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Louth Secure Place in All-Ireland Knockout Stage

Louth Secure Place in All-Ireland Knockout Stage

Monaghan 2-10 Louth 2-10

Louth GAA fans are left pondering how they didn’t claim Monaghan’s scalp after a dramatic draw in Clones. Despite doing enough to secure progression to the All-Ireland knockout stages, the team will wonder how they let Monaghan slip away.

The game’s momentum shifted just after the hour mark when a sloppy cross-field pass in front of the Louth goal was intercepted by Micheal Bannigan. Bannigan remained composed and lobbed the ball into an empty net, cutting Louth’s lead to one. Shortly after, Sam Mulroy’s free kick hit the post.

With momentum now on Monaghan’s side, Conor McManus, coming off the bench, leveled the scores. The Monaghan supporters among the 11,329 attendees sensed another classic Clones comeback. Rory Beggan then converted a pressure free from 50 meters, giving Monaghan their first lead. Mulroy equalized, and despite a late chance from Ryan O’Toole, the game ended in a draw.

The match concluded dramatically, contrasting a first half that lacked championship intensity. Craig Lennon, having scored two goals in Inniskeen the previous week, struck again after connecting with a move initiated by the lively Ciaran Keenan, putting Louth ahead 1-3 to 0-2. Monaghan quickly responded with Conor McCarthy finding the bottom corner of the net. However, Monaghan’s indiscipline allowed Mulroy to convert several frees.

A free from Jack McCarron reduced the gap to two before Louth created another goal chance. Lennon was involved once more, assisting Conor Grimes whose shot found the net through a crowded defense. Despite Beggan’s earlier save against Mulroy, he had no chance this time, and Louth went into halftime with a 2-5 to 1-3 lead.

Monaghan started the second half strong, scoring the first three points. Louth seemed to regain control until Bannigan’s crucial goal changed the game’s dynamic.

Louth advance despite injury concerns over Ciaran Downey and Lennon. Monaghan will face a struggling Meath, needing just a draw to secure their qualification.

Scorers:

Louth: S Mulroy 0-7 (6f, 1 45), C Lennon, C Grimes 1-0, R Burns 0-2, C Downey 0-1.

Monaghan: M Bannigan 1-1, C McCarthy 1-0, C McManus (2f) 0-2, J Wilson, C McNulty, G Mohan, R O’Toole, K Duffy (1m), R Beggan (1f) J McCarron (1f) 0-1 each.

Teams:

Monaghan: R Beggan; R Wylie, K Duffy, R O’Toole; J Irwin, K Lavelle, C McCarthy; G Mohan, K O’Connell; S O’Hanlon, M Bannigan, M Hamill; C McNulty, J Wilson, C McManus. Subs: K O’Connell for Duffy (HT), C McManus for McCarron (46), A Woods for O’Connell (54), S Jones for Hamill (63), M McCarville for Wilson (74).

Louth: N McDonnell; D McKenny, D Corcoran, P Lynch; C McKeever, A Williams, C Lennon; T Durnin, B Duffy; N Sharkey, C Keenan, C Grimes; R Burns, S Mulroy, C Downey. Subs: L Grey for Lennon, C Byrne for Downey (both 55), P Mathews for Sharkey (66), T Jackson for Burns (67).

Referee: F Kelly (Longford)

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