Johnny Heaney’s 60th-minute goal set Galway on their way to victory in a drab affair in Inniskeen.
A mix-up between Monaghan defenders as they attempted to snuff out a Shane Walsh free allowed Antoine Ó Laoi to find Danny Cummins who laid on the ball for Heaney to find the net and push Galway five points clear.
They didn’t score for the remaining 15 minutes of play but then they didn’t have to as Monaghan came up just short and never looked like troubling the Galway net.
Rory Beggan kicked two placed balls, Conor McManus sent over a free and Darren Hughes fisted a point but they were out of ideas against a reinforced Galway rearguard.
A forgettable first half finished 0-5 to 0-4 in Monaghan’s favour, the low scoreline the result of some woeful shot-taking and the entrenched tactics of Galway playing with the wind.
Galway accumulated seven wides by the break to Monaghan’s four but it was the home team who were playing the more expansive football.
The first score from play didn’t come until the 20th minute. As it turned out, it was Galway’s first of the game, Monaghan having already sent over three frees.
Pádraig Cunningham had been unlucky not to win a free in the 13th minute as he honed in on Beggan’s goal but then
Ruairí Lavelle did well to deny Dessie Ward a goalbound shot four minutes later.
After a sluggish start, Walsh came alive towards the end of the half, helping himself to a point either side of a goal attempt snuffed out by Beggan after a searing Kieran Duggan run.
Walsh’s cleverness also found David Wynne for a later goal chance but Wynne blazed the ball wide.
After Darren Hughes availed of space to send over a point, Walsh finished out the half’s scoring with a free when Colin Walshe touched the ball on the ground.
Scorers for Monaghan: C. McManus (0-4, 3 frees); J. McCarron (frees), D. Hughes, R. Beggan (1 free, 1 45) (0-2 each); V. Corey (0-1).
Scorers for Galway: S. Walsh (0-5, 3 frees); J. Heaney (1-0); J. Duane, A Ó Laoí, P. Cunningham, M. Daly (0-1 each).
MONAGHAN: R. Beggan; K. Duffy, D. Wylie, R. Wylie; V. Corey, B. Kerr, C. Walshe (c); D. Hughes, F. Kelly; R. McAnespie, J. McCarron, S. Carey; D. Malone, D. Ward, C. McManus.
Subs for Monaghan: N. McAdam for F. Kelly (inj 8); C. McCarthy for J. McCarron (46); D. Mone for N. McAdam (53); O. Duffy for R. McAnespie (57); D. Garland for K. Duffy (inj 62);
GALWAY: R. Lavelle; E. Kerin, S. Kelly, D. Wynne; G. O’Donnell, G. Bradshaw, J. Daly; T. Flynn, K. Duggan; J. Heaney, J. Duane, P. Cooke; S. Walsh, P. Cunningham, A. Ó Laoi.
Subs for Galway: D. Cummins for P. Cunningham (56); M. Daly for P. Cooke (57); B. McHugh for J. Duane (60); C. D’Arcy for A. Ó Laoí (70+4).
Referee: C. Reilly (Meath).
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