Dogged Monaghan bag vital two points in Killarney

Kerry 1-10 Monaghan 2-8

By Tony Leen, Fitzgerald Stadium

Monaghan bagged two precious Allianz League points as they came away from Kerry with a win for the second time in a row this afternoon.

If the game was low on quality, it was high on intensity and effort, and for that reason Malachy O'Rourke's side fully deserved their second win of the campaign.

Kerry were knocked out of their stride by the Farney's tireless work without the ball, with midfielders Darren and Kieran Hughes, and wing forward Gavin Doogan forming an impenetrable wall across their half back line.

It was Doogan's 41st minute goal off a Kerry turnover that proved crucial in the end. The visitors were only two points in arrears at the break, but wasted a number of point-scoring chances with the wind in the second half. Jack McCarron levelled the game at 1-8 to 2-5 in the 54th minute before two crucial Conor McManus points in the final quarter gave Monaghan a three-point lead.

Kerry's Bryan Sheehan was straight red-carded less than 60 seconds after his introduction and though late points from Kealy and Barry John Keane gave Kerry a glimmer, the visitors deserved to hang on. Kerry, to their detriment, failed to score from play after the break.

The first half was a strange affair too - Kerry wasted the gilt-edged chances but Monaghan dictated the tempo of the game. The home side had the advantage of a strong breeze but that only encouraged the Farley to revert to template - ie long phases of possession which forced Kerry into frantic and suffocating defence.

The Kingdom looked sharpest breaking from defence, the only thing letting them down was the finish at the other end. Paul Geaney had a miserable first half, dragging a 'can't miss' goal chance wide in the 19th minute when they led 1-2 to 0-2.

Paul Murphy hit the butt of an upright with a snap shot, but when Monaghan's sole goal opening presented itself, they were more persistent. Conor McManus's first effort on 27 minutes was blocked by Brendan Kealy, but Jack McCarron was liveliest in the next phase of play to net.

A superb point four minutes later from Kieran Hughes made it a one-point game. Geaney found his radar with a free but Malachy O'Rourke was clearly the happier assessing the half-time situation.

His satisfaction was well placed - not just with the result but with his side's unceasing effort.

Scorers for Kerry: D Moran (1-0), J. O'Donoghue (0-3, frees), P. Geaney (0-3, frees), P. Murphy, T Morley (0-1 each), B Kealy, BJ Keane (0-1 each, frees)

Scorers for Monaghan: J McCarron (1-3, 1 free), G Doogan (1-0), C McManus (0-2), K Hughes (0-2), R Beggan (0-1, free),

KERRY: B Kealy; S Enright, M Griffin, K Young; T Morley, P Crowley, R Shanahan; D Moran, J Barry; J Lyne, P Murphy, K McCarthy; J Savage, J O'Donoghue, P. Geaney.

Subs for Kerry: S O'Brien for Savage (half-time); BJ Keane for Geaney (51); A Spillane for McCarthy (53); A Maher for Barry (55, black card); D O'Sullivan for Crowley (61); B Sheehan for Moran (65)

MONAGHAN: R Beggan; F Kelly, C Walshe, R Wylie; K O'Connell, D Wylie J Mealiff; D Hughes, K Hughes; K Duffy, S Carey, G Doogan; D Malone, J McCarron, C McManus.

Subs for Monaghan: N McAdam for Walshe (29); O Duffy for D Hughes (half time); R McAnespie for Mealiff (ht); C. McCarthy for O Duffy (46); T Kerr for Malone (65)

Referee: D O'Mahony (Tipperary)

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