Monaghan take significant step towards survival with victory over Cavan
Monaghan 0-14 Cavan 1-8
Monaghan took a significant towards survival in the Allianz Division with a strong second half to see off neighbours Cavan in Clones.
Getting significant impact off the bench from Ryan McAnespie and Jack McCarron, Monaghan's attack, which had spluttered badly in the opening half, found much more fluency to carve out a second win of the campaign.
Having failed to build on their opening day win over Dublin at the same venue this will come as a relief to the home side.
Once again Conor McManus played a pivotal role, knocking over two sublime second half points to give Monaghan momentum.
But the defensive work of the Wylie brothers and Colin Walshe and Darren Hughes' power in the middle were other important factors.
With much at stake, Division One survival and a psychological edge with their summer meeting in mind, there were a lot of nerves around which translated into errors.
Cavan got the perfect boost within a minute when Dara McVeety claimed a precision Raymond Galligan kick-out and was able to manovere his midfield colleague Killian Clarke into position behind the Monaghan cover.
From there he squared to Cian Mackey whose finish off his left gave Rory Beggan no chance.
But headway after that was slow for Cavan and they were wasteful, hitting eight wides in that opening half.
Monaghan too struggled with the soft underfoot conditions and some of their decision-making was poor from players normally better in the circumstances.
Despite the numbers so often committed to defence there were further goal chances.
Conor McCarthy put in Michael Bannigan with a clinical pass on 11 minutes but when Bannigan turned to his left blue shirts flooded him.
Play swept up to the other end where Martin Reilly trumped McCarthy's pass with an even better effort to free Conor Madden but Beggan got a foot to the shot.
McManus landed three frees and Monaghan didn't have a first score from play - their only one of the half - until Hughes sliced over in the 36th minute.
A subsequent foul on the Scotstown man which McManus punished made it 1-3 to 0-6 at the break after Madden had kicked Cavan ahead again in added time.
McCarron landed three points, one from a free after his 46th-minute introduction but he was red-carded late on for two yellow cards.
Scorers - Monaghan: C McManus 0-6 (4fs), J McCarron 0-3 (1f), R Beggan (2fs), C McCarthy (1f) 0-2 each, D Hughes 0-1.
Cavan: C Mackey 1-1, G McKiernan 0-3 (2f), R Galligan (f) N McKiernan (f), D McVeety, C Madden all 0-1 each.
Cavan: R Galligan; J McLoughlin, P Faulkner, C Moynagh; G Smith, C Brady, C Rehill; D McVeety, K Clarke; M Reilly, P Smith, N Murray; C Mackey, C Madden, N McKiernan. Subs: S Smith for P Smith (h-t), G McKiernan for Mackey (50), J Smith for N McKiernan (50),, J Brady for Murray (62).
Monaghan: R Beggan; C Boyle, D Wylie, R Wylie; K O'Connell, V Corey, C Walshe; D Hughes, G Doogan; F Kelly, D Malone, S Carey; C McCarthy, C McManus, M Bannigan. Subs: R McAnespie for Doogan (h-t), J McCarron for Bannigan (44), K Duffy for Corey (48), O Duffy for Carey (57), B Kerr for O'Connell inj (74).
Referee: B Cawley (Kildare)