Farney's marksmen find their range
Monaghan produced a strong finish as they edged out Fermanagh in a tight and fiercely-fought derby encounter at Brewster Park. The result sees Monaghan leapfrog Peter Canavan's Ernemen in the table after an entertaining game.
The home side blasted out of the starting blocks with four points in as many minutes to gain the early advantage.
However, Monaghan began to settle into the contest soon after and as the break approached, Malachy O'Rourke's outfit had turned that deficit into a convincing three-point lead, 0-9 to 0-6, with Paul Finlay, Owen Duffy and Conor McManus all picking off fine points to pile the pressure on Fermanagh.
Fermanagh, who wasted some good scoring opportunities, especially from frees, responded well after the interval and two Paul Ward frees quickly closed the gap to the minimum.
The Farneymen had the chance to give themselves a cushion when Tommy McElroy was adjudged to have fouled McManus but Fermanagh netminder Chris Snow saved from Darren Hughes' resultant penalty. And when Ward tagged on a further point, it levelled proceedings with the momentum appearing to be swinging the way of the home side.
However, Monaghan regained control in the middle third over the concluding period and they pushed on to inflict a first league defeat of the season on the Ernemen.
Man of the match: P Finlay (Monaghan)
SCORERS – Monaghan: P Finlay 0-5 (3f), C McManus 0-5 (2f), O Duffy 0-4.
Fermanagh: P Ward 0-6 (4f), T Corrigan 0-3 (1f), D Keenan , R Jones (f), S McCabe 0-1 each.
Monaghan – M Keogh 7; D Mone 6, F Kelly 7, K Duffy 7; C Walshe 6, D Hughes 7, K O'Connell 6; O Lennon 7, D Clerkin 7; G Doogan 6, K Hughes 7, O Duffy 8; C McManus 8, P Finlay 8, C McGuinness 6.
Subs: D Wylie 7 for O'Connell, T Freeman 6 for McGuinness, N McAdam 7 for Clerkin, D Malone 6 for Doogan.
Fermanagh – C Snow 7; N Bogue 7, A McGuinness 7, J Woods 6; M O'Brien 7, B Cox 6, D McCusker 6; S Lyons 7, M McGrath 7; T McElroy 7, S McCabe 7, E Donnelly 6; P Ward 8 , T Corrigan 7, D Keenan 7. Subs: D Kille 6 for Donnelly, C Quigley 6 for McCusker, R Jones 6 for McGrath, B Owens 6 for McGuinness, R Corrigan 6 for Kille.
Ref – P Hughes (Armagh)