The visitors had Monaghan in all sorts of early trouble with their pace and support play and Austin O’Malley’s goal helped them to a 1-2 to 0-0 lead by the quarter hour. Monaghan gradually settled into the game and opened their account with a Paul Finlay pointed free in the 15th minute and were level by the 19th minute with an unanswered 1-2, with Conor McManus their goalscorer.
A second goal by Paul Finlay in the 26th minute had them three points clear, 2-6 to 1-6 by the break.
Monaghan rattled off 1-4 on the restart, with McManus netting for the second time. Monaghan extended the lead to 13 points in the final quarter, with a fourth goal by Colin Walshe heaping more misery on Wicklow.
O’Malley had a second Wicklow goal but it mattered for nought as Monaghan finished in style, Dermot Malone finding the net late on to complete the rout.
MONAGHAN: M Keogh; D Mone, F Kelly, K Duffy; C Walshe 1-0, D Hughes 0-1, C Galligan; O Lennon, N McAdam 0-1; G Doogan, K Hughes 0-2, O Duffy; C McManus 2-7 (0-2f, 0-1 45), P Finlay 1-1 (0-1f), T Freeman 0-1.
Subs: D Malone 1-0 for K Hughes (temp), D Wylie for C Galligan, C McGuinness for T Freeman (temp), V Corey for F Kelly, S Gollogly for G Doogan, D Clerkin for O Lennon. P Donaghy for P Finlay.
WICKLOW: J Flynn; C Hyland, L Benson, A Byrne; D Hayden 0-1, C McGraynor 0-2 (2f), D Healy; J Stafford 0-1, A McLoughlin; R Finn, P McWalter, N Mernagh; B McCrea 0-1, JP Dalton 0-1, A O’Malley 2-1.
Subs: S Furlong 1-3 (0-3f) for B McCrea, P Dalton for N Mernagh, P Mcloughlin for L Benson, J McGrath for C McGraynor, K Murphy for P Mc Walter
Referee: F Kelly (Longford).