Tyrone struggle past Monaghan

Tyrone 1-13 Monaghan 1-11

Tyrone 1-13 Monaghan 1-11

Tyrone will meet either Donegal or Cavan in the Ulster SFC semi-final following their unconvincing two points win over Monaghan at Omagh.

The Farney men finished the game with just 13 men, but could have snatched a result from a scrappy Healy Park encounter played in front of 10,937 spectators.

Skipper Dick Clerkin picked up a second yellow card just before half-time, and defender Dessie Mone received a straight red in the dying moments.

In the end, it was the enduring class of Brian McGuigan and Stephen O’Neill that decided the outcome and pushed the reigning Ulster champions through to the last four.

Conor McManus got Monaghan’ challenge going with a couple of early points, with Matin Penrose and Sean Cavanagh responding for the Red Hands

Monaghan led by 0-4 to 0-2 when Paul Finlay and McManus were on target from frees, and they almost had a goal when Finlay’s first-time shot zipped along the greasy surface and just wide.

Tyrone’s Brian McGuigan also crafted a goal chance when he darted through but fired his shot just over the bar.

McManus and Martin Penrose swapped frees, and in the 19th minute, Tyrone made a major breakthrough with a superb goal.

Stephen O’Neill unselfishly spotted McGuigan’s run, timed his pass perfectly, and the latter blasted an unstoppable shot past Mark Keogh.

Peter Harte stroked a ’45 between the posts, and Tyrone led by 1-5 to 0-5.

Monaghn’s plight worsened when skipper and midfielder Dick Clerkin picked up two yellow cards in the space of 90 seconds, leaving his side with just 14 men after half an hour.

Tyrone led by 1-7 to 0-6 at half-time, but wasted a golden opportunity to open up a big lead when Penrose blazed a penalty wide after Mark Donnelly had been fouled.

And they paid the price when Monaghan full-back Darren Hughes drilled home a penalty on 50 minutes to narrow the gap to two points, 1-10 to 1-8.

Stephen O’Neill turned on the magic with two sublime points, showcasing his vast array of special skills.

But Monaghan refused to surrender, and long range scores from Hughes and Finlay made it a two point game

However, they lost another man in stoppage time when Dessie Mone received a straight red card for a challenge on Philip Jordan, and Tyrone held out for a semi-final clash with either Cavan or Donegal.

Tyrone scorers: B McGuigan 1-1, S Cavanagh 0-4 (0-2f), S O’Neill 0-3, M Penrose (2f), P Harte (1f, 1 ’45) 0-2 each, O Mulligan 0-1.

Monaghan scorers: D Hughes 1-1 (1-0 pen), C McManus 0-6 (5f), P Finlay 0-4 (3f).

Tyrone: P McConnell, M Swift, J McMahon, D McCaul, D Harte, C Gormley, R McMenamin, K Hughes, A Cassidy, C Cavanagh, B McGuigan, S Cavanagh, M Penrose, S O’Neill, O Mulligan.

Subs: D Carlin for McCarron (16), C Cavanagh for P Harte (43), Sean O’Neill for Carlin (51), O Mulligan for Penrose (55), K Hughes for Cassidy (65)

Monaghan: M Keogh, K Duffy, D Hughes, C Walshe, C Galligan, D Mone, O Duffy, O Lennon, D Clerkin, S Gollogly, M Downey, N McAdam, D McKenna, P Finlay, C McManus.

Subs: J Turley for Gollogly (25), C McGuinness for McKenna (h-t), D Morgan for Galligan (37), D Malone for Turley (55), B O’Brien for Duffy (65)

Referee: C Reilly (Meath).

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