McManus introduction swings it for Farney
Monaghan 0-15 Tyrone 0-14
Tyrone's season threatens to go into a tailspin with this latest defeat, a hard-fought Ulster skirmish that carries plenty of undertones with the two set to meet in the summer's Ulster Championship.
The chief reason for the victory was the impact of Monaghan's bench, Conor McManus coming in to add three fine points and Owen Duffy and Karl O'Connell bringing plenty of endeavour and the outlet ball on numerous occasions.
Tyrone's problems have been talked about the length and breadth of the country this week in particular. Despite the addition of Stephen O'Neill in the backroom team, they only managed six points from play the entire afternoon, a final effort from Peter Harte that didn't have the necessary purchase summing up their evening.
Tyrone made 12 changes from the side that lost the Dr McKenna Cup final the previous Saturday night against Donegal, while Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke, a close neighbour in Ballygawley of Mickey Harte, made his customary few changes from the team named late on Friday night.
At times, they had all 15 men behind their own 45-metre line and for the first 28 minutes, it worked as Tyrone came up against a solid blue wall. In that time, the home side had got off to a flyer with Fintan Kelly - who learned his trade as a corner-back, notching the first three points by the sixth minute, a fourth arriving when Jack McCarron was felled and the free converted by Shane Carey.
Any thoughts that Mickey Harte might have been pressurised into adopting a total-football approach looked desperately misguided as, faced with a Farney defence that pushed hard on their own 45, they over-indulged in some lateral passing to the frustration of all in the ground.
When Peter Harte won a ball back off two Monaghan defenders and played Matthew Donnelly in, his rasping shot flew over off the crossbar. Over the next seven minutes they compiled a series of points that owed a lot to finally taking on their man, yielding two more pointed frees by Lee Brennan, a spectacular point from range by Michael McKernan, making his full league debut, and another from Harte, to leave Tyrone with a one-point lead at the break.
Monaghan's attack faded terribly after the opening salvo, managing just one point from play in the last 27 minutes of the first period. With three successive frees from the boot of Brennan, Tyrone raced into a two-point lead on 48 minutes.
However, they have serious issues to address in the long periods they can go without a score, as they only managed a Niall Sludden point from play over the next 20 minutes.
In that time, captain McManus came on to the adoring cheers of the home crowd and in his first involvement, lofted over a gorgeous free that he had won himself, followed it up with another close-in award, and thumped over one from play from 50 metres that edged them into a lead that they would not surrender.
Scorers - Monaghan: F Kelly, C McManus (2f), R Beggan (3f) 0-3 each; J McCarron (2f) 0-2; C Walshe, O Duffy, S Carey (f), D Ward 0-1 each. Tyrone: L Brennan 0-8 (8f); M McKernan, C Cavanagh, M Donnelly, N Sludden, P Harte, R Donnelly 0-1 each.
Monaghan: R Beggan; C Walshe, C Boyle, R Wylie; D Mone, D Wylie, V Corey; D Hughes, Kearns; S Carey, F Kelly, D Ward; J McCarron, T Kerr, C McCarthy. Subs: K O'Connell for Walshe (44), K Duffy for Walshe (47), C McManus for Kerr (48), K Hughes for McCarron (67), D Malone for McCarthy (70).
Tyrone: N Morgan; M McKernan, R McNamee, C McCarron; C Meyler, P Hampsey, K McGeary; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly; C McCann, N Sludden, P Harte; L Brennan, R Donnelly, C McAliskey. Subs: HP McGeary for McCarron (23), M Bradley for McAliskey (47), D Mulgrew for McCann (56), D Murray for Mulgrew (BC, 60), P McNulty for R Donnelly (70)
Referee: C Lane (Cork)
Sunday Indo Sport