John Morrison’s Monaghan moved to the top of Division 1 in the Tesco Homegrown Ladies National Football League on Sunday.
The Farney girls made it four wins from six outings in the top flight with a 3-09 to 2-07 victory against spirited Donegal in Glenfin, to move ahead of Dublin in the standings.
The hosts rallied in the second half after finding themselves 0-02 to 2-04 in arrears but Donegal have still to register a point in Division 1 this season and are now relegated.
Even if Donegal win their last game against Kerry, and Tyrone lose their last two fixtures, Donegal cannot avoid the drop.
The north-westerners have already lost to to Tyrone and would be down on the head to head rule if both Ulster teams finish on three points.
Donegal lined out without Kate Keaney, Ciara Hegarty and Geraldine McLaughlin while Nicole McLaughlin was forced off before half-time through injury.
Despite this, Donegal produced a strong second half performance as Amber Barrett and Karen Guthrie combined for their side’s entire tally, including a goal apiece.
But the damage was done in the first half as goals from Niamh Kindlon and Cora Courtney helped to establish that eight-point interval lead.
Monaghan themselves were understrength from the start but Caoimhe Mohan and Grainne McNally, fresh from the All Star trip to Hong Kong, came off the bench to bolster the visiting challenge.
Goalkeeper Linda Martin was in excellent form too, with crucial saves in each half to keep out Donegal.
Kindlon, a survivor from Monaghan’s last All-Ireland success in 1997, was in excellent scoring form again.
The Magheracloone star finished with a tally of 2-04 and her second half goal kept Donegal at bay.
Next Wednesday evening, meanwhile, Kerry meet Laois at Tralee IT (7.30pm) in a rearranged Division 1 fixture.
This is a crucial fixture for both teams as they look to claim a top-four finish and a place in the semi-finals.
Tesco Homegrown Ladies National Football League Division 1
Donegal 2-07 Monaghan 3-09