A strong second-half display from Monaghan saw them finish pulling up against a 13-man Mayo in St Tiernach’s Park, Clones, this afternoon.
A goal from Monaghan corner back Kieran Duffy in the 63rd minute, only 60 seconds after Mayo’s Jordan Flynn was sent off for a second yellow card, paved the way for an impressive victory for Seamus McEnaney’s side.
When Duffy punched home to the net after a Kieran Hughes pass across goal, the home side went into a 2-11 to 0-12 lead and from there, never looked like losing. Mayo also had Padraig O’Hora sent off for a second yellow in the closing stages of the game.
The two sides were level after an exciting first half of football, but it was all Monaghan after the restart, kicking some glorious scores, with Conor McCarthy finishing with 1-3 from play and Conor McManus hitting 0-6 (3f, 1 mark).
James Horan’s Mayo held the ascendency for the larger part of the first half, until McCarthy waltzed through some slack Mayo defending before burying the ball past Robbie Hennelly in the 25th minute to put the home side in front for the first time, 1-4 to 0-6.
Before that, Mayo had chipped away at the posts with points coming from full-backs O’Hora and Oisin Mullin, Ryan O’Donoghue, Flynn, Darren Coen, and an advanced mark from James Durcan.
Their response to McCarthy’s goal was a brace of late points through Diarmuid O’Connor (free) and Coen.
Monaghan will have been disappointed with seven first-half wides, three of which came from McManus. However, the three-time All-Star did chalk down two points (one free) in the opening half, with further Monaghan scores coming from McCarthy, Karl O’Connell and a Rory Beggan free, which left things poised at 1-5 to 0-8 when the short whistle sounded.
However, Mayo suffered their second loss of the campaign, while Monaghan’s form continues to rise.
MONAGHAN: R Beggan (0-1, 1f); D Wylie, C Boyle (0-1), K Duffy (1-0); K O’Connell (0-1), R Wylie, M Bannigan; D Hughes, N Kearns (0-1); R McAnespie, C McCarthy (1-3), D Ward; D Malone, K Hughes, C McManus (0-6, 3f, 1 mark).
Subs: S Carey for Malone (12 mins, blood); J McCarron (0-2, 1f) for Malone (41 mins); C Walshe for Wiley (54 mins); S Carey (0-1) for Bannigan (59 mins); C McGuinness for McManus (72 mins); P Keenan for Kearns (74 mins).
MAYO: R Hennelly; P O’Hora (0-1), O Mullin (0-1), L Keegan; S Coen, M Plunkett, P Durcan; J Flynn (0-1), A O’Shea; F Boland, R O’Donoghue (0-1), D O’Connor (0-1, 1F); K McLoughlin (0-3, 2f), D Coen (0-3), J Durcan (0-1, 1 mark).
Subs: T Conroy for Boland (35 mins); Higgins for J Durcan (58 mins); P Towey (0-1) for Coen (65 mins); E O’Donoghue for Plunkett (71 mins); C Loftus for R O’Donoghue (74 mins).
Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow)