Clontibret 1-14 Scotstown 0-11

Scotstown's bid for five Monaghan SFC titles in a row was halted at the final hurdle in Clones today as Clontibret powered to victory. 

The underdogs, who last won the title in 2014, laid the platform for the sucess in the first half with their star man Conor McManus and Michael P O'Dowd on song as they established a 0-09 to 0-03 lead at the break.

The lead was even pushed out to nine points early in the second half with McManus, Killian Lavelle and Pauric Boyle tagging on points as it threatened to become a hammering. 

But the 2018 Ulster finalists rallied with Rory Beggan's long range frees and Conor McCarthy's shooting from play to the fore as they struck six of the next seven, narrowing the gap to four and giving themselves a glimmer with five minutes of normal time left. 

But then the door was wedged shut, Rory McGuigan's goal stretching out the lead again and effectively settling the contest in Clontibret's favour.

The defending champions plugged away but the result was no longer in doubt, Clontibret sealing their 17th Monaghan title on a score of 1-14 to 0-11.

"It's very special," Clontibret's Conor McManus told RTÉ Radio 1 after the game.

"It's actually very difficult to put it into words. We had a very difficult year last year. We had to win our last two league games to stay senior and at that stage, things didn't look great. You were struggling to see where you were going to compete again. We showed what Clontibret is all about there today.

"We knew we going to have to bring that [physicality]. Scotstown are after winning four championships in a row.

"They didn't win them for nothing - they're the best team in the county by a long stretch. We knew we had to bring something different to the party if we were going to win it."

Clontibret now face the fearsome attacking machine that is Crossmaglen Rangers in the Ulster club championship. 

But they at least go armed with some close knowledge of the Armagh champions, with their manager John McEntee having won five All-Ireland club titles with Crossmaglen between 1997 and 2012.