Monaghan 1-13 Fermanagh 0-15 Fermanagh lost out by the minimum in Clones today as they suffered defeat in their opening McKenna Cup game to Monaghan.
Despite Tomas Corrigan's nine point haul from frees for Fermanagh it was Monaghan who prevailed with David McAllister's early goal proving decisive for the home team.
Monaghan got off to a flying start as they hit the net through McAllister in the opening minutes. Aidan Breen's attempt at a score for Fermanagh fell short and the Farney moved the ball up the other end of the pitch for McAllister who fired to the top corner.
The sides went on to trade scores over the next period in an open contest with Tomas Corrigan showing unerring accuracy from placed balls. The Fermanagh attacker opened his side's account and rattled over five frees in all in the first half.
By the 20th minute McAllister's goal still divided the sides with the score 1-05 to 0-05. Corrigan clipped over another two frees while Eddie Courtney and Paul McCusker also landed points for McGrath's outfit while the Monaghan scores came from Michael Bannigan (3), Darren Hughes and Thomas Kerr.
Fermanagh enjoyed a good spell after this and two frees from Corrigan and a point from play from Declan McCusker levelled up matters, 1-05 to 0-08.
However, the home side finished the first half stronger as they registered the next three points from Owen Coyle, Kerr and a Kieran Hughes free to leave it 1-08 to 0-08 at the break.
Fermanagh accounted for the first two scores of the second half through Corrigan frees but they missed a couple of chances after this including a Tommy McCaffrey goal opportunity and Monaghan edged two in front as Darren Hughes banged over a point from distance to make it 1-09 to 0-10.
The sides swapped points with Corrigan converting his eighth free but two points from Kerr pushed a more clinical Monaghan outfit back into a three point advantage.
A Kieran Hughes point then stretched the lead to four but Fermanagh responded to this and with substitutes Ciaran Corrigan and Daniel Teague adding scores to a Tomas Corrigan free it left the minimum separating the sides with seven minutes to go.
Monaghan were reduced to 14 men late on when Kieran Hughes picked up a second yellow card but Fermanagh were unable to find an equalising score and Fintan Kelly knocked over for the Farneymen to put two in it.
Eoin Donnelly did reply for Fermanagh to again cut the gap to one but it was not enough as Malachy O'Rourke's side held on for the win.