Monaghan retain Allianz NFL status
Allianz National Football League Division One
Monaghan 2-14 Meath 1-17
Monaghan secured a seventh straight year in the top flight of the Allianz National Football League after a nervy finish saw them pegged back by Meath for a draw in Clones. A Monaghan team showing three changes from the loss to Kerry led for long spells before having to settle for a share of the spoils.
Monaghan started brightly, with a Mícheál Bannigan goal helping them into a healthy lead, but Meath rallied strongly either side of half-time and Bryan Menton palmed to the net to edge them ahead for the first time. The momentum continued to swing in an exciting final quarter, as a string of scores by Conor McManus, including a superb goal, moved Monaghan into pole position again, only for a hat-trick of late points by impressive Meath substitute Jordan Morris to level it up.
After establishing themselves in Division One for another year, Monaghan now turn their attentions to Saturday’s Ulster SFC opener against neighbours Cavan.
Monaghan: R Beggan (0-1f); F Kelly (0-1), C Boyle, D Ward; K O’Connell, R Wylie (Capt.), K Duffy (0-1); D Hughes, A Woods; R McAnespie, M Bannigan (1-0), S O’Hanlon; D Garland, C McCarthy (0-2, 1f), C McManus (1-8, 0-3f).
Subs: K Lavelle for Woods (H-T), C McGuinness for Garland (40), D Malone (0-1) for Bannigan, S Carey for O’Hanlon (both 46), K Hughes for McCarthy (55)
Temporary sub: K Lavelle for D Hughes (23-H-T).
Meath: A Colgan; C McGill, D Toner, S Lavin; S McEntee, C Hickey, D Keogan; B Menton (Capt., 1-0), R Jones (0-2); J Scully (0-1), B McMahon, R Ryan; C O’Sullivan (0-1), S Walsh (0-1), T O’Reilly (0-4, 3f).
Subs: J Morris (0-7, 3f, 1m) for O’Sullivan (inj., 23), M Costello for Scully (H-T), J Wallace (0-1) for McMahon (50), E Harkin for Toner (53|), J O’Connor for Hickey (62), E Devine for Walsh (66).
Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).