Monaghan started brightly and had four points on the board in the opening nine minutes, Galway not registering their first score until the 13th minute with a point from Michael Lundy. Cathal Mulryan added a second when he capitalised on a poor kick out and the sides exchanged points on a number of occasions in the second quarter .But Galway could only close the gap to two points twice and Monaghan were well worth their(0-8 to 0-5) half-time lead with the wind making life difficult for both sides. On the resumption, Gary O’Donnell reduced the deficit to two with Michael Martin then finishing off a good counter attack in the seventh minute to leave just one between the sides.
Monaghan responded with points from Fintan Kelly and Conor McManus to forge three ahead, but by the 15th minute Galway had the lead down to the minimum thanks to Michael Martin and Paul Varley. In the final quarter substitute Paul Finlay restored Monaghan’s two points lead and Kieran Hughes put the hosts three points up. But Galway refused to give up, drawing level with points from sub Adrian Varley, Shane Walsh and Paul Conroy (free). Conroy had two chances from long-range frees to put Galway in front but was off target from both as Monaghan soaked up the pressure in the closing minutes before coming on a counter attack for Finlay to snatch the winner.
MONAGHAN: R Beggan, C Walshe 0-1, D Wylie, F Kelly 0-1, D Mone 0-1, V Corey, K O’Connell, D Clerkin 0-1, P O’Hanlon, G Doogan, S Gollogly 0-1, K Hughes 0-2 (1f), D Malone 0-1, C McGuinness, C McManus 0-3 (2f).
Subs: D Hughes for D Clerkin, P Finlay 0-2 for P O’Hanlon, J McCarron for C McGuinness, P Donaghy for S Gollogly, C Galligan for D Mone.
GALWAY: T Healy, D O’Neill, F Hanley, J Moore, G Bradshaw, G O’Donnell 0-1, P Varley 0-1, J Kavanagh, T Flynn, M Lundy 0-1, E Hoare, C Mulryan 0-1, M Martin 0-3 (1f), P Conroy 0-1 (f), S Armstrong 0-2 (1f).
Subs: A Varley 0-1 for E Hoare, M Breathnach for M Martin, S Walsh 0-1 for C Mulryan, D Cummins for M Lundy, K Kelly for F Hanley, M Farragher for S Armstrong.
Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow).