Tyrone dumped into qualifiers as Conor McManus kicks Monaghan to deserved win in Omagh
Tyrone 1-16 Monaghan 1-18
Tyrone’s quest to secure three Ulster titles on the bounce for the first time in their history fell at the first hurdle after Monaghan produced a strong final ten minutes to take a deserved win in front of 15,029 in Omagh’s Healy Park.
The sides looked set for a grandstand finish when a Conor McAliskey free tied the teams up on 65 minutes as part of an exciting afternoon’s football.
However, Monaghan took complete control from there and hit five points on the bounce, including two brilliant efforts from Conor McManus, to secure a semi-final clash with Fermanagh.
Tyrone, who had Peter Harte sent off on a straight red card late in the day, grabbed an injury goal after Michael McKernan scrambled the ball to the net but it was to no avail as the Farney men marched on.
The first half went along expected lines in so far as there was little to chose between the teams. Tyrone, who were playing with the benefit of the wind in the first half, settled quickly and when Lee Brennan tapped over his first point from a free, they led by 0-5 to 0-2 after just ten minutes.
But Monaghan are as streetwise as they come and were never going to panic. Rory Beggan’s kicking from both placed balls and restarts was excellent and he contributed two excellent first half frees (0-4 in total).
And by the time Conor McManus opened his account, the sides were level at 0-5 each on 23 minutes.
Tyrone, who lost Mark Bradley to injury early on, looked set to go in leading at the break when Mattie Donnelly landed a fine point from a tight angle but in the second minute of the four scheduled for injury time.
However, Monaghan would deliver the big moment of the half and it was veteran Vinny Corey who was central. He swapped passes with McManus and then found Darren Hughes. Corey continued his run beyond the Tyrone cover and Hughes found him again and he finished well from close range to edge his side a point in front.
And there was time for another point as Drew Wylie landed a fine score to take a 1-7 to 0-8 lead in at the interval.
The sides would continue to trade blows on the restart, including a point from an almost impossible angle from Dessie Mone. But Mickey Harte’s men could never get their noses in front and Monaghan powered home in the final few minutes.
SCORERS - Monaghan: C McManus 0-6 (4f), V Corey 1-0, R Beggan 0-4 (2f, 2 ’45), J McCarron (1f) 0-2, C McCarthy, D Mone, R McAnespie, F Kelly, D Wylie, C Walshe 0-1 each.
Tyrone: C McAliskey 0-6 (3f), M McKernan 1-1, L Brennan 0-3 (3f), N Sludden 0-2, C McShane, M Donnelly, P Harte, P Hampsey 0-1 each.
Monaghan: R Beggan; D Mone, D Wylie, R Wylie; K Duffy, V Corey, K O’Connell; N Kearns, D Hughes; F Kelly, J McCarron, D Ward; R McAnespie, K Hughes, C McManus SUBS: C McCarthy for Ward (41), O Duffy for McCarron (60), C Walshe for Mone (64).
Tyrone: N Morgan; P Hampsey, R McNamee, C McCarron; T McCann, F Burns, P Harte; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly; C McShane, N Sludden, C Meyler, L Brennan, C McAliskey, M Bradley SUBS: R O’Neill for Bradley (19), D McClure for Cavanagh (HT), M McKernan for McCarron (40), HP McGeary for McCann (53), K McGeary for Brennan (55), C McCann for O’Neill (61).
Referee: D Coldrick (Meath).