Ulster Senior Football Championship
Monaghan 1-18 Tyrone 1-16
Tyrone’s hopes of a first ever three-in-a-row of Ulster titles ended at the first hurdle at Healy Park when Monaghan emerged deserving winners on the day.
Malachy O’Rourke’s side were worthy winners with Tyrone scoring their goal in the final attack of the game.
Monaghan led 1-7 to 0-8 at the end of a frantic opening half. Tyrone had led most of the way but in first half injury time the visitors struck for a well crafted goal.
There was only twenty five seconds gone on the clock when Fintan Kelly had the opening score for Monaghan but Tyrone were soon level through Cathal McShane. Connor McAliskey then put Tyrone in front before a splendid effort with the outside of his boot from Niall Sludden left the hosts 0-3 to 0-1 in front.
A Conor McManus free closed the gap but it was Tyrone who were looking the better side. Corner-back Padraig Hampsey landed a superb score and that was followed by a free from Lee Brennan for a 0-5 to 0-2 advantage by the 9th minute.
Tyrone then went twenty minutes without troubling the umpires as Monaghan lifted the tempo. Keeper Rory Beggan knocked over a free and after a brilliant Jack McCarron point from play another McManus score from a placed ball left it all square in the 22nd minute.
McAliskey and Brennan both converted frees to help restore Tyrone’s advantage going into the closing stages of the first half. Beggan then landed a monster free from fully 48m out before the goal arrived. Corey was involved in the move three times before taking a pass from Darren Hughes to fire past keeper Niall Morgan. Full back Drew Wylie then hit an inspirational point as Monaghan finished the half strongly.
Monaghan picked up were they left off on the restart with points from McCarron and Ryan McAnespie putting them four clear. McAliskey and Conor McCarthy exchanged points before the former weighed in with another brace. Peter Harte and Sludden narrowed the gap but Monaghan keeper Beggan kept the scoreboard ticking over for his side.
Dessie Mone then hit a spectacular point but Tyrone rallied to get back level with scores from Michael McKernan and McAliskey (2). A superb free from the left wing from McManus in the 32nd minute gave the winners a lead that they were never to lose.
Substitute Colin Walshe then weighed in with a brilliant point before two superb McManus scores pushed the visitors further in front. It wasn’t Tyrone’s day and that was summed up when Peter Harte was straight red carded three minutes into injury time.
In the final attack a Frank Burns ’45 was finished to the net by McKernan but Monaghan held on to take a deserved win.
Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McManus 0-6 (4F), Rory Beggan 0-4 (2F, 2 “45s”), Vinny Corey 1-0, Jack McCarron 0-2 (1F), Fintan Kelly 0-1, Drew Wylie 0-1, Colin Walshe 0-1, Conor McCarthy 0-1, Dessie Mone 0-1, Ryan McAnespie 0-1.
Scorers for Tyrone: Connor McAliskey 0-6 (3F), Michael McKernan 1-1, Lee Brennan 0-3 (3F), Niall Sludden 0-2, Padraig Hampsey 0-1, Mattie Donnelly 0-1, Cathal McShane 0-1, Peter Harte 0-1.
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Dessie Mone, Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie; Kieran Duffy, Vinny Corey, Karl O’Connell; Niall Kearns, Darren Hughes; Fintan Kelly, Jack McCarron, Dessie Ward; Ryan McAnespie, Kieran Hughes, Conor McManus. Subs: Conor McCarthy for Ward (41), Owen Duffy for McCarron (61), Colin Walshe for Mone (64).
TYRONE: Niall Morgan, Padraig Hampsey, Ronan McNamee, Cathal McCarron, Tiernan McCann, Frank Burns, Peter Harte, Colm Cavanagh, Mattie Donnelly, Cathal McShane, Niall Sludden, Conor Meyler, Lee Brennan, Connor McAliskey, Mark Bradley. Subs: Ronan O’Neill for Bradley (19), Declan McClure for Cavanagh (HT), Michael McKernan for McCarron (40), Hugh Pat McGeary for McCann (52), Kieran McGeary for Brennan (56), Conall McCann for O’Neill (61)
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)