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Byrne seals draw for Dublin with last kick as Monaghan leave victory behind them

Seamus McEneaney’s side led by nine after 60 minutes, but Dublin rallied late to secure a draw.

Conor McManus is tackled by Michael Fitzsimons.
Conor McManus is tackled by Michael Fitzsimons.

Dublin 1-15

Monaghan 1-15

IT’S A TESTAMENT to the consistency of this Dublin team over the last five years that they can probably count their number of flat performances on one hand, but this was certainly one of them.

Even still, trailing by nine after an hour, Dublin scored 1-7 in the final 16 minutes to pull an unlikely draw out of the bag. Kevin McManamon arrived off the bench to pounce for a crucial 70th minute goal into the Hill, as he has done so often in the past.

That was assisted by Sean Bugler, scorer of three points in an impressive second-half cameo off the bench before Davy Byrne kicked the equaliser in the final seconds.

Seamus ‘Banty’ McEneaney will leave Croke Park wondering how his team failed to win this game. Monaghan led by ten points after half an hour, nine on the hour mark and six as they approached stoppage-time.

As they tired, Monaghan dropped too deep in the final quarter to protect their lead and were ultimately undone. They were denied a third league win in-a-row over Dublin.

The Dubs looked decidedly human for large periods tonight. In the opening half, they were outworked and outthought by Monaghan but showed real character and grit to avoid a defeat.

After going with more experienced line-ups against Kerry and Mayo, Dessie Farrell gave some youngsters a chance here.

Kilmacud Crokes trio Dara Mullin, Dan O’Brien and Liam Flatman all started but had little impact on the proceedings. All three were sitting in the stand by the 52nd minute. Aaron Byrne replaced the injured Paddy Andrews after 11 minutes, but was called ashore shortly before the hour mark. 

Of Dublin’s non-regulars, Bugler and Colm Basquel looked poised in front of goal after their second-half introductions. 

Rory Beggan hurt Dublin with his kick-outs landed most of them into the space at midfield behind their press. There aren’t many better strikers of the ball in the game, as evidenced by his dead ball shooting. Beggan scored three points, including one booming effort from 65m out.

rory-beggan-takes-a-free Rory Beggan takes a free. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The Farney were really well-prepared for this one. They set-up with Dermot Malone as a sweeper while Darren Hughes also dropped back in a Colm Cavanagh-type role, with Ryan McAnespie picking up Brian Fenton.

Monaghan had 13 different scorers in their opening two games and they spread the scoring around the team once again with eight men on the scoresheet. 

Conor McManus had the ball in the net inside the opening minute as Monaghan raced out to a 1-3 to 0-1 lead. The continually turned over the ball at the back and the running game from deep hurt Dublin as Flatman struggled to hold his centre-back role. 

Three misplaced kick-outs by Evan Comerford, two to an opposing player and one over the sideline, summed up Dublin’s struggles. Their attacking play in the opening period was flat and lifeless, badly missing the pace and directness of Con O’Callaghan and Paul Mannion. 

liam-flatman-with-phillip-donnelly Dublin's Liam Flatman tackles Monaghan's Kieran Hughes. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dean Rock and Ciaran Kilkenny scored a point each from play as Farrell’s side went in nine behind at the interval, albeit having played against a strong breeze.

Monaghan should have been further ahead but shot eight wides and saw Comerford save well to deny McAnespie a goal. Dublin were wasteful too, converting just 3 of their 13 shots in the first period. 

Darren Hughes was sin-binned right before half-time and Dublin made the most of his ten-minute absence, stroking over four points to reduce the gap to six. 

Frees from McManus and Beggan extended the Farney’s lead to 1-14 to 0-8 after 60 minutes. Dublin outscored them by 1-7 to 0-1 in the run-in as Byrne’s last-ditch equaliser sealed a share of the spoils.

Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 0-6 (0-5f), Kevin McManamon 1-0, Sean Bugler 0-3, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-2, Davy Byrne, James McCarthy, Niall Scully and Colm Basquel 0-1 each.

Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McManus 1-4 (0-3f), Rory Beggan 0-3 (0-3f), Ryan McAnespie (0-1m) and Micheal Bannigan 0-2 each, Conor McCarthy, Dessie Ward, Conor Boyle, Niall Kearns 0-1 each.


1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

2. Mick Fitzsimons (Cuala)
3. Davy Byrne (Naomh Olaf)
4. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna)

5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
20. Liam Flatman (Kilmacud Crokes)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
6. Brian Howard (Raheny)

10. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge St)
9. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)
24. Dan O’Brien (Kilmacud Crokes)

23. Dara Mullin (Kilmacud Crokes)
14. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s)
15. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)

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19. Aaron Byrne (Na Fianna) for Andrews (11)
11. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes) for Mullin (ht)
18. Sean Bugler (St Oliver Plunkett’s ER) for Flatman (41)
17. Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda’s) for O’Brien (52) 
12. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s) for Byrne (59)


1 Rory Beggan (Scotstown)

4. Kieran Duffy (Latton)
3. Conor Boyle (Clontibret)
2. Drew Wylie (Ballybay)

13. Dermot Malone (Castleblayney Faughs) 

6. Ryan Wylie (Ballybay)
10. Ryan McAnespie (Emyvale)
5. Karl O’Connell (Tyholland) 

8. Darren Hughes (Scotstown)
9. Niall Kearns (Sean McDermott’s)

12. Dessie Ward (Ballybay)
7. Michael Bannigan (Aughnamullen
11. Conor McCarthy (Scotstown)

26. Kieran Hughes (Scotstown)
13. Conor McManus (Clontibret)


20. Andrew Mulligan (Leachtain) for Bannigan (48)
19. Shane Carey (An Bhoth) for Hughes (60)
14. Christopher McGuinness (Ballybay) for McCarthy
17. Paraic Keenan (Corduff) for Ward (73)
26. Hughes for Keanrs (73)

Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down).

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / Reports from Croke Park

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