Monaghan got back to winning ways when they proved too strong for Louth in this tough, hard hitting and at times scrappy Allianz Football League Division 2 encounter in Clones, 2-14 to 0-12.
Conditions were difficult with a greasy surface and light rain falling throughout but Monaghan were the better of the two sides in the first half, with Conor McManus posing a real threat any time he got on the ball.
Goals by Gavin Doogan in the sixth minute and Dermot Malone in the 32nd minute gave Monaghan a strong foothold; Louth were relying almost exclusively on the accuracy of Brian Whyte from frees.
Eoin Lennon and Vincent Corey were making their first starts for Monaghan in the current campaign. Lennon’s inclusion appeared designed to counteract the influence of Louth’s Paddy Keenan.
Monaghan led at half time by 2-08 to 0-06 and might have been a bit further in front had they capitalised on a couple of scoreable frees.
Louth suffered a major setback on the resumption when Dessie Finnegan saw red after just three minutes, and thereafter they never looked like posing a major threat.
Monaghan though were not able to kill the game off completely and were caught flat on a number of occasions, but the defence held firm and Louth were limited to shooting mostly from distance.
To Louth's credit, though, Aidan O'Rourke's side stuck to the task but as conditions sapped at the energy levels of both sides the final stages were played out at training ground pace, with Monaghan showing too much experience to be caught.
The result allows Monaghan to get back into the mix for the promotion race; Louth now face a battle to avoid relegation to Division 3.
Monaghan: R Beggan 0-1 (1f); R Wylie, D Wylie, F Kelly; C Walshe, D Mone (0-1), P Keenan; G Doogan (1-1), E Lennon; K Hughes, V Corey, P Donaghy; D Malone (1-0), J McCarron (0-3, 2f), C McManus (0-7, 4f).
Subs: S Carey for D Wylie, C McGuinness (0-1) for P Donaghy, K Duffy for P Keenan, S Gollogly for D Malone.
Louth: N Gallagher; P Rath, D Finnegan, G O’Hare; J O’Brien, D Crilly (0-1), K McLoughlin; P Keenan (0-1), B Duffy; A Reid, C Judge (0-4, 2f), B White (0-5 2f, 1 ’45); A McDonnell, E O’Connor, D Maguire.
Subs: P Reilly for B Duffy, S Campbell for A McDonnell, G Hoey for K Mcloughlin, D Byrne for J O’Brien, K Rogers 0-1 (f) for C judge, B Donnelly for E O’Connor.
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).