All-Ireland champions suffer shock defeat to Monaghan

GAABy Sean McGoldrick
Kerry's Barry John Keane in action against Monaghan's Ryan Wylie
Kerry's Barry John Keane in action against Monaghan's Ryan Wylie

All-Ireland champions Kerry have suffered shock defeat to Monaghan which leaves the threat of relegation hanging over them.

The win guarantees Monaghan Division 1 football next season and puts them in pole position for a place in the last four of the competition less than a year after they won the Division 2 title.

Kerry could end up in the League semi-final or be relegated - depending on how they fare in Omagh.

Essentially, however, they need to draw against Tyrone next Sunday to secure Division 1 football for 2016.

But Mickey's Harte are in desperate need of the points as well after suffering a comprehensive defeat to Donegal in Ballybofey in a dress rehearsal for their preliminary round clash in the Ulster championship in May.

Unless Tyrone beat Kerry in Omagh next Sunday they will be relegated.

Dublin remain in second place in the table on seven points and probably need a drew against Monaghan to be certain of a place in the four four.

In Tralee Kerry- aided by the wind and rain - raced into an early lead. It took Monaghan 21 minutes to register their first score and the home side led by three points at the break.

But points from Conor McManus (free), Dermot Malone and Owen Duffy had the sides level 0-7 each early in the third quarter.

A 44th minute goal from Duffy gave Monaghan 1-7 to 0-8 and the visitors took over with points from Finlay and two from McManus to stretch their lead to five.

Barry John Keane had a goal chance for Kerry near the end but Monaghan held out comfortable for a famous win.

Mickey Harte's Tyrone proved no match for Donegal in Ballybofey in a game which, against the odds, produced twenty scores.

The decisive one came before half time when Ryan McHugh goaled for the home side.

Despite losing team captain Michael Murphy with a black card - which rules him out of next Sunday's final round match against Mayo - Donegal won comfortably.

They are now level on six league points with Mayo and Kerry so Rory Gallagher's side are not safe from relegation but could end up in the semi-final.

Cork have no such worries, however. They have secured their semi-final place. Despite been outplayed for long period a late fisted goal from Brian Hurley gave them a flattering two point win over Mayo.

Next Sunday's crucial final round fixtures in Division 1 are: Derry v Cork; Mayo v Donegal; Monaghan v Dublin & Tyrone v Kerry (First named team has home venue)

After a series of surprise results in Division 2 the shocks continued today with Galway overpowering high flying Roscommon with a powerful second half performance which means that no team is yet promoted or relegated.

Everything now depends on next Sunday's results. The fixtures are: Down v Laois; Galway v Kildare; Meath v Cavan; Westmeath v Roscommon. (First named team has home advantage)

Armagh secured promotion from Division 3 last night and they will be joined in Division 2 next season by Pete McGrath's Fermanagh who maintained their unbeaten record when they beat Wexford who now looked doomed to relegation.

However, Limerick gave themselves lifeline by beating neighbours Clare so the relegation issue won't be resolved until next Sunday.

Five counties, Sligo, Clare, Louth, Limerick and Wexford bidding to avoid the drop. Next weekend's fixtures are: Clare v Fermanagh; Louth v Limerick, Sligo v Armagh; Tipperary v Wexford.

Longford secured promotion to Division 3 when they beat fellow contenders Offaly in the top of the table clash at Pearse Park.

There will be straight shoot in O'Connor Park next Sunday between Offaly and Antrim to decide who gets the other promotion place. London picked up their first points of the campaign when they hit five goals and drew with Waterford.

Allianz FL Division 1
Cork 2-7 Mayo 0-12
Donegal 1-13 Tyrone 0-6
Kerry 0-10 Monaghan 1-11

Allianz FL Division 2
Roscommon 1-10 Galway 1-14

Allianz FL Division 3
Wexford 0-7 Fermanagh 1-12
Limerick 2-10 Clare 1-5,
Tipperary 0-15 Sligo 0-13

Allianz FL Division 4
London 5-6 Waterford 2-15
Antrim 1-10 Wicklow 0-12
Longford 0-13 Offaly 0-10
Carlow 0-6 Leitrim 1-12

(First named team had home venue)