Losses for both sides the previous week meant the result in Clones was vital for Monaghan to get back into the mix for the promotion race and Louth to avoid a relegation battle. The game saw Eoin Lennon and Vincent Corey make their first starts in the current campaign for the home side, although Corey had come in as a substitute against Donegal.
Conditions were difficult, with a greasy surface and light rain falling throughout, but Monaghan were always that bit stronger in the latter stages of the first half, with Conor McManus posing a threat on the ball.
Goals by Gavin Doogan in the seventh minute and Dermot Malone in the 32nd gave Monaghan a 2-8 to 0-6 half-time lead, with Louth relying almost exclusively on Brian Whyte from frees.
Louth suffered a major setback on the resumption when Dessie Finnegan got his marching orders and thereafter they never looked a threat.
Monaghan though were not able to kill the game off and needed their defence to hold firm. To their credit, Louth stuck to the task but, as conditions sapped at the energy levels, legs tired on both sides.
Scorers for Monaghan: C McManus (0-7, 4fs), G Doogan (1-1), D Malone (1-0), J McCarron (0-3, 2fs), R Beggan (f), C McGuinness, D Mone (0-1 each).
Scorers for Louth: B White 0-5 (2fs, 45), C Judge 0-4 (2fs), D Crilly, K Rogers (f) P Keenan (0-1 each).
MONAGHAN: R Beggan; R Wylie, D Wylie, F Kelly; C Walshe, D Mone, P Keenan; G Doogan, E Lennon; K Hughes, V Corey, P Donaghy; D Malone, J McCarron, C McManus.
Subs: S Carey for D Wylie, C McGuinness for P Donaghy, K Duffy for P Keenan, S Gollogly for D Malone.
LOUTH: N Gallagher; P Rath, D Finnegan, G O’Hare; J O’Brien, D Crilly, K McLoughlin; P Keenan, B Duffy; A Reid, C Judge, B White; A McDonnell, E O’Connor, D Maguire.
Subs: P Reilly for B Duffy, S Campbell for A McDonnell, G Hoey for K McLoughlin, D Byrne for J O’Brien, K Rogers for C Judge, B Donnelly for E O’Connor.
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).