Galway United 1 Monaghan United 3
(Monaghan win 5-1 on aggregate)
Declan “Fabio” O’Brien scored twice as Monaghan United completed their return to the Premier Division after ten years with this emphatic play-off victory at Terryland Park.
Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, even the presence of Michael D. Higgins, the ninth President of Ireland, and honorary president of Galway United, in the crowd couldn’t help the home side as Roddy Collins’ Monaghan eased to promotion.
Veteran striker O’Brien struck for the opening goal on 26 minutes when he shot low to the net past Conor Winn from 20 yards.
The play-off was all but over eight minutes later. Brothers Ryan and Sean Brennan combined down the right and the low cross was turned home with a neat side-foot finish from O’Brien for his 13th goal of the season.
Ryan Brennan added a third seven minutes into the second half, collecting brother Sean’s pass to lob Winn for a terrific finish.
Alan Murphy scored Galway’s consolation eight minutes from time, having played a one-two with Mikey Gilmore, before finishing past Gabriel Sava.