Ulster SFC semi-final: Monaghan 1-20 0-13 Fermanagh

Fermanagh's Ryan McCluskey battles with Monaghan's Shane Carey in the first half at Breffni Park
Fermanagh's challenge collapsed after Ryan McCluskey's 58th-minute straight red card

Monaghan came good late in the game against Fermanagh to make it through to a third successive Ulster final.

Fermanagh fought well for much of the game but their challenge faded after the straight red card dismissal of Ryan McCluskey in the 58th minute.

Monaghan led 0-14 to 0-11 at that stage but Conor McManus's goal after 65 minutes ended the contest as he finished with a 1-6 tally.

The Farney men had Darren Hughes sent off late on after a second yellow card.

However, the dismissal had no impact on the result as Monaghan booked their place in the Ulster against Derry or Donegal on 19 July.

McCluskey was given his marching orders after appearing to drop his knees against Monaghan sub Owen Duffy, just after the Ernemen had rallied from six points down to trail by just three.

It looked a debatable decision and thereafter Fermanagh wilted as Monaghan outscored them 1-6 to 0-2.

Monaghan drafted in Owen Lennon for his first appearance in 14 months after recovering from an ankle injury, while fit-again Fermanagh midfielder Eoin Donnelly also started.

Peter McGrath watches as his Fermanagh team wilt in the closing stages of the Ulster semi-final
Peter McGrath says Fermanagh will be appealing against the straight red card given to Ryan McCluskey

With players rotating all over the field, both teams made a tentative start but there were some memorable points scored at either end by Ryan Jones and Farney full-forward Kieran Hughes

Jones' second point had Fermanagh ahead 0-5 to 0-4 after 27 minutes, but Monaghan reeled off three points in a row before half-time to lead by two at the break.

Fermanagh scored two out of the first three points at the second of the second half through Sean Quigley and Eoin Donnelly to close the deficit to a single point again.

But Monaghan appeared to find another gear with half-time subs Owen Duffy and Chris McGuinness both pointing, along with Dessie Mone and Karl O'Connell.

Another Conor McManus free put the favourites 0-14 to 0-8 ahead after 50 minutes as Fermanagh seemed unable to match Monaghan's increased intensity.

However, Pete McGrath's men dug deep and found another gear with wing-back Declan McCusker coming forward to hit two great points from distance.

Quigley stroked over a monster free from 55 metres to bring Fermanagh right back into the game at three points down.

But the momentum shifted after McCluskey's straight red card which, Peter McGrath said afterwards, will be appealed against by the Erne County.

Conor McManus pointed the resultant free to put Monaghan four up and he then netted Monaghan's goal five minutes from the end, tapping home the rebound after his initial shot was parried by goalkeeper Thomas Treacy.

As Fermanagh wilted, Stephen Gollogly's late penalty was saved by Treacy after the Monaghan sub himself had been tripped by Declan McCusker.

TEAMS

Monaghan: R Beggan (0-1, '45'); K Duffy (0-1), V Corey, R Wylie; K O'Connell (0-1), F Kelly, C Walshe; N McAdam (0-1), O Lennon; D Mone (0-1), D Hughes (0-1), S Carey; K Hughes (0-3, 1f), D Malone, C McManus (1-6, 5f) Subs: O Duffy (0-3) for Carey (HT), C McGuinness (0-1) for Malone (HT), D Clerkin for Lennon (40), S Gallogly (0-1) for Kelly (59), P Finlay for K Hughes (65), C Boyle for Mone (68)

Fermanagh: T Treacy; M Jones, N Cassidy, M O'Brien; D McCusker (0-2), R McCluskey, T Daly; E Donnelly (0-1), R O'Callaghan; B Mulrone, R Jones (0-2), C Flaherty; T Corrigan (0-2), S Quigley (0-5, 4f), P McCusker Subs: R Corrigan for Flaherty (41), C Jones for O'Callaghan (59), D Kille for P McCusker (65), A Breen (0-1) for M Jones (69)

Referee: Padraig O'Sullivan (Kerry)

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