For 34 minutes in Omagh, Tyrone and Monaghan produced football reminiscent of their classic championship encounter last summer. Then it all went horribly flat, though the home side won't complain as they romped to their first league win of the season.
Dessie Ward's black card for a foul on Ronan McNamee just before the break totally changed the mood music of the evening.
Until then the attendance of 5,896 had enjoyed a wonderful match, though both sides pulled 13 players behind the ball when not in possession. But the speed at which the ball was transitioned, mostly via foot passes, meant that both defences was under pressure.
Peter Harte's fourth-minute goal saw the home side lead 1-1 to 0-0, but then Conor McManus set about single-handedly ransacking the Tyrone defence, hitting four points on the spin to level the tie (0-5 to 1-2) after 15 minutes. Tyrone were back leading by three points when Ward was black-carded. During the remaining four minutes - three minutes of injury time were added - Tyrone played keep-ball in the middle third of the field, which totally diluted the momentum.
"They had 14 men all practically inside their 45 behind the ball. There wasn't many places to go to carve out a score and if we had gone in there with the ball we would have been eaten up," said Tyrone boss Mickey Harte.
There was more gamesmanship at the start of the second half as Monaghan, conscious that Ward was still in the sin-bin, appeared to play down the clock with lengthy stoppages as Kieran Duffy and Jack McCarron - who had to go off soon afterwards - were treated for knocks on the field.
"It's something for the administrators to decide because the evidence is there that you could run down the clock for a ten-minute spell without having played a lot of football," said Harte. Ultimately it didn't matter an iota as Tyrone's counter-attacking game blitzed the visitors, who conceded eight points in a row to fall 11 behind before Ryan McAnespie scored their first point of the second half in the 62nd minute.
Monaghan boss Malachy O'Rourke said: "Tyrone got away from us. We are missing a number of key players and it was just a struggle in the second half and I'm disappointed with the second-half performance. We just have to draw a line under it and move on.
"It just didn't happen for us in the second half. Against a team like Tyrone, if you give the ball away they will punish you. This result puts us in a difficult position."
With two of the remaining games away to Kerry and Mayo, Monaghan face an uphill battle to stay up.
Highlight of the night was an audacious chip from Peter Harte over Rory Beggan, which clipped the upright before rolling wide.
Scorers - Tyrone: P Harte 1-6 (3f, 1m), C McShane 0-3 (2f), N Morgan 0-2 (2f), B McDonnell, D McClure, N Sludden, K McGeary, C Meyler 0-1 each. Monaghan: C McManus 0-7 (3m), R McAnespie, J Carron (1f) 0-2 each, D Malone 0-1.
Tyrone - N Morgan 8; M McKernan 6, P Hampsey 5, R McNamee 7; T McCann 7, L Raftery 6; B McDonnell 7; B Kennedy 7, R Donnelly 7; M Donnelly 8, P Harte 9, N Sludden 7; K McGeary 7, C McShane 8, F Burns 7. Subs: C Meyler 7 (Raftery ht); D McClure 6 (Kennedy 60), C McAliskey 6 (R Donnelly 66); H Loughran (Sludden 67).
Monaghan - R Beggan 7; K Duffy 6, D Wylie 7, R Wylie 6; D Mone 7, B Kerr 5, R McAnespie 7; G Doogan, 6 D Hughes 6; S Carey 6, D Malone 7, D Ward 6; J McCarron 7, C McManus 9, S O'Hanlon 8. Subs: K O'Connell 6 (Kerr 43); C McCarthy 6 (McCarron 43); V Corey 5 (Carey 54); O Duffy 5 (Malone 60); M Brannigan (Ward 66).
Ref - Ciaran Branagan (Down).
Subscribe to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's weekly Championship podcast, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every Monday, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé, Brendan Cummins and John Mullane.