Kerry’s forward line too hot for Monaghan as they stretch unbeaten league run to 12

David Clifford scores two goals in eight-point win in Inniskeen

Monaghan 1-12 Kerry 3-14

Kerry boosted their position at the top of the Division One with a dominant win over Monaghan at a blustery Inniskeen.

Monaghan failed to put wind advantage to good use in the first half and they were made to pay, as a ruthless Kerry side stretched their unbeaten league run to 12 games.

Hitting just three wides in total, Kerry were able to pick off a couple of goals on the counterattack in the second half, as star forwards David Clifford and Seán O’Shea racked up a combined total of 3-5.


Monaghan had Conor McManus available after his successful appeal against the red card he picked up in their draw with Armagh, but they sorely missed the influence of Jack McCarron, Ryan McAnespie and Conor McCarthy on a day where they were punished for a series of unforced errors.

Monaghan started brightly with points from Kieran Hughes and Kieran Duffy, but despite having the breeze at their backs, they were outscored by 0-7 to 0-2 in the remainder of the first half.

Kerry took 12 minutes to get off the mark through the industrious Paudie Clifford, but they soon found their range, with Gavin Crowley and David Clifford adding fine scores against the elements.

McManus and Dessie Ward kept Monaghan narrowly ahead after 24 minutes, but Kerry hit the last four points of the half courtesy of O'Shea and one each from their lethal full-forward line of Tony Brosnan and the Clifford brothers.

Kerry led by 0-7 to 0-4 at half-time and they made it double scores within seconds of the restart via Diarmuid O’Connor, who helped the visitors set the tone at midfield along with Jack Barry.

Any hopes the home side had of a revival were wiped out within a few manic minutes, as David Clifford hit a brace of close-range goals, the second of those coming after Monaghan had coughed up possession with Rory Beggan caught adrift up the pitch.

From then on, it was simply a matter of how much Kerry would win by, with impressive inside duo Brosnan and David Clifford adding to their tally. McManus, Mícheál Bannigan and Andrew Woods responded for Monaghan, but they coughed up another cheap goal when O’Shea lobbed Beggan for the visitors’ third major.

Kerry subs Stephen O’Brien and Paul Geaney added their names to the scoresheet and although Monaghan finished with a flurry of consolation scores, including a McManus penalty, it was academic at that stage.

Páirc Grattan, Inniskeen had been close to capacity, but with the result having long since been decided, the home support had begun to thin out well before the final whistle.

Monaghan are away to Donegal next time out as they bid to dig their way out of the relegation zone, while at the top end of the table, Kerry face the only other unbeaten team when they host Mayo.

MONAGHAN: R Beggan; R Wylie (capt), K Duffy (0-1), C Boyle; K Lavelle, D Ward (0-1), S Hanratty; D Hughes, N Kearns; A Woods (0-1), S Carey, M Bannigan (0-2); C Walshe, K Hughes (0-3, two frees, one mark), C McManus (1-3, 1-0 pen, three frees).

Subs: K O'Connell for Hanratty, F Kelly (0-1) for Walshe (both h-t); G Mohan for D Hughes (48 mins); J Mealiff for Lavelle (54); A Mulligan for Carey (59); D McElearney for Ward (inj, 67).

KERRY: S Ryan; J Foley, D Casey, T O'Sullivan; G Crowley (0-1), T Morley, B Ó Beaglaíoch; D O'Connor (0-1), J Barry; D Moynihan, S O'Shea (capt, 1-2, two frees), A Spillane; T Brosnan (0-3), D Clifford (2-3, two frees), P Clifford (0-2).

Subs: D O'Donoghue for Casey (h-t); S O'Brien (0-1) for Spillane (38 mins); G O'Sullivan for Crowley (52); P Geaney (0-1) for D Clifford (59).

Referee: P Neilan (Roscommon).