Tyrone absorbed a late Monaghan rally to seal their first All-Ireland spot in 10 years after a Niall Sludden 64th minute goal set them on their way.
That Sludden goal, which came after Darren Hughes had made an acrobatic block on Tiernan McCann, put Tyrone two up after Monaghan had edged ahead for the first time two minutes earlier.
Two Peter Harte points, the first from a free, put Tyrone three points up in the 67th minute, but then substitute Jack McCarron had a sniff at goal expertly denied by a Colm Cavanagh tackle. Kieran Hughes and Drew Wylie followed with points to put the minimum between the teams but Tyrone survived.
Watched by a poor 48,696 Croke Park crowd, the Monaghan following had serious grievances with some of Anthony Nolan’s officiating and they would have grounds for a lot of their contentions but Tyrone, led by Sludden and Cavanagh, had the wiliness to see it out.
The sides finished 0-8 apiece going into the break after a first half which was marked by Tyrone’s lack of efficiency and Monaghan’s spurned goal chances. Tyrone were quicker out of the taps and lead 0-4 to 0-1 after four minutes, their work in forcing Monaghan to turn the ball over proving so effective.
What a beauty from Conor McManus! Sheer Class! pic.twitter.com/WWZybUd5wv— The GAA (@officialgaa) August 12, 2018
Monaghan, although their forwards were being fouled without much in the way of frees, were offering little in the way of movement but with the scores 0-5 to 0-3 in the 15th minute they had a goal chance when Rory Beggan found Ryan McAnespie from a kick-out and he set up Conor McManus only for him to be stymied and Vinny Corey to be held up.
A second goal opportunity arose eight minutes later as Colin Walshe’s shot hit the post, Corey fetched the rebound but had his shot snuffed out by Niall Morgan and then Fintan Kelly was blocked.
Tyrone made the most of the let-off with a fine Conor McAliskey free to go 0-7 to 0-5 up and led 0-8 to 0-7 in the 31st minute but the remainder of the half was all Monaghan. Conor McCarthy seized on a poor Tyrone pass to run and score and then a mistake by Morgan from the resultant kick-out led to a throw-in and McCarthy was sharp again to add a second point.
Scorers for Tyrone: N. Sludden (1-2); C. McAliskey (0-4, 2 frees); P. Harte (0-2, 1 free); C. Cavanagh, F. Burns, C. McShane, T. McCann, L. Brennan (free) (0-1 each).
Scorers for Monaghan: C. McManus (0-7, 6 frees); C. McCarthy (0-3); K. Hughes (0-2); F. Kelly, R. Beggan (free), D. Wylie (0-1 each).
TYRONE: N. Morgan; P. Hampsey, M. McKernan, R. McNamee; P. Harte, T. McCann; C. Cavanagh, C. McShane; N. Sludden, M. Donnelly (c), K. McGeary; L. Brennan, R. Donnelly, C. McAliskey.
Subs for Tyrone: H. Loughran for F. Burns (h-t); M. Bradley for L. Brennan (48); R. Brennan for R. McNamee (51); C. McCann for R. Donnelly (58); D. McClure for C. McShane, R. O’Neill for C. McAliskey (both 63).
MONAGHAN: R. Beggan; K. Duffy, D. Wylie, R. Wylie; K. O’Connell, V. Corey, C. Walshe (c); N. Kearns, D. Hughes; S. Carey, D. Malone, F. Kelly; C. McCarthy, R. McAnespie, C. McManus.
Subs for Monaghan: D. Mone for D. Malone (46); K. Hughes for S. Carey
(51); J. McCarron for V. Corey (68).
Referee: A. Nolan (Wicklow).
Tyrone are back in the All Ireland Final against @DubGAAOfficial !
Watch the Full-Time Highlights of Monaghan v Tyrone here on GAANOW! pic.twitter.com/cnjEjMsLqB— The GAA (@officialgaa) August 12, 2018