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Dublin: -2°C Sunday 24 January 2021

Conor McCarthy introduction vital as off-colour Monaghan survive gutsy Carlow test

The Farney’s season flashed before their eyes tonight.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Monaghan 1-12

Carlow 1-7

MONAGHAN SURVIVED A heroic challenge from Carlow to progress into the last 12 of the All-Ireland SFC.

The Farney outscored a brave Carlow by 1-5 to 0-1 in the final 15 minutes, as the Division 4 outfit ran out of steam.

It was a disjointed performance from Malachy O’Rourke’s men. They kicked 14 wides and found themselves trailing by two points 15 minutes into the second-half.

Monaghan’s season flashed before their eyes when Gary Kelly thundered a strike past Rory Beggan in the 49th minute. It left the home side two in front and on the verge of a stunning upset, but they would add just two points to their tally by the finish.

Conor McCarthy’s introduction for the ineffective Jack McCarron proved pivotal for Monaghan and breathed life into an attack where Conor McManus was unusually quiet.

Fintan Kelly punched in a critical goal in the 65th minute and McCarthy kicked a couple of scores as the Farney made it out with their season intact.

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Monaghan led after a turgid opening 35 minutes by 0-5 to 0-3. They kicked eight wides in a wind-assisted half where Carlow’s defensive structure utterly frustrated O’Rourke’s side.

The Farney lost Darren Hughes to a black card for remonstrating with a linesman before half-time, another sign of their annoyance.

Carlow scored just once from play before the break – through Brendan Murphy – but Sean Gannon missed a glorious goal chance to send the Barrowsiders into an unlikely lead.

Darren Hughes with Brendan Murphy Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Brendan Murphy and Broderick (free) had Carlow level by the 40th minute and the home side visibly started to grow in confidence.

Gary Kelly’s goal shook Monaghan into life and the wheels finally started to turn from the 60th minute onwards. The Ulster men dominated possession and Fintan Kelly’s goal confirmed their progression.

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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