Monaghan romped to a 20-point win over Laois in Portlaoise yesterday to secure promotion to Division 1 and a Division 2 final date with Cork.
The visitors were always in control and destroyed Laois in an impressive opening half.
Paul Finlay and Tommy Freeman were in outstanding form with Finlay setting the tone with his fourth-minute goal after a strong run through the centre.
All their forwards pointed from play in the first half as they built up a considerable lead and Freeman stretched it even further when he palmed to the net on 25 minutes.
Damien Freeman came up from wing-back to get their third goal just before the break to help them to a 3-12 to 0-2 lead at the interval.
Things got even worse for Laois on the restart when Michael Tierney was shown a straight red card and although Ross Munnelly and Donie Kingston did their best to lift Laois with a couple of nice points, Monaghan struck for their fourth goal when Mark Downey finished smartly.
Monaghan manager Seamus McEnaney was understandably thrilled with his side’s clinical display afterwards and insisted that his side are now ready for Division 1 football.
“I’m delighted. These boys have proved they can mix it with the best of them,” he said.
“I wasn’t convinced before this year that we were ready for Division 1, but we are now.
“Paul Finlay set us up from the start with a fantastic goal.”
LAOIS: C Gorman; A Fennelly, C Ryan, R Stapleton; D Rooney, G Reddin, P McMahon; P Clancy, K Meaney; P McNulty, B Quigley, B Sheehan; R Munnelly, D Kingston, M Tierney. Subs: J O?Loughlin for Reddin (22), P O?Leary for Rooney (h/t), B McCormack for McNulty (h/t), C Bergin for Quigley (51), C Rogers for Sheehan (64)
MONAGHAN: S Duffy, D Mone, V Corey, D McCardle; D Freeman, G McQuaid, D Hughes; O Lennon, D Clerkin; C McManus, P Finlay, S Gollogly; M Downey, R Ronaghan, T Freeman. Subs: R Woods for Ronaghan (y/c ? 31), C Hanratty for McManus (45), G McEnaney for Hughes (57), D Morgan for D Freeman (66), K Hughes for Gollogly (68), S McAleer for Clerkin (69)
Referee: A Mangan (Kerry)