Malone (1-0), J McCarron (0-3, 2f) , C McManus (0-7, four frees). Subs: S Carey for D Wylie, C McGuinness (0-1) for P Donaghy, K Duffy for P Keenan, S Gollogly for D Malone.
LOUTH: N Gallagher, P Rath, D Finnegan, G O’Hare, J O’Brien, D Crilly (0-1), K McLoughlin, P Keenan (0-1), B Duffy, A Reid, C Judge (0-4, 2f), B White 0-5 (2f, ‘45), A McDonnell, E O’Connor, D Maguire. Subs: P Reilly for B Duffy, S Campbell for A McDonnell, G Hoey for K McLoughlin, D Byrne for J O’Brien, K Rogers (0-1, a free) for C Judge, B Donnelly for E O’Connor.
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).