Free scoring Monaghan ran away with a crushing twelve point victory over Louth in Clones winning by a margin of 2-24 to 1-15
Goals from Captain Darren Hughes and Chris McGuiness helped them runaway winners as Louth were reduced to thirteen men by the games end.
The game hinged on Declan Byrne’s dismissal in the 52nd minute for a second bookable offence. Up until that point the Wee County had held their own and led by a score of 1-14 to 1-13 but thereafter they were destroyed and outscored by a total of 1-10 to one point.
Back in the starting line up Tommy Freeman had opened the scoring for Monaghan and points came thick and fast for both sides with a total of 21 scores in the first half.
The decisive one came for McGuiness whose 27th minute goal was the difference was the difference between the two sides at the break Monaghan leading 1-10 to 0-10.
Two points from Jim McEneeney got Louth back in it to start the second half and the took the lead when Darren Hughes inadvertently deflected the ball into his own net.
At this point Monaghan fans will have feared the worst especially with Darren Clarke in fine kicking form for the visitors.
However, once Byrne was dismissed the contest was over. Freeman levelled the scores soon after and the rout was on. Owen Duffy, McGuinness and Paul Finlay punished the tiring Louth defence mercilessly while Stephen Gallogly came of the bench for an impressive cameo
Hughes added a goal from the penalty spot as the final whistle couldn’t come quick enough for Louth fans