Monaghan come from behind to heap misery on Donegal
Relegation now staring Declan Bonner’s team in the face after another Division One loss
Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke with members of his backroom team on the sidelines of the Allianz Football League Division One game against Donegal in Clones. Photograph: John McVitty/Inpho
Monaghan 1-16 Donegal 1-10
Monaghan staged a strong second-half performance to strike for victory and take the two valuable points to ensure Division One football next season. That win also consigns Donegal to a relegation battle in their final game against Mayo in Ballybofey next Sunday.
Played in bitterly cold conditions the game that got off to a lively start with a much-changed Donegal making the early running but only having a point from a Michael Murphy free to show.
Monaghan were in wasteful mood but got back level on eight minutes through Conor McManus. Points by Rory Beggan and David Garland, both frees, put Monaghan two in front and they went on to lead by four after 27 minnutes.
Donegal were dangerous, especially on counter-attacks, with Jamie Brennan testing Rory Beggan twice before ultimately making the breakthrough for an opportunist goal on 28 minutes to level the match and then go on to restore Donegal’s lead with a good point. Monaghan rallied though and Garland converted two frees to give Monaghan a one-point lead at the break on a half-time score of Monaghan 0-9, Donegal 1-5.
Monaghan got off to a lightening start in the second half with a goal from Ryan Wylie within a minute of the resumption and points apiece by Kieran Hughes and Karl O’Connell giving Monaghan a foothold they never relinquished thereafter.
Monaghan didn’t relinquish and they held Donegal at arms length while hitting them for match-winning points from substitute Conor McCarthy and a McManus free to deservedly win by six at the finish.
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan (0-3, three frees); Colin Walshe, Conor Boyle, Barry Kerr; Kieran Duffy, Drew Wylie, Karl O’Connell (0-1); Darren Hughes, Niall Kearns; Ryan McAnespie, Dermot Malone (0-1), Dessie Ward; David Garland (0-3, three frees), Kieran Hughes (0-2), Conor McManus (0-4, two frees).
Subs: Dessie Mone (0-1) for B Kerr, Ryan Wylie (1-0) for C Walshe (both h/t), Conor McCarthy (0-1) for D Garland (50), Owen Duffy for D Malone (51),Paudie McKenna for D Ward (64), Aaron Lynch for N Kearns (72).
DONEGAL: Shaun Patton; Dáire Ó Baoill, Caolán Ward, Conor Morrison; Frank McGlynn, Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Éamonn Doherty; Michael Murphy (0-6, three frees), Leo McLoone; Ciarán McGinley, Hugh McFadden, Stephen McBrearty; Niall O’Donnell (0-1), Michael Langan, Jamie Brennan (1-2).
Subs: Martin O’Reilly for C McGinley (41 mins), Nathan Mullins for L McLoone (42), Ciarán Thompson (0-1) for S McBrearty (49), Caolan McMonagle for C Ward (64), Tony McCleneghan for F McGlynn (71).
Referee: Seán Hurson (Tyrone).