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Monaghan relegate Antrim

Monaghan 3-15 Antrim 0-13

Goals ultimately were the killer blows as Monaghan clinched promotion to Division 2 and consigned Antrim to Division 4.

Monaghan got off to the perfect start with a goal by Christopher McGuinness in the opening minute and added a second on the half-hour when Kieran Hughes applied a sublime finish after he was placed with an inch perfect cross by Colin Walshe.

Monaghan led 2-9 to 0-7 at the interval and while Antrim put in a real battling performance in the second half too often they failed to apply the finish that they needed to narrow the gap. Any chance they had of making a real battle of it was killed off 14 minutes into the second-half when Darren Hughes scored a brilliant solo goal to leave Monaghan ahead by 10 points.

Owen Duffy increased that lead to 11 points with Antrim then getting three quick-fire points, two by Paddy Cunningham and one from Michael Pollock, to reduce the deficit to eight. But that was as good as it was going to get with Monaghan tacking on points from Owen Lennon and two from frees by Connor McManus to seal victory with something to spare.

Monaghan finished the game with 14 players when Kieran Hughes was sent off seven minutes from time.

Monaghan: R Beggan 0-1, R McNally, D Wylie, K Duffy, C Walshe, N McAdam, D Hughes 1-0, O Lennon 0-1, D Clerkin 0-2, P Finlay 0-2, D Malone, O Duffy 0-1, K Hughes 1-2, C McManus 0-5, C McGuinness 1-1. Subs: V Corey for K Duffy, S Gollogly for D Malone, K O'Connell for R McNally.

Antrim: C Kerr, K O'Boyle, M Johnson, N Delargy, A Healy, J Crozier, D McCann, M Herron, S McVeigh, C Murray 0-1, K Niblock 0-1, B Herron, P Cunningham 0-8, M Pollock 0-2, J Lavery. Subs: A McClean 0-1 for J Crozier, R Johnson for D McCann, M McCann for S McVeigh.

Referee: S Hehir (Galway).

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