4B Qualifier: Down v Monaghan

The two Ulster sides go head-to-head for the second time this summer for a quarter-final slot

Eamon Donoghue Sat, Jul 29
LIVE: 4B Qualifier: Down v Monaghan

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  • Hello and Welcome . . . Who will be the final two teams in this year's All-Ireland football quarter-finals? We'll find out in the next few hours. First up it's a repeat of the Ulster semi-final, as Monaghan look for revenge for their shock provincial exit. We all know how Down footballers love Croke Park though. It should be interesting!

    We'll have all the action right here. Be sure to get in touch throughout, via either the comments section ('Contact Us' tab) or on Twitter (@DonoghueEamon).

    Let's get started!
  • All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 4B
    Down v Monaghan, Croke Park, 5pm
  • Named teams:

    DOWN: Michael Cunningham; Niall McParland, Gerard McGovern, Darren O’Hagan; Darragh O’Hanlon, Conaill McGovern, Caolan Mooney; Peter Turley, Niall Donnelly; Kevin McKernan, Conor Maginn, Shay Millar; Jerome Johnston, Connaire Harrison, Ryan Johnston.

    MONAGHAN: R Beggan; F Kelly, D Wylie, R Wylie; C Walshe, N McAdam, K O'Connell; K Hughes, D Hughes; G Doogan, D Malone, S Carey; O Duffy, J McCarron, C McManus.
  • Down are out early and straight into their warm-up. Lots of ball. Monaghan join them. Just over 15 minutes 'till we are underway! Croke Park looking lovely!
  • "If Caolán Mooney and Kevin McKernan can wet-nurse some of the younger players through their first Croke Park appearance, they’re a far better prospect than the 3-1 available would suggest. Monaghan need a performance to take something out of the year. We’ll give them the nod to find it but it’s hard to be dogmatic about it."

    Read Malachy Clerkin's preview in full here

  • Ahead of Down's Ulster final defeat I looked at how Down had torn Monaghan apart with their quick, attack-minded play. They gave Tyrone too much respect in the final and there was no such repeat of that. If they can get back to playing the Down way today though they'll have a chance . . .

    GAA Statistics:  What makes Down so great to watch?



    Jack McCarron, Neil McAdam and Owen Duffy all make way as Kieran Duffy, Ryan McAnespie and Darren Freeman come in.

    Down make one late change as Sean Dornan comes in for Jerome Johnston.

  • Down 0-0 Monaghan 0-1 (1') Game on! Monaghan win the throw in and the first attack of the game ends in a brilliant outside of the boot point from Darren Hughes.
  • Two Down attacks in a row come to nothing as the man with the ball has no support. They've started this a bit flat
  • Down 0-0 Monaghan 0-2 (2') Anything his brother can do, Kieran can do better. Darren pops a handpass to the younger brother who from over 45m drives it over the bar with the outside of his boot
  • Down 0-1 Monaghan 0-2 (5')  High ball inside is won by Sean Dornan. He bursts inside two tackles and shoots under pressure at goal. It's wide, but brought back for a 13m free which Darragh O'Hanlon points
  • Down 0-2 Monaghan 0-3 (7')  

    Another ball inside is well won by Dornan. He pops to Shay Millar who really should have pointed from 25m out. Next attack and Down win the kickout, it's worked to Caolan Mooney who bombs one over from distance. Outrageous score.  

    Darren Hughes responds with his second

  • Down 0-4 Monaghan 0-3 (9')  Down are really opening up with the quick ball inside. This time Connaire Harrison does excellently to flick it down to Millar who points from close in. Next attack and Harrison does the business himself. Despite Drew Wylie being on his toe.

  • Down 0-4 Monaghan 0-4 (12') Conor McManus takes over free taking duties on the right hand side with Jack McCarron dropped to the bench. The angle is too much for him, but moments later he gets a chance on the other side and taps it over

  • Down 0-5 Monaghan 0-4 (14') Darragh O'Hanlon free moved in for mouthing. The Down halfback then taps over his second free of the afternoon.  

    Next kickout and Karl O'Connell is denied an outstanding point after catching the kickout, carrying it, and hitting the post.

  • Down 0-7 Monaghan 0-4 (16') Harrison's second point. And then his third from a tight angle in the left corner. The Down fullforward is on fire, with good, quick ball going into him!

  • Down 0-7 Monaghan 0-5 (18') Big free from McManus, comes in off the post. Monaghan needed that. They are struggling to match Down's intensity and relying on long pot shots and frees.

  • Harrison wins it, pops to Kevin McKernan who spins off two tackles and comes in on goal from the left. But from a tight angle, he goes for the inside corner and shoots wide. Big chance. Down's second goal chance
  • Down 0-7 Monaghan 0-6 (21') This time from the left footer's side, McManus faces the outside post and curls over a beautiful free

  • Down 0-8 Monaghan 0-7 (23') Second free in a row for McManus. Before Down go ahead again with Kevin McKernan's first point

  • Down 0-9 Monaghan 0-7 (25') Some of the point talking here has been outrageous. This time Conor Maginn is given time on the left wing. He settles himself, leans back and floats one in off the post. Outside of the boot

  • GOAL MONAGHAN. Fintan Kelly on the overlap. He has a man on his left but goes it alone and roofs the net
  • Down 0-9 Monaghan 1-7 (26') That goal was against the run of play. Down had two goal chances, took none. Monaghan get one and take it. That's how winning is done. Down need to be more clinical

  • Down 0-9 Monaghan 1-8 (29')  That's Fintan Kelly's third goal in as many games. From corner back. Well, that's the number on his back. Another McManus free extends the Monaghan lead

  • Caolan Mooney, narrowly wide for Down. Looking a little leggy. Not getting the scoreboard reward for their good play
  • Down 1-9 Monaghan 1-8 (32')  Long ball into Maginn, two on him. He scrambles so well to get a hand on to it. The flick is to Harrison who shoots under Rory Beggan. Well deserved

  • Two minutes of first half additional time to be played
  • Down 1-9 Monaghan 1-9 (36')  Level again. Thanks to a brilliant free from Kieran Hughes on the right sideline!

  • HT Down 1-9 Monaghan 1-9  Half-time and Down should be ahead, but for some sloppy finishing. That said, on both sides, some brilliant point-taking.  

    Monaghan are the better team physically, in the tackle and in their overlap and getting up and down. But Down are the better footballers out there. They are kicking the ball in and Harrison and Dornan are both moving so well and causing havoc.

  • Can't understand why Jack McCarron isn't starting for Monaghan here. There's space to play ball out there, the sort of game he would thrive on. Monaghan complain year on year about relying too much on Conor McManus. Well they won't develop another matchwinner without giving him the confidence to be a leader.

    Instead he's looking on as Down actually kick it into their forwards, and Monaghan take pot shots from afar and rely on frees.

  • All to play for in the second half. Do Down have the legs to keep their high intensity game up in the open spaces of Croker? We'll soon see.

    Monaghan's fresh legs off the bench could be key, that's if Down continue to be wasteful and it remains close like this!

  • Down 1-9 Monaghan 1-9 (35') Second half underway! Monaghan kitman delays things by running into the middle of the pitch with gloves as a small bit of rain falls in Croker.

    Down win the throw in but the first attack comes to nothing

  • Down 1-9 Monaghan 1-10 (37') Conor McManus wins a free to the left of the posts. Where he won it from and where he takes it from are two different matters. But nonetheless, Monaghan go ahead with the first point of the second half

    Darragh O'Hanlon fails to respond with a free from a similar distance

  • Down 1-10 Monaghan 1-11 (39') Conor Maginn has been outstanding, as he was in the Ulster semi-final. He's waiting out wide for the out ball, settles himself and curls it over.  

    In response, Kieran Hughes bombs down the left wing and curls it over beautifully.

  • Down 1-11 Monaghan 1-12 (43') Mooney takes the tackle and pops to McKernan who drives over his second point from just inside the 45. Monaghan corner back Ryan Wylie then puts his team back in front with a great point squeezed in from the right corner

  • Down 1-11 Monaghan 1-13 (45') McCarron on the edge of the D leaves his man on his face with a hop dummy, before curling over a great score.

    Skills-wise, this match has been absolutely top notch so far!

  • Down 1-11 Monaghan 1-15 (46') With his first involvement Conor McCarthy fists over. Before McManus adds another. Monaghan bench making a big difference

  • Down 1-11 Monaghan 1-16 (49')  Jerome Johnston on for Stornan who had a fine game. Fresh legs needed though, as McCarthy floats over his second point for Monaghan

  • Down 1-12 Monaghan 1-16 (52')  Down's first point in nine minutes. Conor Maginn delivers again. Who else

  • Down 1-12 Monaghan 1-17 (54')  Brave stuff by Darren Hughes to go down on the ball and win his free. McManus converts so five between them now

  • Down 1-13 Monaghan 1-18 (57')  Long ball in won by Harrison. He lays off to Maginn but his goal effort is saved. Comes back out to Jerome Johnston who floats over a nice point from the right corner. Down the other end and Conor McCarthy gets his third point since coming in

  • Down 1-13 Monaghan 1-19 (60')  Brilliant turnover by Kieran Hughes, it's worked into McCarron who comes back in on his right and gets his second point

  • Down 1-14 Monaghan 1-20 (61')  Point effort drops down off the post. Harrison reacts and shoots on the turn but it blazes over. A goal there could've swung things.

    Owen DUffy adds another for Monaghan down the other end

  • First Mark Poland, and then Harrison, each ride about three tackles. Into the heart of the Monaghan defence, but the latter shoots wide at the end of it. Still six in it, five minutes of normal time left
  • Down 1-15 Monaghan 1-21 (67') Jerome Johnston floats over a free won by Mark Poland, before Conor McManus gets one back from the next attack

  • Mark Poland lobs in a free into the square, but it's fisted wide
  • Down 1-15 Monaghan 1-22 (71') Brilliant crossfield ball from McCarron. O'Connell drives on to it and puts Dessie Ward in on goal. He sidesteps the 'keeper. Slips, and the has his shot deflected out for a 45. Darren Hughes nails it  

  • Five minutes of additional time to be played. One minute gone already as Donal O'Hare taps over a consolation
  • Down 1-16 Monaghan 1-23 (73') Conor McCarthy has been electric since coming in. From the edge of the D he curls over another

  • FT Down 1-16 Monaghan 1-24  Conor McManus free wraps things up. Monaghan into the last eight. Second half they were at another level, McCarron and McCarthy both made big differences as they had too much legs for Down.  

    All round a really great game of football. Some brilliant scores!

  • Conor McManus: "Much happier with the second half. Couple of the boys would've been very disappointed not to be playing and they came in and showed their worth".
  • So that's that . . . Revenge for Monaghan. After a brilliant game of football. I'm switching over now to cover Armagh and Kildare. Report and analysis on this one to follow on the site.  

    FT Down 1-16 Monaghan 1-24

    Thanks for joining us.


  • Named teams

    KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Mick O'Grady, David Hyland, Ollie Lyons; Peter Kelly, Johnny Byrne, Keith Cribbin; Kevin Feely, Tommy Mooolick; Fergal Conway, Niall Kelly, David Slattery; Paddy Brophy, Daniel Flynn, Cathal McNally.

    ARMAGH: B Hughes; J Morgan, C Vernon, P Hughes; M Shields, B Donaghy, A Forker; S Sheridan, N Grimley; E Rafferty, A Duffy, R Grugan; J Clarke, A Murnin, G McParland