Sunday 21 January 2018

Monaghan to face Dublin in last four despite heavy defeat to Leinster kingpins

Dublin 1-22 Monaghan 1-11

Monaghan's Karl O'Connell takes on Diarmuid Connolly at St Tiernachs Park, Clones, Co. Monaghan. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Monaghan's Karl O'Connell takes on Diarmuid Connolly at St Tiernachs Park, Clones, Co. Monaghan. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

Monaghan still made the Division 1 semi-finals thanks to results elsewhere but they'll have to improve drastically considering they face Dublin again in the final four next week.

They may have beaten Kerry last week but they were brought immediately back to earth when the Dubs made their first visit to Clones since 2011 yesterday and wreaked havoc on them.

Within just four minutes of throw-in Monaghan trailed by five, their blanket defence quickly torn to shreds by Jack McCaffrey who combined with Dean Rock to lay on a goal chance that was well taken by Raheny's Brian Fenton, a late replacement for Ciaran Kilkenny.

Within minutes Monaghan's Vinny Corey was bearing down on Stephen Cluxton but Rory O'Carroll made a vital intervention.

At the other end home 'keeper Rory Beggan was then forced to make an equally brilliant save off Paul Flynn but nothing could stop the Dubs' juggernaut who pushed on to lead by seven (1-9 to 0-5) at half-time.

All the Dubs' forwards had scored by then, with two apiece from each of the full-forward line but players like Diarmuid Connolly worked equally hard in defence, often getting 13 men behind the ball and forcing Monaghan into taking some very ill-advised pot-shots.

When Connolly spun over a fabulous shot within 15 seconds of the re-start it didn't augured well and so it transpired.

Rory Beggan immediately replied with a '45 but then Monaghan were held scoreless for 25 minutes while Dublin, despite making a raft of changes, clocked up eight points without reply to lead by 15.

Not even some late scores and a consolation goal for Darren Hughes could save Monaghan's blushes but two draws elsewhere saved their bacon and they still made the last four.

Scorers - Dublin: D Rock 0-6 (5f), B Fenton 1-1, P Flynn, D Connolly, K McManamon, B Brogan, T Brady and P McMahon 0-2 each, J Cooper, D Byrne and E O'Conghaile 0-1 each. Monaghan: D Hughes 1-0, O Duffy 0-2, C McManus 0-2(2f), R Beggan 0-2 (1f, 1'45), R McAnespie, T Kerr, S Carey, H Hughes 0-1 each, P Finlay 0-1(f).

Dublin - S Cluxton; J Cooper, R O'Carroll, E Culligan; J McCarthy, J Small, J McCaffrey; MD MacAuley, D; P Flynn, D Connolly, C Kilkenny; K McManamon, D Rock, B Brogan. Subs - P McMahon for Culligan (21), E O Conghaile for MacAuley (42), C Kilkenny for McManamon (49), T Brady for Bastick (52), D Byrne for O'Conghaile (BC, 56), N Devereux for Cooper (56), Monaghan - R Beggan; D Wylie, K Duffy, R Wylie; K O'Connell, V Corey, F Kelly; N McAdam, D Hughes; D Malone, P Finlay, D Mone; O Duffy, K Hughes, C McManus (Capt). Subs - P McKenna for Mone (BC, 32), D Clerkin for McAdam (43), R McAnespie for Finlay (43), P McGuigan for D Wylie (49), T Kerr for Malone (49),  S Carey for K Hughes (BC, 65).

Referee - M Deegan (Laois).

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