Monaghan pick up second consecutive win as they stave off Kerry comeback



By John Fogarty

Monaghan picked up a second consecutive Division 1 win as they staved off a Kerry second-half comeback in Inniskeen.

The visitors were seven points down in the latter stages of the first half but mustered a healthy showing in the second period where Paul Murphy and Ronan Shanahan gave them a platform to work from.

Monaghan lost Barry Kerr to a red card in the 62nd minute for an off-the-ball incident, which also saw David Clifford and Drew Wylie booked but the home side were able to hang on in for the two points, cleverly sucking in Kerry when it appeared Rory Beggan was going to kick a free from distance only to release the ball to substitute to Neil McAdam to split the posts.

Monaghan's Dermot Malone with Andrew Barry of Kerry. Photo: INPHO/Tommy Dickson.

Clifford, who made a fine impression in the second half, converted a free to ensure a tense final couple of additional minute but Monaghan sprang forward to claim a free and Conor McManus obliged with the free.

Monaghan led by six points at the interval, 1-9 to 0-6, and could have been ahead by more but for a series of wides.

That said, their advantage was doubled by a penalty goal by McManus that was earned rather dubiously when Shane Murphy appeared to have pushed the ball legitimately out of Niall Kearns’ reach after Jack McCarron had pushed a through ball into his path.

Cormac Reilly, though, whistled for a spot kick and McManus slotted in the 20th minute goal.

Kerry outscored Monaghan 0-2 to 0-1 for the remaining 18 minutes but were lacking in ingenuity and were caught badly on their kick-outs, which would be known as a strong suit of Murphy’s. Three points came from either Murphy not kicking past the 20 metre free or a free being coughed up by a receiving defender.

Like their opening two fixtures, Kerry were porous on the back-foot for so much of the first half and looked to be at sixes and sevens when Monaghan ran at them in numbers.

Brendan O’Sullivan was an early fall guy and his replacement Eanna Ó Conchuir was more prominent but Kerry struggled to feed their inside forward line.

Scorers for Monaghan: C. McManus (1-3, 1-0 pen, 0-3 frees); J. McCarron (0-4, 3 frees); P. McKenna, D. Ward, C. Walshe, D. Hughes, O. Duffy, N. McAdam (0-1 each).

Scorers for Kerry: S. O’Shea (0-6, 5 frees, 1 45); D. Clifford (0-3, 2 frees); M. Burns, B.J. Keane (0-2 each); P. Geaney (0-1).

MONAGHAN: R. Beggan; C. Walshe, C. Boyle, B. Kerr; D. Mone, D. Wylie, K. O’Connell; D. Hughes, N. Kearns; P. McKenna, D. Malone, D. Ward; J. McCarron, T. Kerr, C. McManus (c).

Subs for Monaghan: F. Kelly for D. Mone (h-t); R. McAnespie for D. Malone (45); O. Duffy for P. McKenna (51); N. McAdam for T. Kerr (61); R. Wylie for J. McCarron (67); K. Duffy for N. Kearns (70+1).

Sent off: B. Kerr (straight, 62).

KERRY: S. Murphy; S. Enright, R. Shanahan, J. Foley; P. Murphy, A. Barry, B Ó Beaglaoich; B. O’Sullivan, P. Crowley; M. Burns, S. O’Shea, S. O’Brien; J. Savage, P. Geaney, B.J. Keane.

Subs for Kerry: E Ó Conchuir for B. O’Sullivan (22); T. O’Sullivan for A. Barry, D. Clifford for J. Savage (both h-t); D. Casey for P. Crowley (54); K. Spillane for B.J. Keane (63); M. Geaney for S. O’Brien (70+1).

Referee: C. Reilly (Meath).

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