In the curtain-raiser to the senior clash between the same counties at Clones this evening, Monaghan opened their Ulster MFC campaign with a comfortable 1-17 to 2-7 victory over Fermanagh.
The Farney set up a quarter-final meeting with Cavan after dominating this preliminary round tie for the most part. Fermanagh led by 0-3 to 0-1 early on through points from Paul Breen, Seamus Moane and Lorcan McStravick, but the hosts fought back to regain parity before Robbie McAllister's 15th minute goal gave them a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Three Andrew Woods frees, coupled with Sean Burns and Aaron Mohan efforts, gave Monaghan a six-point buffer, 1-8 to 0-5, at the interval.
Further scores from Burns, Mohan and Dean Connolly extended the winners' lead on the restart before a Callum Jones goal in the 41st minute offered Fermanagh hope. Burns and Conor Doyle replied with Monaghan points before Fearghal McGovern raised the Erne County's second green flag to leave six points between the sides, 2-5 to 1-14, with nine minutes remaining.
But the home side couldn't be caught as late Mohan and Burns points wrapped up the win.
Monaghan - K Murphy; J Walsh, R Mohan, K McKenna; J Gormley, K McMenamin, C McKenna; D Connolly (0-1), A Woods (0-4, 2f); D Hanley, R McAlister (1-1), T Duffy; A Mohan (0-3), S Burns (0-5, 2f), D Geoghegan (0-1). Subs: C McNulty for T Duffy, C Doyle (0-2) for A Woods, H McGinn for D Hanley, F O'Callaghan for C McKenna, O Gleeson for D Geoghegan, M Ward for J Gormley.
Fermanagh - C McGovern; P Doherty, U Kelm, L Flanagan; K Smyth, J Cassidy, S Moane (0-1); E Beacom, D McGurn; J Love, J Reihill, S Cassidy; C McNally, P Breen (0-1), P McStravick (0-5, 3f). Subs: S Mahon for E Beacom, F McGovern (1-0) for J Reihill, C Jones (1-0) for S Cassidy, P McKervey for K Smyth, A McKenna for S Moane.
Referee - P McKeever.