Monaghan dumped Donegal out of the Nicky Rackard Cup thanks to a strong second-half performance at Inniskeen on Saturday.
Monaghan 1-16 Donegal 1-12
Division 3A champions Donegal had high hopes of making it to Croke Park and had beaten Armagh in their Nicky Rackard opener but, following a defeat to Tyrone last weekend, Ardal McDermott’s side faded away in the second half here.
Donegal began well and got a fortunate goal inside the opening minute of the contest as Gerard Gilmore blocked down a Brian Flanagan ball and it flew to the net.
Declan Coulter and Davin Flynn tagged on points, but the Tir Chonaill men had 11 wides in a first half that should have had them out of sight. They led by a single point, 1-5 to 0-7.
With Fergal Rafter on song from frees, Monaghan had edged their way back. By the conclusion, the red-hot Rafter was into double figures as he landed ten frees in all as Monaghan won thanks to a scintillating second half.
Mark Traynor drew Monaghan level just after the restart, but Lee Henderson helped to maintain the Donegal lead.
The tables turned when Farney captain Brian McGuigan sailed over and they were never behind thereafter.
Eight minutes from the end, Tadhg Campbell blasted past Paul Burns and Monaghan – whose defence put on a sturdy showing after the break – were on their way to a famous win.
Donegal were left to rue a succession of squandered chances, but Monaghan advance with confidence brimming to a semi-final meeting with Derry on Saturday.
Monaghan: P Bermingham; C Meegan, P Treanor, J Guinan; N Garland, M Murphy, B Flanagan; M Treanor (0-1), É Mac Suibhne; F Rafter (0-10, 10f), T Campbell (1-1), C Boyle (0-1); B McGuigan (0-3), S Leonard, S Lambe. Subs: P Garland for Flanagan (34), R Curran for Lambe (53), PJ Boyle for C Boyle (68), J Dooley for Leonard (70).
Donegal: P Burns; P Doherty, C McDermott, D Grant; J Boyle (0-1), J Donnelly, C Finn; D Cullen, L Henderson (0-6, 6f); S McVeigh, D Coulter (0-4), G Gilmore (1-0); B Lafferty, R McDermott, D Flynn (0-1). Subs: N Cleary for R McDermott (52), K Campbell for Henderson (61).
Referee: A Devine (Westmeath).Tags: