A resurgent Monaghan staged a great second-half recovery to get their Allianz Football League Division 1 campaign off to the best possible start at the expense of league holders Dublin in front of a crowd of 10,556 in Clones.  

The visitors started the better but the first score didn’t come until the fifth minute when Dean Rock found his range. Dublin’s pace and support play was superior now and Niall Scully struck for an opportunist goal in the eighth minute to push his team four in front.

Rock made that five two minutes later before Monaghan opened their account in the 11th minute through a Micheal Bannigan from a free.

Rock converted another free and Bannigan responded in kind in the 13th minute to leave four between them again.

Flynn made it five almost immediately and while Jack McCarron pulled one back for the home side, Dublin then hit two inside a minute to go six in front.

A foul on McCarron saw John Small black carded, with the former converting the free to kickstart a Farney revival that saw Dublin restricted to just one point for the remainder of the half while the hosts registered four without reply to leave just two in it at the break - 1-07 to 0-08.


Before the short whistle Dublin picked up another black card when Paul Flynn pulled David Garland down as he was breaking clear.

There was a change of referee at half time with Paraic Hughes replacing David Coldrick who then reverted to fourth official.

The second half was a much more dramatic affair as Malachy O'Rourke's troops upped the tempo after Dublin had scored two early points on the resumption.

The introduction of Conor McManus and Stephen O’Hanlon had a marked effect on the outcome of this game, O’Hanlon hitting the Dublin net within seconds of coming on and McManus converting four frees as the Ulster side turned the screw.

The green flag brought Monaghan level in the 44th minute with McManus then putting them in front for the first time two minutes later.

McManus and O’Hanlon then combined to create an opening for Shane Carey to palm to the net and give Monaghan a four-point lead and another McManus free made that five approaching the end of the third quarter.

Dublin pulled back points back through Ryan Basquel and Cormac Costello from a free to leave a goal between them with 15 minutes left on the clock.

McManus kicked the hosts four in front again from a free with Dublin now piling forward in search of a goal that would have salvaged the situation but the home defence held firm.

That said the league holders brought it down to two in stoppage time with scores from Ryan Basquel and Cormac Costello from a free but the Farney had the final say with another McManus white flag. 

Monaghan: Rory Beggan, Kieran Duffy, Conor Boyle, Ryan Wylie, Karl O’Connell, Barry Kerr, Colin Walshe, Darren Hughes, Fintan Kelly 0-1, Ryan McAnespie, Dermot Malone 0-1, Shane Carey 1-0, David Garland, Jack McCarron 0-5 (4f), Micheal Bannigan 0-2 (2f).

Subs: Conor McManus 0-4 (k4f) for M Bannigan (41), Stephen O’Hanlon 1-0 for D Garland (41), Dessie ward for K O’Connell (63), Conor Mccarthy for D Malone (70), Neil McAdam for R McAnespie (73). 

Dublin: Evan Comerford, Eric Lowndes, Michael Fitzsimons, Conor Mullally, Paul Flynn 0-1, Jonny Cooper, John Small, Brian Fenton 0-1, Michael Darragh Macauley, Brian Howard, Cormac Costello 0-1 (f), Niall Scully 1-0, Paul Mannion, Dean Rock 0-4 (2f), Con O’Callaghan 0-3.

Subs: Darren Daly for C Mulally (49), Ryan Basquel 0-2 for P Flynn (49), Conor McHugh for D Rock (50), Cian O’Connor for MD McCauley (56), Paddy Andrews for C Costello (64).

Referees: David Coldrick (Meath), Paraic Hughes (Armagh).