Strong finish sees Monaghan through
MONAGHAN 0-11 DOWN 0-8
A strong finish from Monaghan, allied to Down's wastefulness, enabled the Farney county book their place in the final.
Down led for most of the game and will rue some poor decision-making, not to mention 10 wides, for not winning in the Athletic Grounds.
They were 0-8 to 0-6 ahead mid-way through the second half and should have kicked on. But Monaghan scored the last five points of the game to set up a July 22 final clash against Derry or Tyrone.
Monaghan had eight different players on the scoresheet and when Ryan Wylie and James McElroy scored from play to tie the scores at 0-8 apiece, there only looked like one winner. Points from Ryan McAnespie, Conor McCarthy and sub Dessie Ward secured the win.
Both sides hit six wides apiece in the first half, after which Down led by 0-5 to 0-4.
David McAllister scored Monaghan's first point in the 12th minute and after trailing by 0-3 to 0-1, they levelled things up with points from Fergal McGeough and a long-range free from McCarthy. Conor McGrady should have buried a goal chance, but he scuffed the shot with his left foot.
It was a spurned chance Down were made to regret later on.
Scorers -- Monaghan: D McAllister 0-3, C McCarthy 0-2 (2f), R Wylie, J McElroy, P Keenan, F McGeough, R McAnespie, D Ward 0-1 each. Down: D McCarthy 0-3, C McGrady 0-2, J McDermott, D McKeever, R McAlinden 0-1 each.
Monaghan -- C Forde; M Magee, B Greenan, B Hanratty; R Wylie, S Conlon, F Malone; D McAllister, S Buckley; A Treanor, J McElroy, P Keenan; F McGeough, R McAnespie, C McCarthy. Subs: C Hughes for Hanratty (25), C Lavelle for McGeough (38), D McElroy for Conlon (56), D Ward for McAllister (60).
Down -- R Burns; A McDonald, A Doherty, M O'Hare; D McKeever, R Wells, J McDermott; D Doyle, D McCarthy; C Gallagher, S McGonigle, R McAlinden; C McGrady, T Grimley, J Haughey Subs: D McAleenan for Haughey (38), D McKeown for McAlinden (53), C Foy for McGrady (60).
ReF -- Shaun McLaughlin (Donegal).