Monaghan surprised hot favourites Fermanagh to win 2-10 to 0-14 in a scrappy Ulster SFC quarter final in which referee Michael Curley awarded 57 frees. Two killer goals from outstanding Monaghan forwards Ray Ronaghan and Ciaran Tavey proved the real difference between the sides. A mistake by Fermanagh full-back Paddy McGuinness allowed Tavey in after just five minutes, while Ronaghan punished a similar defensive error in the ninth minute to leave Fermanagh with an impossible task. The Ernesiders kept in touch with points from Rory Gallagher and Tom Brewster, as Monaghan led by 2-06 to 0-04 at half time.
Fermanagh blew their chance of coming back with two glaring misses at the start of the second half. Shane King blazed wide from ten yards while Stephen McGuire's fisted effort shaved the post. Although they were the better team in the second period, outscoring Monaghan by 0-10 to 0-04, late points from substitute Thomas Freeman and Gary Meehan ensured that Monaghan held on for an unlikely victory.
This defeat now means that Fermanagh will have to join the playoff merry-go-round and will meet Donegal again in Brewster Park next Saturday evening, while Monaghan go forward to the Ulster Championship semi-final.
Filed by Greg McKevitt