Howard helps Fingal find way past Farney
Fingal 2-19 Monaghan 3-14
There were angry exchanges between Monaghan manager Trevor Hilliard and referee James Clarke following Saturday's Division 2A clash in Castleblaney.
The former Louth hurler was clearly put out by some of the Cavan official's decision-making although equally Fingal were turned down for what seemed to be a clear penalty in the latter stages.
Fingal's mental fortitude was called into question after Monaghan wing forward Deaglan Crowe had twice found the back of the net when long-range efforts just short of the hour.
But Fingal would dominate the last ten minutes with an inspirational effort from their young corner forward, TJ Howard, proving a crucial score for Mick Kennedy's men.
Fingal boasted a fine half-back line which included two former Dublin U21s in Niall Ring and Kevin O'Flynn.
Stephen Lambe's pace would help him to net Monaghan's first goal on five minutes but they were looking less than sure in the full-back line.
Fingal struck back with two close-in goals from JM Sheridan(18) and Darren Renahan (25) to open up a three-point lead.
However, Monaghan would draw level with three successive frees from Niall Garland but a strong finish to the half, which saw points from JM Sheridan and TJ Howard, edged Fingal in front by 2-9 to 1-8 at the interval.
And while Crowe would turn the game on its head with back-to-back goals, Fingal held on for the win.
Scorers - Fingal: JM Sheridan (0-3f, 0-1 65) 1-8; D Renahan 1-0; TJ Howard 0-3; P Sheridan (2f), T Howard, E Thyne 0-2 each; K O'Sullivan, S Owens 0-1 each. Monaghan: S Lambe (0-5f) 1-7; D Crowe 2-0; N Garland (5f) 0-5; B McGuigan, M Treanor 0-1 each.
Monaghan - D McGahan 6; S McNally 6, P Flanagan 6, J Guinan 6; M Murphy 6, P Treanor 7, C McKenna 6; S Forde 6, A Kenny 6; D Crowe 7, F Rafter 6, N Garland 7; B McGuigan 6, M Treanor 6, S Lambe 8. Subs: B O'Connor 6 for McNally 44, T Campbell for Forde 65.
Fingal - M Cullen 5; E O'Connor 7, D Fitzsimons 8, N McCaffrey 5; N Ring 6, Kevin O'Flynn 7, Paddy Sheridan 6; Killian O'Flynn 6, R McGarry 6; K O'Sullivan 7, L Kelly 6, S Owens 8; TJ Howard 8, D Renahan 7, JM Sheridan 8. Subs: J Fay-Watt 7 for McCaffrey (22), E Thynne 7 for Renhan (55), I Furlong for McGarry (57) 7, D Cullen for Howard 68, E McCarthy for Kelly 69 .
REF - J Clarke (Cavan).