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Monaghan withstand late Laois rally to book their place in Super 8s

Conor McManus scored five points as his side safely advanced in Navan.

Graham Brody saves a shot from Conor McManus.
Graham Brody saves a shot from Conor McManus.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Monaghan 0-19

Laois 1-11

Steven Miller reports from Navan 

MONAGHAN HAVE BECOME the final team to book their place in the Super 8s following a five-point win over Laois in Navan this afternoon.

They made the most of an industrious first-half that saw them lead by nine points at one stage and while Laois staged a very brave comeback in the second and reduced the gap to four points with five minutes remaining, the Farney men had enough in store to hold on.

The prize for the win is huge — with Super 8 games against Kildare in Croke Park next Sunday, at home to Kerry the week after and then a trip to Galway on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

They were far too powerful and intense for Laois in that opening half and were 0-6 to 0-1 up after 15 minutes.

Conor McManus was his usual self while Shane Carey pointed three times from play, Rory Beggan landed two long-range frees and Karl O’Connell pointed twice from wing-back.

By the 30th minute they were 0-13 to 0-4 up and well in control.

Evan O’Carroll led the way for Laois and his pass to Paul Kingston saw the latter finish a brilliant goal just before the break. McManus got the last score of the half, however, and Monaghan led 0-14 to 1-4 at the break.

That could have been even greater only for the individual brilliance of Graham Brody, the Laois keeper pulling off three stunning one-on-one saves in the opening 35 minutes.

Darren Hughes claims a high ball Darren Hughes of Monaghan claims a high ball. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

And Brody was outstanding after the break too — making three more stops that will have him a leading contender for an All-Star nomination.

Donie Kingston, Evan O’Carroll and Ross Munelly all added points in the second half to get Laois right back into contention and when Colm Begley pointed from distance in the 65th minute there was only four between them.

But Monaghan weathered the storm and Ryan McEnespie’s second of the half eventually got them over the line.

Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McManus 0-5 (two frees), Shane Carey 0-3, Rory Beggan 0-2 (both frees), Karl O’Connell 0-2, Ryan McEnespie 0-2, Fintan Kelly 0-1, Jack McCarron 0-1, Paudie McKenna 0-1, Conor McCarthy 0-1 Niall Kearns 0-1.

Scorers for Laois: Evan O’Carroll 0-4 (one free), Ross Munnelly 0-3 (frees), Donie Kingston 0-3 (two frees), Paul Kingston 1-0, Colm Begley 0-1.

Monaghan:

1. Rory Beggan

2. Kieran Duffy
3. Drew Wylie
4. Ryan Wylie

5. Vinny Corey
6. Colin Walshe
7. Karl O’Connell

8. Niall Kearns
9. Darren Hughes

10. Ryan McAnespie
11. Shane Carey
12. Fintan Kelly

13. Conor McCarthy
14. Jack McCarron
15. Conor McManus

Subs:

Dessie Mone for Corey (47)
Paudie McKenna for Kelly (47)
Kieran Hughes for McCarron (52)
Neil McAdam for D Hughes (63)
Dermot Malone for Carey (68)

John Sugrue dejected at the end of the game Laois manager John Sugrue dejected. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Laois:

1. Graham Brody

2. Damien O’Connor
3. Mark Timmons
4. Gareth Dillon

5. Trevor Collins
6. Colm Begley
7. Darren Strong

8. John O’Loughlin
9. Kieran Lillis

10. Alan Farrell
11. Paul Kingston
12. Brian Glynn

13. Ross Munnelly
14. Donie Kingston
15. Evan O’Carroll

Subs:

Jame Farrell for O’Loughlin (Blood Sub – 8-12)
Benny Carroll for A Farrell (HT)
Finbarr Crowley for O’Loughlin (41)
Niall Donoher for Glynn (45)
Eoin Lowry for P Kingston (49)
Shane Nerney for Strong (60)
Gary Walsh for Munnelly (67)

Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary).

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Steven Miller

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