Scotstown are celebrating a fourth Monaghan SFC success in-a-row this evening.
Kieran Donnelly’s charges edged out Ballybay on a scoreline of 1-13 to 0-13 in Clones today.
Conor McCarthy netted the game’s only goal in the 37th minute and the proved to be the different between the teams at the final whistle.
The holders had the wind at their backs in the opening period and Francis Maguire opened the scoring inside the opening minute.
By the halfway stage, they were 0-8 to 0-4 to the good.
County star McCarthy finished his goal chance with aplomb seven minutes after the restart to give his team a six-point cushion – 1-9 to 0-6.
At the three quarter-hour mark, the team in blue and white were 1-11 to 0-8 ahead.
As you would expect from a team chasing a first success since 2012, Ballybay fought to the end but they were unable to break down a resolute Scotstown defence.
Their woes were compounded when Drew Wylie received his marching orders deep into stoppage time and it's Scotstown who will go forward to face Derrygonnelly Harps of Fermanagh in the Ulster SFC in two weeks' time.
Scotstown - R Beggan (0-2f); P Sherlock, R O'Toole, D McArdle; J McDevitt, D Morgan (0-1), E Caulfield; F Caulfield, K Hughes (0-1); F Maguire (0-2), C McCarthy (1-3, 0-2f), J McCarey (0-1); S Carey (0-3, 1f), D Hughes, O Heaphey. Subs: R McKenna for F Caulfield, F McPhilips for E Caulfield, M McCarville for F Maguire, B Boylan for P Sherlock, K McMeel for D Morgan.
Ballybay - B McCabe; E McKearney, R Wylie, B Wylie (0-1); M McArdle (0-1), D Wylie, C Lennon; C Galligan, T Kerr (0-1); D Ward (0-4), S McGuinness (0-2), T O'Neill; P Finlay (0-3, 2f), C McGuinness, A Toner (0-1). Subs: M Hannon for C Galligan, S McQuillan for T O'Neill, A Dixon for M McArdle.
Referee - A Marron.