Monaghan 0-17 – 0-12 Kildare
Monaghan claimed their first win in the 2nd Division of the Allianz Football League after beating Kildare 0-17 to 0-12 in Clones, but the game was marred with controversy after a fight broke out between the two sides before half time.
Players and coaching staff were involved in a clash between the teams which resulted in the referee sending off Kildare defender Brian Flanagan and issuing yellow cards to Monaghan’s Dick Clerkin and Dessie Mone while Kildare’s Padraig O’Neill was also booked.
Monaghan started the game brightly with early points from David Hughes and Matthew McKenna putting the home side in the lead but Kildare did their best to stay within touching distance with frees from Mikey Conway and Eoghan Flaherty putting them just one point behind.
Paul Finlay was Monaghan’s top scorer of the day and he got off the mark early in the first half as well as Clerkin to put the home side 0-5 to 0-2 in front.
Eamonn McEneaney and Dermot Malone joined Finlay, who got on the score sheet again to keep the lead at three points as Eamonn Callaghan’s point along with O’Flaherty’s free kicks helped Kildare stay in the game.
Kildare brought on Johnny Doyle to try to bring themselves back into the game but it was Finlay who scored again just before the drama at half time.
It was always going to be a tough task for Kildare to come to Clones and get a win but that task was made even more difficult with a man sent off and Monaghan’s forwards took full advantage of their numbers as Finlay took his tally to 7 points in the second half.
Conway’s strike with 20 minutes to go narrowed the gap to 0-14 to 0-10 but Finlay, Eoin Duffy and James turley sealed the win for Monaghan despite late consolation points for Kildare, scored by O’Flaherty and Callaghan.
The result leaves Monaghan with their first win in the league but leaves Kildare with two consecutive defeats and pointless so far this season.