Merciless Monaghan trounce Waterford by 27 points to advance to Round Three of the qualifiers
Monaghan 5-21 Waterford 0-9
Monaghan showed no room for romantic sentiment as they ruthlessly dismissed Waterford at Fraher Field to progress to the third round of the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers.
While the draw produced a novel pairing with this match-up – the sides clashing in Championship action for the first time – Malachy O’Rourke’s side were not entertaining any notion of letting the underdogs record back-to-back victories following Waterford’s upset win over Wexford.
First-half goals from Conor McManus, via a penalty, Karl O’Connell and Fintan Kelly broke the hosts’ resolve to help O’Rourke’s side to a 3-11 to 0-4 half-time lead before substitutes Dessie Mone and Shane Carey raised further green flags after the break.
While the performance was far from flawless, the 27-point victory hinted at Monaghan’s eagerness to atone for their surprise Ulster SFC defeat to Fermanagh, which scuppered many predictions that had hailed the Farneys as Ulster champions-elect in advance of the Championship.
Farney captain Colin Walshe – a late starter – kicked his side’s first score inside the opening minute and they had built a six-point lead by the time Waterford opened their account via a Kieran Power point following a patient and well-worked move from the hosts.
Waterford manager Tom McGlinchey claimed in the build-up to this game that the visit of a Division 1 side to Dungarvan for a Championship clash was a huge boost for football in the county, however his side were unable to match their opponents in terms of pace, skill and physicality.
Waterford would only register three more scores in the first-half as Monaghan – playing in their change blue strip – dominated.
McManus was first to find the net in the 20th minute, via the penalty spot, after Ryan McAnespie was brought down in a congested Déise square.
McAnespie was a lively presence throughout the opening half, working in tandem with Jack McCarron before a speeding Karl O’Connell emerged from his left-wing-back slot to finish in style to raise Monaghan’s second green flag in the 33rd minute.
That made it 2-10 to 0-4 and the floodgates were opened as midfielders Niall Kearns and Darren Hughes kicked quick-fire points before Fintan Kelly scored his side’s third goal in injury-time after a Conor McCarthy pass.
Despite being thoroughly outclassed, Waterford showed admirable pride and fighting effort on the resumption – Jason Curry’s 49th-minute free marking the only time they hit consecutive, unanswered scores.
McCarthy – who kicked three points from play – kept the scoreboard ticking over for Monaghan prior to testing Waterford keeper Stephen Enright, who produced a final double save only for Mone to blast home the rebound on the third attempt on 53 minutes.
Leading by 4-18 to 0-7 by this stage, McCarthy was once again central to Monaghan’s next goal as he played in substitute Shane Carey to finish past the helpless Enright.
Monaghan: R Beggan 0-2f; B Kerr, D Wylie, C Boyle 0-1, C Walshe 0-1, V Corey 0-1, K O’Connell 1-0; N Kearns 0-2, D Hughes 0-2; R McAnespie 0-1, D Malone, F Kelly 1-0; C McCarthy 0-3, J McCarron 0-4 (3f), C McManus 1-1 (1-0 pen, 1f).
Subs: S Carey 1-0 for V Corey ht, R Wylie for D Wylie ht, D Mone 1-1 for C Walshe 44, N McAdam for D Hughes 44, K Duffy for B Kerr (BC) 45, D Garland 0-2 for C McManus 55.
Waterford: S Enright; T O’Gorman, J Mullaney 0-1, J McGrath; B Looby, M Curry, S Ryan; T Prendergast, K Power 0-1; G Crotty 0-1, D Guiry, A Trihy; C Murray 0-1, JJ Hutchinson, J Curry 0-4f.
Subs: S Prendergast 0-1 for J McGrath 41, J Allen for D Guiry 41, M Cummins for B Looby 54, J Veale for J Curry 57, E O’Brien for JJ Hutchinson 65, M Kiely for A Trihy 70.
Referee: Derek O’Mahony (Tipperary).