McEnaney fury over red cards
Galway made the most of two Monaghan red cards at Pearse Stadium yesterday as they bounced back from last week's heavy defeat to Mayo.
Both Paul Finlay and Gavin Doogan will feel hard done by as referee Derek Fahy went on a yellow-card spree, dishing out 13 bookings -- along with the two reds -- in a game free from malice.
Furious Monaghan manager Seamus McEnaney blamed the referee for his side's defeat -- Finlay's dismissal came shortly after his sideline kick had reduced the deficit to one point midway through the second half, and Doogan followed 10 minutes later.
"The game was in the melting pot with 15 minutes to go and the official's decision to give Paul Finlay a yellow card was unbelievable.
"It was one of the turning points in the game and when we dropped to 13 it left us with no chance. Paul had been dragged for six or seven minutes. I don't understand it at all."
The Galway full-forward line shouldered the majority of the scoring burden, notching a huge 1-15 between them.
Michael Meehan, captain for the day, led his side with aplomb and grabbed six points in an excellent display of scoring.
Galway manager Joe Kernan was delighted to see his side win after such a poor showing last week and paid tribute to their commitment.
"The way we performed was a whole lot different than last week. There was a lot more commitment from the boys. They were disappointed with themselves last week and rightly so, but we still have a lot of work to be done.
"We showed a lot of heart and commitment. It was a step up all over the field."
Galway led by 0-12 to 0-7 at half-time, with Nicky Joyce too hot to handle for the Monaghan rearguard, kicking four points before the break.
The returning Fiachra Breathnach pointed on the run in the 12th minute to make it 0-6 to 0-3, but by the 31st minute Galway had raced into a six-point lead thanks to the sharp-shooting of their full-forward line.
However, half-time could have held an altogether different complexion but for Galway goalkeeper Adrian Faherty's superb point-blank save from Conor McManus 10 minutes before the whistle.
A goal for Monaghan would have left just two points between the sides, but the Claregalway stopper somehow palmed the ball around the post for an unconverted '45.
However, McEnaney's troops responded well, kicking four unanswered points after the restart, including a clever point from Vincent Corey and wonderful score on the turn from McManus.
But Finlay's red card after 53 got Galway going again and three frees from Meehan put the Tribesmen firmly in control, especially with Doogan also going off.
Just as the Farneymen looked dead and buried, though, an injury-time goal from substitute Brendan McKenna put a goal between the sides and a 13-man comeback looked on. But a minute later, a great move was finished into the net by Joyce to secure the victory for Galway.
Scorers -- Galway: N Joyce 1-4 (0-3f), M Meehan 0-6 (0-5f), S Armstrong 0-5 (0-2f), F Breathnach 0-2, N Coleman, P Conroy, G Bradshaw 0-1 each. Monaghan: C McManus 0-5 (0-1f), P Finlay 0-4 (0-3f, 0-1 sideline), B McKenna 1-0, T Freeman 0-3 (0-1f), D Malone, V Corey 0-1 each.
Galway -- A Faherty; D O'Neill, F Hanley, T Fahy; G Bradshaw, D Blake, G O'Donnell; J Bergin, P Conroy; N Coleman, F Breathnach, C Bane; M Meehan, N Joyce, S Armstrong. Subs: D Cummins for Breathnach (40), E Concannon for Bane (65).
Monaghan -- S Duffy; C Greenan, D McArdle, D Hughes; G McQuaid, D Freeman, N McAdam; D Clerkin, F Caulfield; P Finlay, D Malone, C McManus; V Corey, C Hanratty, T Freeman. Subs: G Doogan for McArdle (27), H McElroy for Hanratty (h-t), B McKenna for Caulfield (46), S Gollogly for Malone (55), K Hughes for Freeman (70).
Ref: D Fahy (Longford).