Monaghan 6-17 Kerry 1-16
Seven unanswered points coming up to half-time were the catalyst as Monaghan eased clear of Kerry the second half of their TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC quarter-final in St Brendan’s Park in Birr this afternoon.
Leading by four points at half-time, 1-10 to 0-9, Monaghan added another 2-3 before the Kingdom opened their second-half account, ensuring that they advance to a semi-final tie with holders Cork.
Early on, Kerry had made use of the wind at their backs as Sarah Houlihan, Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh and Laura Rogers were among the points as they built a 0-5 to 0-2 lead.
The Ulster champions drew level though when Laura McEneaney profited from good play by Mohan and McAnespie to score a lovely goal in the 10th minute, but points from Lorraine Scanlon and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh had put Kerry 0-8 to 1-3 in front again.
They were left to rue a brilliant Cathriona McKenna save to deny Ní Mhuircheartaigh, however.
Monaghan managed to necklace together a series of well-taken scores, with Caoimhe Mohan beginning the run and Ciara McAnespie, Cora Courtney (two frees), a pair from Ellen McCarron and Mohan again had them five in front.
While Sarah Houlihan’s third point from Kerry did reduce the gap slightly before half-time, Monaghan’s start to the second half ensured that they were put in a commanding position.
McCarron’s fourth from play was followed by Mohan’s third and then centre-back Sharon Courtney got forward well, a wonderful swivel giving her space before a super low finish to the corner.
Ciara McAnespie put 10 points between the teams before Therese Scott made Kerry’s task harder with the third Monaghan goal.
Houlihan, sub Anna Galvin and Rogers had three Kerry points in response but, after McCarron and Mohan pointed for Monaghan, the Munster runners-up lost midfielder Bernie Breen to a red card.
Wing-back Denise Hallissey did provide a glimmer of hope when her speculative effort crept in to reduce the deficit to eight points with as many minutes left while Ní Mhuircheartaigh went close, but Monaghan closed out the game well.
Midfielder Eimear McAnespie scored a late goal after Cora Courtney’s brilliant pass and her sister Ciara added a fine individual effort before setting up Rosemary Courtney for a sixth green flag.
By the end, they were 16-point winners, setting up the tie with Cork on September 3.
Monaghan: E McCarron, C Mohan 0-5 each, C McAnespie 1-3, C Courtney 0-4f, L McEneaney, S Courtney, T Scott, E McAnespie, R Courtney 1-0 each.
Kerry: Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-6 (0-3f), S Houlihan 0-4 (0-3f), D Hallissey 1-0, L Rogers, L Scanlon, A Galvin 0-2 each.
MONAGHAN: C McKenna; R McKenna, J Fitzpatrick, L Ward; A McAnespie, S Courtney, G McNally; C Courtney, E McAnespie; L McEneaney, E McCarron, T Scott; C McAnespie, C Mohan, R Courtney.
Subs: N Callan for Ward (37), L Jones for Mohan (51), M Atkinson for L McEneaney (57).
KERRY: E Murphy; A O’Connell, A Desmond, C Murphy; D Hallissey, C Kelly, E Lynch; B Breen, E Sherwood; K O’Sullivan, L Scanlon, J Lynch; S Houlihan, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh, L Rogers.
Subs: A Leonard for E Lynch, A Galvin for J Lynch (36), A Brosnan for Sherwood (49), P Dennehy for Rogers (50), M O’Connell for Houlihan (54).
Referee: J Niland (Sligo).