Monaghan show battling mentality
Monaghan 2-14, Louth 0-12
Monaghan bounced back from their defeat against Donegal last weekend to record a fully deserved victory over Louth in this tough, hard hitting encounter in front of 3,000 in Clones yesterday.
Monaghan were never headed as the best that Louth achieved was being level at a point apiece after five minutes, but it was only in the latter stages of the first half when Monaghan opened a substantial lead by the break.
Goals by Gavin Doogan in the sixth minute, Monaghan's first in the current league campaign, and Dermot Malone in the 32nd minute helped Monaghan to an eight point half-time lead, Monaghan 2-8, Louth 0-6.
Louth started the second half in lively fashion but suffered a real body blow three minutes after the resumption when fullback Dessie Finnegan was dismissed, picking up a black card for a late tackle on Paraic Keenan.
Louth tried to make light of their numerical disadvantage but as Monaghan defended in numbers they never looked like breaking through for the goal they needed.
The difficult conditions saw legs tiring on both sides but Monaghan had already done to record a deserved eight points victory that puts them right back into the promotion race, while Louth look like having a real relegation battle on their hands.
Monaghan scorers: R Beggan 0-1 (f), D Mone 0-1, G Doogan 1-1, D Malone 1-0, J McCarron 0-3 (2f), C McManus 0-7 (4f). Subs: C McGuinness 0-1.
Louth scorers: D Crilly 0-1, P Keenan 0-1, C Judge 0-4 (2f), B White 0-5 (2f, '45). Subs: K Rogers 0-1 (f).
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).