MONAGHAN 0-13 TYRONE 2-15
TYRONE claimed their first away victory of the campaign but more importantly took another significant step towards survival with a comfortable victory over 13- man Monaghan at a bitterly cold Clones on Sunday
First-half goals from Errigal Ciaran duo Peter Harte and Cormac Quinn laid the platform for a surprisingly comfortable victory against a Monaghan side that mustered only a single point from play across the 70 plus minutes.
Tyrone didn’t touch leather for the first two minutes as Monaghan passed it around, but when they got their hands on the ball they made it count, Conn Kilpatrick tapping it over the bar after a swift and decisive attacking move from deep.
His Edendork clubmate Darren McCurry doubled Tyrone’s advantage with a nicely struck point from a free. So far so good, though Monaghan got their account up and running with a long-range effort from captain Kieran Duffy.
Darragh Canavan knocked over a point after another pacey attack from the Red Hands, but Monaghan were plugging away diligently and got their second of the day from a Micheál Bannigan free.
Tyrone were content to bring bodies back and made life generally uncomfortable for the Farney but the home side were patient and won another scoreable free, again converted by Bannigan, leaving the sides deadlocked at 0-3 apiece with ten minutes on the clock.
The game had yet to really catch fire with Monaghan looking fairly toothless but Tyrone by contrast showed plenty of initiative to win an early penalty which was expertly converted by Peter Harte.
A cross-field pass from Michael McKernan was gathered by Brian Kennedy, who was stationed on the edge of the square. He was clumsily fouled by Francie Hughes, Hughes was booked and while Rory Beggan guessed the right way, Harte’s spot-kick expertly judged spot-kick nestled in the corner of the net. 1-3 to 0-3 to Tyrone.
Monaghan were granted their latest scoreable free by Joe McQuillan – a harsh decision from our admittedly partisan perspective and Bannigan did the needful again.
But Tyrone’s positional fluidity was posing an inexperienced Monaghan rearguard plenty of problems.
For a spell in the first half for example, Kilpatrick rotated in and out with Kennedy as the target-man and every kick into the square into the square had the Monaghan supporters living on their nerves.
At the other end of the pitch Padraig Hampsey was keeping close tabs on Jack McCarron, while Peter Harte pushed the team into a 1-4 to 0-4 lead with a composed finish in the 22nd minute.
A rare lapse of concentration from Niall Morgan coughed up a ’45’ which was punished by his goalkeeping opposite Rory Beggan to keep Tyrone honest.
But Tyrone looked much more potent up front and struck for a second goal in the 22nd minute after some spell-binding attacking play from Darragh Canavan. Monaghan looked to have all their bases covered but Darragh weaved through two challenges before playing through a defence-splitting handpass to his Errigal Ciaran colleague Cormac Quinn, who rifled the ball to the back of the net. 2-4 to 0-5 and Tyrone were well and truly in the ascendancy.
The home crowd must have been fearing the worst but Monaghan badly needed something out of this game and kept on chipping away. Two ‘marks’ in quick succession from Dessie Ward and Shane Ward and Micéal Bannigan reduced the gap to a more manageable level as half-time approached (it should be noted they only managed a point from play in the first-half).
Tyrone earned themselves a bit of respite, however, with the final score of the half, the umpire raising the white flag as soon as the ball left the cultured boot of Darragh Canavan, meaning the Red Hands held a 2-5 to 0-8 lead the break.
Monaghan were rocked a matter of seconds into the second-half when Jack McCarron was dismissed for a red card. McCarron, who was yellow card before the break, picked up a black card for a hand-trip and that was his race run for the day. Brian Kennedy got Tyrone’s latest point with an eye-catching effort before Kilpatrick nailed a ‘mark to extend Tyrone’s advantage to five points.
Vinny Corey was left with on choice but to ring the changes and brought on Karl O’Connell and Conor McManus, two men who need no introduction. But it wasn’t long before they found themselves down to 13 players after Ryan O’Toole was sent to the line after a reckless challenge off the ball on Conor Meyler.
The two sides traded scores but Tyrone were looking very comfortable indeed heading into the final quarter. The scoreboard read 2-8 to 0-9 with Monaghan yet to register a single score from play, and the subdued atmosphere reflected Monaghan’s difficulties on the pitch.
Tyrone weren’t about to let complacency set in and McCurry curled over a lovely free heading into the ten minutes, moments after Ruairi Canavan entered the fray for his latest cameo. Indeed, Tyrone cruised across the finish line with points the Donnelly brothers Richie and Mattie, Darren McCurry (twice), Niall Devlin and a ’45’ from Niall Morgan. A good day’s work – now let’s go and finish the job next week.
Teams & Scorers
Niall Morgan (0-1, ’45’), Michael McKernan, Padraig Hampsey, Nathan McCarron, Conor Meyler, Cormac Quinn (1-0), Peter Harte (1-1), Brian Kennedy (0-1), Conn Kilpatrick (0-2), Frank Burns, Kieran McGeary, Joe Oguz, Darren McCurry (0-4,2frees), Mattie Donnelly (0-1), Darragh Canavan (0-3). Subs: Niall Devlin (0-1) for McCarron (42), Ruairi Canavan for McGeary (49), Richie Donnelly (0-1) for Conor Meyler (61) and Liam Rafferty for Joe Oguz (61), Michael O’Neill for Darragh Canavan (70)
Rory Beggan (0-1, ’45’), Thomas McPhilips, Kieran Duffy (0-1), Francie Hughes, Jason Irwin, Dessie Ward (0-1), Ryan O’Toole, Darren Hughes, Killian Lavelle, Shane Carey (0-1), Micheál Bannigan (0-4,4frees), Conor McCarthy, Sean Jones, Karl Gallagher (0-1), Jack McCarron. Subs: Stephen O’Hanlon for Irwin (22). Karl O’Connell for Jones and Conor McManus (0-4,4frees) for F Hughes (40)
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