11 April 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

“Job done” would be the two words that sum up Monaghan’s Allianz National Football League Division Two win over Galway last Sunday. by COLM SHALVEY

Monaghan needed only to avoid a heavy defeat to secure a top-two place and the way other results went meant they would have been promoted regardless on their head-to-head record against Meath, but the way they dug out another win showed the character of this team.

A highly-motivated Galway side, who needed a result to ensure they stayed up, had kicked three unanswered points to draw level in added time, but Paul Finlay’s intervention denied them a share of the spoils. With Laois winning and Armagh losing, Galway survived anyway due to their superior head-to-head record against the Orchard County and it was deserved, considering the Tribesmen took five points from their last four games and were somewhat unlucky to leave Clones empty-handed.

Finlay’s brilliant late point from 45 metres not only gave Monaghan a fourth win in a row, but it also stretched the winning home run in league and championship to 14 games. Finlay, who came on for the last half-hour, marked his 147th county appearance with two superb points and his last-gasp winner brought back memories of his memorable promotion-clinching score against Longford at the same end of St. Tiernach’s Park in 2005.

Wind played havoc with both teams’ shooting on Sunday, contributing to the combined wides tally of 28, which was higher than the total number of scores. Monaghan never trailed in the 70-plus minutes as they clinched a place in a fourth final of Malachy O’Rourke’s tenure.

For the second game in a row, Monaghan had nine scorers and they now have 18 scorers in the league and 27 in all this year ….

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