Finn steers Exiles past Monaghan
A victory for London was the expected result, but the 3-16 to 1-15 scoreline doesn't really do justice to a brave Monaghan team that tried in vain during the second half to upset the odds.
No doubt, the Exiles were worthy of their seven-point advantage, but Monaghan can take a lot of heart out of their determination and ability to match their opponents in many aspects of the game.
London got off to a flying start and were 2-2 to 0-0 ahead after 12 minutes, Paul Stephenson and captain Martin Finn netting the goals.
However, once Monaghan found their feet, they matched their opponents and a 26th minute goal by Kevin Boylan left the interval tally at 2-7 to 1-7.
It was the brilliant free-taking of Michael McHugh -- he chalked up 13 points from placed balls -- which kept Monaghan in touch. However, even eight second-half points -- Monaghan's total -- by McHugh weren't enough to cause an upset, as Finn's second goal in the 38th minute kept London in charge.
SCORERS -- London: M Finn 2-4 (0-2f), M Mythen 0-3, P Stephenson 1-0, R O'Connell, T Twomey, J Reddan 0-2 each, N Forde, D Maher, D Kinsella 0-1 each. Monaghan: M McHugh 0-13 (0-11f, 0-2 '65), K Boylan 1-0, R Meegan 0-2.
LONDON -- JJ Burke; C Burke, M Ryan, N Coady; F Tierney, C Forde, K Kennedy; N Forde, R O'Connell; M Mythen, A Fitzgerald, D Maher; T Twomey, M Finn, P Stephenson. Subs: J Reddan for Stephenson (33), B Forde for Coady (44), C Sexton for JJ Burke (49), D Kinsella for Maher (64), L Quigley for Kennedy (68),
MONAGHAN -- H Byrne; P Traenor, P Murphy, A Kerr; D Crowe, S Loftus, J McAnespie; T Hillard, P Phelan; K Boylan, M McHugh, B McGuigan; R Meegan, S Leonard, M Lennon. Subs: E Mac Suibhne for Kerr (44), G Dooley for Lennon (66),
REF -- D Magee (Down).