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McEnaney relishes rare victory over off-colour Red Hands

Monaghan 1-12 Tyrone 0-11

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Monaghan’s Conor Boyle in action against Conor Meyler of Tyrone. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Monaghan’s Conor Boyle in action against Conor Meyler of Tyrone. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

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Monaghan’s Conor Boyle in action against Conor Meyler of Tyrone. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Leaving Castleblayney, the joke was that if Cathal McShane was on the fence about staying with Tyrone or heading for the Australian FL then his county's performance would have made up his mind for him and he'd surely head Down Under.

The record books will show a four-point win for Monaghan but even Tyrone boss Mickey Harte wasn't hiding from the fact that they were lucky to be so close.

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Farney boss Seamus McEnaney. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Farney boss Seamus McEnaney. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

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Monaghan should have been more than a point up at the break and controlled the game to such an extent that they were well worth the seven-point advantage they held at one stage in the second half.

Flattering

"It's a flattering scoreline for us because we were probably beaten by much more than that," Harte agreed afterwards.

"Even in the last 10 or 12 minutes when we were really well down we got back a number of points to take the bad look off the score and probably could have got more during that time.

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Kieran McGeary of Tyrone in action against CHristopher McGuinness and Conor McCarthy of Monaghan. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Kieran McGeary of Tyrone in action against CHristopher McGuinness and Conor McCarthy of Monaghan. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

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"But it would have been a false result really. We were well beaten on the day."

Karl O'Connell's goal on 45 minutes sent Monaghan on their way. The excellent Conor Boyle charged through the heart of the Tyrone defence and his handpass set O'Connell clear.

He momentarily lost control of possession but he retained sufficient composure to roll the ball under 'keeper Niall Morgan and into the Tyrone net.

In another boost for the home side, Darren Hughes, who had been black-carded just before half-time, returned to play immediately after the goal.

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Conor Boyle of Monaghan in action against Tiernan McCann, Rory Brennan and Conor Meyler of Tyrone. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Conor Boyle of Monaghan in action against Tiernan McCann, Rory Brennan and Conor Meyler of Tyrone. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

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And from there, Monaghan never looked back. Conor McManus had one of his quieter days but Conor McCarthy was excellent, steering over four points as Monaghan rammed home their superiority in almost every area of the pitch to give Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney only his second win over Tyrone in his career.

"It's my second, only my second may I add," a smiling McEnaney said afterwards.

"An oul' National League game in 2010 in Inniskeen, I could nearly tell you the date and time! I was on the end of it the other way lads."

It was a welcome boost for Monaghan after their near miss against Galway last week.

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Dermot Malone of Monaghan in action against Kieran McGeary of Tyrone. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Dermot Malone of Monaghan in action against Kieran McGeary of Tyrone. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

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"Tyrone, as we have known down through the years, they are tricky opposition to play against.

"You need to be in control of what you are doing and our lads were doing that and were quite happy with that.

"We went in at half-time reasonably happy, the point before half-time could have been avoided but other than that, I think the goal was a crucial score in the game.

"Karl O'Connell was exceptionally good and you have to give great credit to the home-town player here today - Dermot Malone - who was outstanding for us.

"I am delighted for him because sometimes he thinks he doesn't last games but you could play him all day, he is a fantastic young fella."

It wasn't a particularly hot-tempered game but referee David Gough flashed 15 cards (nine yellows, three reds and three blacks).

All three dismissals came deep in injury-time with Kieran Hughes and Mark Bradley picking up straight red cards for their part in a mini scuffle. Monaghan defender Kieran Duffy also picked up his second yellow in the same incident to see the home side finish with 13 men.

At that point it didn't matter. Monaghan had got the job done and they head for Croke Park to take on All-Ireland champions Dublin, while Tyrone welcome Kerry to Omagh with no relief on the cards in terms of their unavailable players.

Paudie Hampsey and Richie Donnelly are expected to miss out. Mattie Donnelly won't see any league action.

There's also a doubt over Ronan McNamee who was forced off yesterday with a head injury, while there's no 'white smoke' on McShane's future intentions.

"We have played two games, we've won one and we've lost one. We didn't play to our best any of the two days, but I think that you have to take each season as it comes, and you have to take the personnel at your disposal any time it comes," said Tyrone boss Harte.

"It's not just about Cathal McShane, we'd love to have him of course, and he's gone. But sure Mattie Donnelly is injured at the minute, Paudie Hampsey is injured at the minute, who were very strong first-team players

"Petie's (Peter Harte) just back there this week from being away six or seven weeks, so obviously he wouldn't be fit for a whole game.

"So there's a lot of people, key players, that aren't in the position we would like them to be at the minute," added Harte.

"Richie Donnelly is still injured, there's a number of people who were starters in the game last year.

"Mark Bradley was only back there after being out for a year, so there's lots of things happening that don't make us in a position to be at our very best.

"But we have to be the best that we can be right now, and last week it was good enough and today it wasn't."

And as for McShane?

"I always said I wouldn't give up hope until I was sure that he had signed an alternative arrangement," Harte said. "I'm not sure that that has happened right yet, but I know that it's on the agenda."

SCORERS - Monaghan: C McCarthy 0-4; K O'Connell 1-0; C McManus 0-2 (1f, 1m); J McCarron (1f), K Hughes, C Boyle, D Ward, N Kearns, K Hughes 0-1 each. Tyrone: D McCurry 0-3 (3f); F Burns 0-2; K McGeary, N Sludden, K Coney, N Kelly, N Morgan (1 '45'), D Mulgrew 0-1 each.

Monaghan - R Beggan 7; K Duffy 6, C Boyle 8, R Wylie 7; K O'Connell 8, D Ward 7, M Bannigan 6; D Hughes 6, N Kearns 8; R McAnespie 6, C McCarthy 8, D Malone 7; J McCarron 6, K Hughes 6, C McManus 6. Subs: D Wylie for D Hughes (Blood, 13-16), A Mulligan 7 for McCarron (49), C McGuinness 6 for Bannigan (57), S Carey for McManus (70), D Wylie for McCarthy (70+4), P Keenan for O'Connell (70+5).

Tyrone - N Morgan 6; HP McGeary 6, R McNamee 6, L Rafferty 7; P Harte 6, R Brennan 6, C Meyler 7; C Cavanagh 6, K Coney 6; K McGeary 6, N Sludden 6, D McCurry 6; M Bradley 5, F Burns 7, R O'Neill 5. Subs: C Kilpatrick 6 for O'Neill (h-t), N Kelly 7 for McNamee (Blood, 41), D Mulgrew 6 for Cavanagh (54), T McCann 6 for Harte (54), M Cassidy 5 for Coney (60), B McDonnell for Burns (66).

Ref - D Gough (Meath)

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