All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Final
Jim Gavin’s Dublin produced a “controlled and composed” performance to ease into the All Ireland semi-finals, and set up a mouth-watering clash with Mickey Harte’s Tyrone.
The three-in-a-row chasing Dubs just had too much class for a Monaghan side, who came into the game having seen off Wexford, Carlow and Down in the qualifiers.
But this was a step up against a Dublin team with more firepower than Monaghan could shackle, despite Malachy O’Rourke’s side setting up with 13 men behind the ball.
Aside from leaving Conor McManus and Jack McCarron isolated and devoid of support, it took Dublin just 29 seconds to find a way through the ranks of white jerseys to open the scoring. Paul Mannion finding the target.
It was during a 20-minute spell during the first half that Dublin took control, racking up seven points without reply, and the reigning champions led 0-11 to 0-3 at the break.
Monaghan claimed the first point of the second half through Conor McCarthy, but Dean Rock struck a free before killing off any lingering hope for Monaghan by scoring the game’s only goal – Rock palming the ball to the net from Paddy Andrews’ set up.
“We were very controlled and composed, and were deserved leaders at half time. I think that preparation in the last two weeks was really good. A lot of hard work was done in the shadows,” he said.
“Going into the game we knew that Monaghan had six championship games under their belt and were battle hardened.
“I think the result is a reflection of the respect we gave to Monaghan. We prepared really well for this game and I thought the players did well in the first half against 13 men behind the ball.
“1-11 from play and a lot of wides in second half won’t be good enough the next day that’s for sure. It certainly gives us something to take away to the training ground that’s for sure.”
Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke conceded his side never really challenged Dublin. He said: “We have seen in the past where Dublin get a couple of goals and the game is over early.
“We wanted to make ourselves hard to break down but at the same time carry an attacking threat. But we never really got that and that was the most disappointing thing. We never really challenged them at all.”
With the game settled long before the end, Gavin had the luxury of emptying his bench, which included a return to action for Paul Flynn and Michael Darragh MacAuley.
“It’s been really competitive and there’s definitely a sense within the management team that we’re building momentum and the players are leading that charge. It’s the right time of the season to be doing it, that’s for sure,” added Gavin.
Ominous news for Dublin’s rivals. Their semi-final with Tyrone should be a belter.
Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 1-8 (7f, 1’45), Paddy Andrews 0-3, Paul Mannion 0-3, Jack McCaffrey 0-1, Con O’Callaghan 0-1, James McCarthy 0-1, Paul Flynn 0-1, Eoghan O’Gara.
Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McManus 0-4 (3f), Conor McCarthy 0-3, Rory Beggan 0-1 (f), Colin Walsh 0-1, Karl O’Connell 0-1, Darren Hughes 0-1, Ryan McAnespie 0-1.
DUBLIN: Stephen Cluxton; Philip McMahon, Cian O’Sullivan, Michael Fitzsimons; Jonny Cooper, John Small, Eric Lowndes; Brian Fenton, James McCarthy; Ciaran Kilkenny, Con O’Callaghan, Jack McCaffrey; Paul Mannion, Paddy Andrews, Dean Rock. Subs: Bernard Brogan for Eric Lowndes (41), Darren Daly for John Small (50), Paul Flynn for James McCarthy (50), Eoghan O’Gara for Paddy Andrews (54), Michael Darragh MacAuley for Ciaran Kilkenny (57), David Byrne for Johnny Cooper (60).
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Fintan Kelly, Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie; Colin Walshe, Kieran Duffy, Karl O’Connell; Kieran Hughes, Darren Hughes; Gavin Doogan, Dessie Ward, Shane Carey; Ryan McAnespie, Jack McCarron, Conor McManus. Subs: Conor McCarthy for Gavin Doogan (35), Owen Duffy for Dessie Ward (ht), Vinny Corey for Ryan Wylie (44), Dessie Mone for Karl O’Connell (44), Dermot Malone for Shane Carey (55), Neil McAdam for Darren Hughes (62), for Fintan Kelly (72).