A GOAL by Adrian Wallace in the final minute of normal time saw Louth snatch a draw at the end of this tough encounter in Inniskeen yesterday.
Monaghan took the lead for the first time in the match with a Michael McHugh point in the 63rd minute. Two further conversions by him saw the home side three points in front with one minute remaining.
But Louth, who had dominated play for long periods, had to stage a strong finish to avoid defeat.
Louth led at half-time by 0-8 to 0-4 and it was only after they were reduced to 14 players with the dismissal of Sean Leonard that Monaghan began to make an impact.
They were four points adrift at that stage, but a goal by Noel Morgan kick-started a late revival and the outcome was in the balance right up to the final whistle.
Man of the Match: T Hilliard (Monaghan)
SCORERS -- Monaghan: M McHugh 0-7 (5f, '65'), N Morgan 1-0, G Boyd, E MacSuibhne 0-1 each. Louth: A Wallace 1-1, S Fennell 0-4 (3f), D Murphy, S Callan (1f), D O'Hanrahan, B Corcoran 0-1 each.
MONAGHAN -- G Ruddy 8; P Murphy 7, J McHugh 7, M Treanor 7; P Meegan 7, P Treanor 8, S Loftus 6; G Boyd 7, T Hilliard 8; M Murphy 6, S Lambe 7, M McHugh 7; M Lennon 5, S Leonard 5, N Morgan 6. Subs: E MacSuibhne 7 for Lennon.
LOUTH -- J Carter 7; D Rafferty 7, W Morrisey 7, M Wallace 6; D McArdle 5, R Byrne 7, D Murphy 7; S Callan 8, D O'Sullivan 6; D O'Hanrahan 7, S Fennell 8, D Dunne 7; K McNally 6, B Corcoran 7, A Wallace 7. Subs: D McKiernan 5 for McArdle, G Rellis 5 for O'Hanrahan, D Horan for McNally.
REF -- D Magee (Down).