Monaghan powered past Donegal in the second half at Clones this afternoon to leave Declan Bonner’s men teetering on the brink of relegation.
Monaghan 1-16 Donegal 1-10
Donegal must beat Mayo next Sunday in Ballybofey to avoid the drop following a sixth League loss of the spring.
Donegal misfired and had 16 wides on a day when they were again missing the in-form Patrick McBrearty, through a knee injury that has ended his involvement in the League.
Ryan Wylie was just off the bench when, moments after the start of the second half, he netted for Monaghan.
When Wylie hammered past Donegal goalkeeper Shaun Patton it gave the Farney, who led 0-9 to 1-5 at the break, a real kick and they added two quick points from Kieran Hughes and Karl O’Connell to reaffirm their authority.
Donegal – who had Paddy McGrath in for his first appearance of 2012 following an injury lay-off – had briefly led when Jamie Brennan clipped a quick-fire 1-1.
Brennan beautifully fired to the back of the net after meandering in around the Monaghan rearguard close to the endline.
A point from the Bundoran man had Donegal leading, but two frees by David Garland had Monaghan with the edge at the interval.
Donegal’s team bore little resemblance to that which had bene named in the programme and in a low-scoring opening it wasn’t until the quarter-hour mark that the contest broke into life when Rory Beggan landed a free from beyond the ’45.
Monaghan, with Garland, Dermot Malone and Beggan on the mark, soon took charge,
Conor McManus slotted over to Monaghan a five-point advantage, but Donegal came to life with Niall O’Donnell, who looked lively in attack, and Brennan, scoring.
Brennan had Donegal in the driving seat, but Monaghan finished the opening half well and began the second even better with Wylie netting.
Donegal couldn’t get close enough and will rue the kicking of 16 wides while Caolan McGonagle, on as a 64th minute substitute, was sent off after being given the full compliment of yellow, black and red cards.
Monaghan: Rory Beggan (0-3, 3f); Colin Walshe, Conor Boyle, Barry Kerr; Kieran Duffy, Drew Wylie, Karl O’Connell (0-1); Darren Hughes, Niall Kearns; Ryan McAnespie, Dermot Malone (0-1), Dessie Ward; David Garland (0-3, 3f), Kieran Hughes (0-1), Conor McManus (0-5, 2f). Subs: Ryan Wylie (1-0) for Walshe (half-time), Dessie Mone (0-1) for Kerr (half-time), Conor McCarthy (0-1) for Garland, Owen Duffy for Malone (both 50), Paudie McKenna for Ward (63), Aaron Lynch for Kearns (70).
Donegal: Shaun Patton; Paddy McGrath, Caolán Ward, Conor Morrison; Frank McGlynn, Eoghan Bán Gallagher (0-1), Éamonn Doherty; Michael Murphy (0-5, 5f), Hugh McFadden; Ciarán McGinley, Leo McLoone, Stephen McBrearty; Niall O’Donnell (0-1), Michael Langan, Jamie Brennan (1-2). Subs: Martin O’Reilly for McGinley (39), Nathan Mullins for McLoone (42), Ciarán Thompson (0-1) for McBrearty (48), Caolán McGonagle for Ward (64), Tony McClenaghan for McGlynn (70).
Referee: Seán Hurson (Tyrone).Tags: