When Donegal and Monaghan meet there’s always very little between the two and today was no exception.
Conor McManus struck an injury-time penalty to salvage a point for Monaghan against Donegal in Ballyshannon this afternoon.
Rory Gallaghers men dominated large portions of the second-half after having trailed by one at half-time, but couldn’t increase their lead beyond three points as McManus landed the Farney men a share of the spoils late on.
It leaves both these rivalled side level on eight points heading into the final round of games next weekend in the race for a Division 1 final berth.
McCarron’s early brace of points looked to have the visitors off to an ideal start in but they’d end up shipping a Micheál Carron four minutes in after Ryan McHugh and Eoghan Ban Gallagher had combined to supply the opportunity.
It was worrying signs for Malachy O’Rourke and things got worse when defender Ryan McAnespie was stretchered off and a black card for their number 10 Dessie Ward would follow just before half-time.
Murphy landed two frees to outweigh McCarron’s third as Donegal moved two in front after the opening quarter mark but their opponents responded well.
Kieran Hughes and a McCarron free squared things within five minutes and the Monaghan edged the battle over the ensuing 15 minutes, with points from debutant Micheál Bannigan, McCarron and Owen Duffy sending them in at the break ahead by 0-9 to 1-5.
Donegal would have the wind at their backs for the second-half, points from Murphy and Ciaran Thompson within a minute of the restart gave Donegal back the initiative.
Murphy continued a fine display by doubling the Tir Chonaill men’s advantage on 38 minute and when sub Paddy McBrearty landed another they looked like cruising towards a fourth win in the division.
The Farney men had other ideas however, despite losing Duffy to a black card soon afterwards, as sub Shane McCarey and a McMcManus free trimmed the difference down to one with 12 minutes to go.
McBrearty struck the response for Donegal and when Murphy landed his seventh of the afternoon they were three up with four minutes remaining in regulation.
Monaghan couldn’t get a response those minutes but did so in injury-time after Martin McElhinney pushed Darren Hughes in the square, leaving referee David Gough with no alternative and McManus did what he does best and scored to leave the game 1-11 a piece.
After the game Malachy O’Rourke and Darren Hughes spoke to Alan Gunn