McAlister strike helps Farney men to edge out Ernesiders
Monaghan 1-13 Fermanagh 0-15
Monaghan got their 2017 season off to a winning start when they held out for the narrowest of victories over Fermanagh in this free-flowing contest that was played in greasy conditions in Clones yesterday.
At the end of a lively first half Monaghan led by a goal. That score, by debutant David McAlister, got the Farney men off to the best possible start after just two minutes, the throw-in having been delayed by 10 minutes due to a late surge in attendance. The tally at half-time was Monaghan 1-8 Fermanagh 0-8.
On the resumption Fermanagh had the margin down to the minimum after three minutes with two points from frees by Tomas Corrigan, who was on target again in the 16th of the half minute to cancel out a point by Darren Hughes.
A brace from Tomas Kerr and one from Kieran Hughes restored Monaghan to a four-point lead entering the final 10 minutes but Fermanagh struck back for three on the trot from substitute Ciaran Corrigan, Tomas Corrigan from a free, and substitute Danny Teague from a '45 to make it a one-point game.
That one score separated the sides going into stoppage time with an exchange of points between Fintan Kelly and Eoin Donnelly leaving the minimum in it at the finish.
Monaghan finished the game with 14 players when Kieran Hughes picked up a second booking in the final minute of normal time.
Scorers - Monaghan: T Kerr 0-4; D McAlister 1-0; M Bannigan (2f) 0-3; D Hughes, K Hughes (1f) 0-2; O Coyle and F Kelly 0-1 each. Fermanagh: T Corrigan (f) 0-9; D McCusker, P McCusker, E Courtney, E Donnelly, C Corrigan and D Teague ('45) 0-1 each.
Monaghan - R Beggan; O Coyle, F Kelly, R Wylie; K Duffy, C Walshe, B Greenan; D Hughes, K Hughes; K O'Connell, J Mealiff, G Doogan; D McAlister, T Kerr, M Bannigan. Subs: N McAdam for Walshe (52), S Carey for McAliser (56), S Finnegan for Mealiff (63), D Malone for Doogan (69).
Fermanagh - C Snow; M Jones, L Cullen, T Daly; D McCusker, R McCluskey, A Breen; R Hyde, K Connor; C McManus, T Clarke, P McCusker; E Courtney, E Donnelly, T Corrigan. Subs: T McCaffrey for Daly (14), C Corrigan 0-1 for McCluskey (h/t), B Mulrone for Clarke (h/t),D Teague for Courtney (57), J Duffy for Breen (71).
Ref - N Mooney (Cavan).