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relegated Disaster for Dublin as defeat to Monaghan sends Dessie Farrell's men down

Monaghan 3-13 Dublin 1-18

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Monaghan manager Séamus McEnaney celebrates after the win over Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Monaghan manager Séamus McEnaney celebrates after the win over Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Monaghan manager Séamus McEnaney celebrates after the win over Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

For the second successive year, Jack McCarron held his nerve superbly to land a winning kick to keep Monaghan in Allianz Division One, this time at Dublin's expense.

In a dramatic finale in Clones, McCarron stepped up deep into injury time to land a free from 40 metres after substitute Andrew Woods had been fouled to condemn Dublin to Division 2.

Amazingly, it was from almost the exact same spot a year earlier that McCarron had delivered the coup de grace against Galway in extra-time to preserve Division One status then.

But this time the stakes were maybe even higher with Dublin breathing down their necks after closing what was a seven-point gap at one stage.

Monaghan had options for the kick, Conor McManus was just on the field as a late substitute while it was also Rory Beggan's range.

But McCarron was in such a hot streak of form all day that he was the obvious choice, having torn the Dublin defence asunder with his accuracy and evasiveness.

Dublin's drop, allied to Kildare who lost to Mayo, means that there will be no Leinster team in Division One, something that has not happened in the modern era.

For Monaghan, 2023 will be a ninth successive year in Division One with only Kerry having a longer top-flight residency.

Monaghan almost blew it, however, when they conceded a late penalty, which Dean Rock converted to level after a foul on substitute Lorcan O'Dell.

At one stage the home side were seven points clear after a McCarron penalty on 39 minutes awarded for a foul on Gary Mohan, whose size and energy was a thorn in Dublin's side all day.

That made it 2-9 to 0-8 but Dublin kept the pressure on, helped by Ryan Wylie being sent off for two yellow cards within a minute on 51 minutes.

But Monaghan struck for a third goal just two minutes later when their magnificent wing-back Ryan McAnepsie put a ball into McCarron to contest with Mick Fitzsimons. McCarron read the break better and cheekily chipped the advancing Michael Shiel to restore a six-point lead.

But led by Ciaran Kilkenny and Brian Howard, Dublin didn't relent and got themselves to within three points by the end of normal time.

By then James McCarthy had picked up a second yellow, reducing Dublin to 14 and when Colin Walshe lost possession, Dublin countered quickly to set up the penalty.

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But Monaghan have been in these situations so often before and engineered one last opportunity from which McCarron again obliged.

Scorers - Monaghan: J McCarron 2-6 (1-0 pen, 0-3fs) S Jones 1-0, K Hughes 0-2, S Carey (f), G Mohan (f), C McCarthy, D Hughes, C Boyle all 0-1 each

Dublin: D Rock 1-9 (1-0 pen, 0-8fs) C Costello 0-4 (1m), S Bugler (m), L Gannon 0-2 each, B Howard 0-1.

Dublin: M Shiel; M Fitzsimons, D Byrne, J Cooper; E Murchan, J McCarthy, R McDaid; B Fenton, T Lahiff; B Howard, S Bugler, N Scully; C Costello, C Kilkenny, D Rocks. Subs: L Gannon for Lahiff (22), C Murphy for McDaid inj (30), B O'Leary for Scully (57), L O'Dell for Costello (64), A Wright for O'Leary inj (69)

Monaghan: R Beggan; D Wylie, C Boyle, R Wylie; C McCarthy, D Ward, R McAnespie; N Kearns, K Hughes; F Kelly, D Hughes, S Carey; J McCarron, G Mohan, S Jones. Subs: A Woods for Jones (h-t), C Walshe for Carey (h-t), K O'Cnnell for Kelly (45), K Lavelle for D Hughes (64), K Duffy for K Hughes ((60), C McManus for Walshe ((73).

Referee: N Mooney (Cavan)

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