Farney leave Lilies for dead after flare-up
MOST of the focus on the game at Clones between Monaghan and Kildare has been on the mass scuffle before half-time, but the home side did manage to open their win account thanks to a 0-17 to 0-12 success.
A bust-up which erupted just before the break didn't look all that serious initially, but the numbers involved grew rapidly with the majority of players caught up in the unseemly squabble as they left the pitch.
There were ugly scenes as players and team officials got involved with pushing and shoving and punches were thrown, with the row continuing into the tunnel.
Referee Joe McQuillan consulted with his umpires before brandishing a red card to Kildare defender Brian Flanagan ahead of the start of the second half, while his team-mate Pádraig O'Neill and Monaghan duo Dick Clerkin and Dessie Mone both received yellows.
It left Kildare, who were three points behind (0-9 to 0-6), facing a massive problem in the second half, one which they rarely looked like solving as Monaghan were by far the more enterprising side throughout.
When play resumed in the second half, Monaghan remained in the ascendancy. Benefiting from a consistent supply of ball, their forwards kicked some excellent points from distance. Captain Darren Hughes and Paul Finlay, who soon took his tally to 0-7, contributed greatly.
Kildare were unable to find the goal they so desperately needed and ended taking the wrong options.
Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick praised his men for the manner in which they recovered from a nightmare start to snatch a 1-8 to 0-11 draw at Pearse Park against Galway.
In fact, Galway were lucky to get a draw in the end. "People may say we lost two points here, but I am very happy with a draw," Fitzpatrick said.
The home side collapsed after an opening quarter in which they blew Louth away and led by 1-5 to 0-2.
Tyrone maintained their unbeaten run this year by soundly beating rivals Derry 2-15 to 0-9 at Healy Park.
Derry were overrun as a goal by the superb Michael Murphy helped Tyrone establish a 1-7 to 0-3 lead by half-time.
Peter Harte gave Derry 'keeper Paul Morgan no chance with a well-taken penalty in the second period.
Matthew Donnelly, Owen Mulligan and Kyle Coney all registered scores in a one-sided second half.