Leitrim 0-09 Monaghan 1-19: Farney swat Leitrim aside
By Declan Rooney
Last Updated: 30/06/18 4:32pm
Monaghan are through to Round 4 of the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers, after seeing off Leitrim, 1-19 to 0-09.
Conor McCarthy turned on the style as Monaghan worked their way past a determined Leitrim at Páirc Sean Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Leitrim managed to stay in touch for most of the first half, but points from Karl O'Connell, McCarthy and Fintan Kelly gave Monaghan a six-point advantage at the interval. McCarthy and Colin Walsh stretched that advantage after the break and despite a late Leitrim kick, substitute Paudie McKenna landed two late scores to see his side to the easy win.
It was a lightning fast start from Monaghan in Carrick-on-Shannon and barely 30 seconds had elapsed when Conor McManus's long-range effort just crept over the crossbar of Diarmuid McKiernan.
Straight from the kick out McManus could have hit the net for Monaghan but he pulled his shot across the face of goal. Instead Leitrim kicked the levelling point at the other end when Jack Heslin found the target when he crept in behind.
Conor McCarthy landed his first point in the seventh minute, which was matched at the other end by Heslin, who scored from an awkward angle. Leitrim continued to match Monaghan score for score but they failed to take the goal chances that came their way. Ryan O'Rourke was denied by Rory Beggan after nine minutes, while Darragh Rooney's goal-bound effort was blocked by Dessie Ward five minutes later.
Monaghan too were guilty of not making the most of their chances, Darren Hughes was denied by McKiernan's brilliant save after 20 minutes, although Beggan slotted the 45 that followed to open out a two-point advantage for Monaghan.
McManus ended the first-half with four point, but he was lucky not to see red for an ugly lunge on Michael McWeeney, a foul that left the Leitrim defender limping and the Monaghan forward with a yellow card to his name from referee Niall Cullen.
Once Monaghan tightened up the gaps at the back and began to turnover the Leitrim ball carriers, their forwards began to shine. Six points in a row put them 0-9 to 0-3 ahead, and they carried that six-point lead into the break.
It was McCarthy's turn to spurn a brilliant goal chance shortly after the restart when his shot on the turn flew past the post, but his captain Colin Walshe extended the lead following a driving run from deep after 40 minutes.
Following some great defending from McWeeney a turnover cost Leitrim a score when McManus split the posts, while Beggan stepped forward with a long-range free to give his side a 0-13 to 0-4 lead with 20 minutes to go.
That lead should have been much stronger, but Monaghan went through a poor spell in front of goal and kicked five wides in succession, while Heslin and O'Rourke pointed for Leitrim to close the gap to seven.
But substitute Paudie McKenna landed to points before McCarthy palmed to the net with a minute to go to pad out the winning margin.
Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).
Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McCarthy 1-03 (0-02f), Conor McManus 0-05 (0-03f), Rory Beggan 0-02 (0-01f, 0-01 45), Jack McCarron 0-02 (0-02f), Paudie McKenna 0-02, Fintan Kelly 0-01, Karl O'Connell 0-01, Colin Walshe 0-01, Ryan Wylie 0-01, Dessie Ward 0-01.
Scorers for Leitrim: Emlyn Mulligan 0-04 (0-04f), Jack Heslin 0-03, Ryan O'Rourke 0-02.
1. Rory Beggan
2. Kieran Duffy
3. Conor Boyle
4. Ryan Wylie
12. Fintan Kelly
6. Colin Walshe
22. Dessie Ward
8. Niall Kearns
9. Darren Hughes
10. Ryan McAnespie
11. Dermot Malone
7. Karl O'Connell
13. Conor McCarthy
24. Thomas Kerr
15. Conor McManus
23. Owen Duffy for Malone (44th minute)
26. Shane Carey for T Kerr (44th minute)
21. Paudie McKenna for Kelly (47th minute)
20. Neil McAdam for Hughes (50th minute)
19. Dessie Mone for Boyle (54th minute)
14. Jack McCarron for McManus (61st minute).
1. Diarmuid McKiernan
2. Paddy Maguire
19. James Mitchell
4. Michael McWeeney
5. James Rooney
6. Shane Quinn
7. Noel Plunkett
9. Jack Heslin
14. Donal Wrynn
8. Aidan Flynn
11. Ryan O'Rourke
12. Brendan Gallagher
10. Darragh Rooney
15. Damien Moran
13. Emlyn Mulligan
23. Dean McGovern for Gallagher (33rd minute)
21. Cillian McGloin for Plunkett (half-time)
17. Domhnaill Flynn for Moran (54th minute)
18. Eoin Ward for Heslin (61st minute)
20. Nicholas McWeeney for J Rooney (67th minute)24. Jack Gilheany for Wrynn (71st minute)