Monaghan 0-15 Derry 0-10
Monaghan remain on course for a semi-final place and Derry moved closer to relegation after they suffered a five-point defeat in their Allianz Football League Division One clash at Clones.
The Farney County led at half time by 0-8 to 0-5 and consolidated this in the second half with sound defensive work and hitting Derry on counter-attacks.
Monaghan were deserving winners at the end of a game that they dominated for most of the 70 minutes.
Played in bitterly cold conditions, this was a match Derry needed to win to improve their chances of avoiding relegation, but on the day they never took control at any stage.
In the early stages, Derry started well and opened the scoring with a point by Emmet McGuckin in the second minute. Monaghan responded, but Derry took the lead a second time through Benny Heron in the 10th minute after Fintan Kelly had opened for Monaghan.
That though was to be the last time that Derry were in front as Conor McManus, Paul Finlay and Dessie Mone, with three points, began to find the range.
Monaghan took the lead for the first time in the 13th minute through McManus and went on to lead at the break by three points. They could have been further in front but for six wides and the crossbar denying McManus what looked a certain goal.
Derry started the second half with great intent, and even though McManus extended Monaghan’s lead in the opening minute the home side were under pressure at times as Derry sought redemption. They had the margin down to two after just seven minutes of the second half.
Monaghan cancelled those scores out through two scores from McManus and one from Finlay to lead by five entering the final 15 minutes.
Derry looked like they had scored a good goal when McGuckin palmed to the Monaghan net, but the score was ruled out after the referee consulted with his umpires and when Monaghan extended their lead to five through a Conor McManus free there was no way back for the Oak Leaf men.
Mone fired over his fifth point of the afternoon a minute into stoppage time, and Derry pulled back a late consolation point through Mark Lynch, but it was too little and too late.
Monaghan: R Beggan; C Boyle, D Wylie, R Wylie; K O’Connell, V Corey, F Kelly 0-01; N McAdam, K Hughes 0-02; D Mone 0-04, P Finlay 0-02, D Hughes; D Malone, C McManus 0-06 (1f), T Kerr.
Substitutes: K Duffy for C Boyle (30), S Gollogly for T Kerr (HT), D McKenna for P Finlay (60), O Duffy for N McAdam (68).
Derry: T Mallon, O Duffy, N Holly, D McBride, B Og McAlary, K Johnston, SL McGoldrick, M Craig, B Og McGilligan, B Heron 0-01, M Lynch 0-05 (4f), E Lynn 0-01, D McKinless, E McGuckin 0-01, C McWilliams 0-01.
Substitutes: M McIver for B Og McAlary (29), E Bradley for D McKinless (29), J Kielt 0-01 for E Bradley (HT), E Bradley for B Og McGilligAn (52), A McAlynn for C McWilliams (69).
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).