Monaghan advance to first All-Ireland semi in 30 years

Monaghan advance to first All-Ireland semi in 30 years
Malachy O'Rourke celebrates at the final whistle. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Monaghan 0-16 - 0-8 Galway

Daragh Small

Monaghan advanced to their first All-Ireland semi-final in 30 years with a superb double scores win over Galway at Pearse Stadium in Salthill.

Galway, already through to the All-Ireland semi-final, were well off the pace and will now need to regroup for next week’s probably showdown with champions Dublin.

Monaghan showed no ill-effect from conceding a last gasp equaliser to Kerry last time out and deservedly led by 0-7 to 0-5 at half-time, despite playing against the breeze.

Malachy O’Rourke’s men, backed by a big Monaghan contingent in the crowd of 15,156, were clearly up for the battle, full of hard work in defence and they showed plenty of patience in attack.

Galway, already through to the All-Ireland semi-finals after Super 8 wins over Kerry and Kildare, could not make the breeze count in the opening half.

Indeed, they would have been further behind at the break but finished the half strongly with late replacement Gary O’Donnell going forward to score before Shane Walsh got his second point from a free.

Eamonn Brannigan gave them a perfect start with a point in less than 30 seconds but they didn’t score again in the opening half despite having the breeze.

Fintan Kelly, Vinny Corey and Hughes landed good points for Monaghan and when Walsh kicked his first free for Galway after 18 minutes, Malachy O’Rourke’s men responded with efforts from Ryan McAnespie and Colin Walshe.

Peter Cooke kicked an excellent point from distance for Galway but Conor McManus, getting little space from Eoghan Kerin, pointed a free and McAnespie got his second point to lead by 0-7 to 0-3 after 29 minutes before the Tribesmen rallied before the break.

McManus was superb for Monaghan after the restart and McAnespie, Hughes and Karl O’Connell also delivered huge displays as they fashioned a deserved success.

Galway only managed three points in the second-half and did not score for the closing 24 minutes of the match.

Monaghan finished with 13 men when Drew Wylie and captain Colin Walshe picked up two bookings, while Galway skipper Damien Comer also got his marching orders for a second yellow card.

The accuracy of McManus, which included two magnificent long range frees, and McAnespie pushed Monaghan further ahead and Galway never looked like rallying as they fell to their first defeat of this summer’s championship.

Monaghan: C McManus 0-5 (0-4f), R McAnespie 0-4, D Hughes 0-2, R Beggan 0-1 (0-1f), F Kelly 0-1, V Corey 0-1, C Walshe 0-1, D Malone 0-1.

Galway: S Walsh 0-2 (0-1f), E Brannigan 0-2, P Cooke 0-1, G O’Donnell 0-1, D Comer 0-1, I Burke 0-1.

Monaghan: R Beggan; R Wylie, D Wylie, K Duffy; K O’Connell (D Mone 67), C Walshe, V Corey; N Kearns (N McAdam 64), D Hughes (N McAdam 32-35); F Kelly, D Malone, S Carey (P McKenna 66); C McCarthy (J McCarron 59), R McAnespie, C McManus.

Galway: R Lavelle; D Kyne, S A Ó Ceallaigh (J Heaney 57), E Kerin (D Wynne 64); C Sweeney, G Bradshaw, G O’Donnell; P Cooke (C Duggan 53), T Flynn; E Brannigan (P Cunningham 60), S Walsh, S Kelly; A Varley (P Sweeney 42), D Comer, I Burke (D Cummins 67).

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).

Attendance: 15,200.

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