All-Ireland Football 4B qualifier: Down 1-16 Monaghan 1-24

Monaghan's Kieran Duffy challenges Down's Sean Dornan
Monaghan avenged their Ulster semi-final final by Down

Monaghan avenged their Ulster SFC semi-final defeat by Down as they beat the Mournemen 1-24 to 1-16 in the All-Ireland qualifier at Croke Park.

Down led 0-7 to 0-4 before a Fintan Kelly goal put Monaghan ahead but Connaire Harrison netted as the sides went in level at 1-9 each at the break.

With subs Conor McCarthy and Jack McCarron impressing, Monaghan hit five straight points to lead 1-16 to 1-11.

As Monaghan stayed in control, Conor McManus finished with 0-10.

Kieran Hughes' relief as Monaghan beat Down to reach last eight

Down had the better of the first half as the Monaghan defence struggled to deal with quick, direct ball into Connaire Harrison and late inclusion Sean Dornan.

After Darren Hughes and Kieran Hughes kicked opening points for Monaghan, Down responded with seven of the next nine scores with Harrison (three), Darragh O'Hanlon (two), Caolan Mooney and Shay Millar on target.

A key moment in the contest came on 20 minutes when Down's Kevin McKernan pulled a great goal chance wide when his side led 0-7 to 0-5.

Either side of the let-off, McManus slotted three frees to get Monaghan on terms and while Down edged two clear again, Kelly's goal put the Farney men ahead in the 26th minute.

However, Down soon hit back with a goal of their own as Harrison netted after another high ball caused consternation in the Monaghan defence.

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Monaghan boss Malachy O'Rourke introduced McCarron and Owen Duffy for Dermot Malone and Shane Carey at half-time and their arrival, coupled with McCarthy's impact, had the desired effect.

McCarron's 46th-minute score put Monaghan two ahead and three more unanswered points followed over the next four minutes, with McCarthy contributing two of the scores.

Down never got any closer than four behind in the closing 25 minutes of action as Monaghan continued to exhibit attack fluency that had been largely absent in the first half.

The Mourne County's last chance to get back into the game came and went on 62 minutes as Harrison blasted over the bar from close range after Monaghan keeper Rory Beggan had failed to deal with another high ball.

McManus brought his tally up to 10 in injury-time as Monaghan progressed to the quarter-finals where they will face either Dublin or Tyrone.

Down: M Cunningham; N McParland, G McGovern, D O'Hagan; D O'Hanlon (0-2, 2f), C McGovern, C Mooney (0-1); P Turley, N Donnelly; K McKernan (0-2), C Maginn (0-2), S Millar (0-1); S Dornan, C Harrison (1-4), R Johnston. Subs: J Johnston (0-3, 1f) for Dornan (48), A Carr for Turley (52), M Poland for Maginn (58), D McKibbin (0-1) for Millar (58), D O'Hare for Mooney (68), J Murphy for R Johnston (70)

Monaghan: R Beggan; K Duffy, D Wylie, R Wylie (0-1); C Walshe, F Kelly (1-0), K O'Connell; K Hughes (0-3, 1f), D Hughes (0-3); G Doogan, D Malone, S Carey; R McAnespie, D Freeman, C McManus (0-10, 8f). Subs: J McCarron (0-2) for Carey (HT), O Duffy (0-1) for Malone (HT), C McCarthy (0-4) for Freeman (46), D Ward for Doogan (48),V Corey for Walshe (62), G Doogan for McAnespie (68), D Mone for O'Connell (70)

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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