Mickey Harte rues Tyrone not taking late chances
Northern clash proves to be error-strewn affair on bitterly cold night in Castleblaney
Monaghan’s Kieran Duffy closes in on Dermot Malone of Tyrone. Photograph: Declan Roughan/Inpho
Monaghan 0-15 Tyrone 0-14
Monaghan kept their winning run intact but only just against a resilient Tyrone in this fairly low key and at times scrappy, mistake-riddled affair in Castleblayney on Saturday night.
Despite the very cold conditions Monaghan made a bright start and had four points on the board inside the opening seven minutes, Fintan Kelly with three and Shane Carey from a free before Tyrone opened their account through Colm Cavanagh in the ninth minute.
Monaghan continued to dominate the outfield exchanges. But mistakes and wrong options helped Tyrone gain a foothold and they battled back to parity by the 35th minute with four unanswered points before taking the lead for the first time in stoppage time with a point from a free by Lee Brennan to leave the half-time score Tyrone 0-7, Monaghan 0-6.
“We were probably a bit flattered to be one up at half-time, said Tyrone boss Mickey Harte. “But I thought we were good enough early in the second-half to maybe get something out of the game, only to then go four points behind again, but we had enough chances late on to get something but we didn’t take them and we paid the price.”
The second half was a livelier affair with the sides level on four occasions before substitute Conor McManus lifted Monaghan with three points, two from frees as they pressed on to open a four-point lead entering the final 5 minutes of normal time. Tyrone to their credit staged a great fightback and pulled back three late points through Lee Brennan, two from frees and Richard Donnelly. But Monaghan held out for the narrowest of victories.
“We got off to a great start but then let slip,” said Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke. We found ourselves a point down, but we started of the second half well, only to fall three behind again. The boys showed great character though and our substitutes definitely had an influence as we opened a four-point gap. But then, almost as if we wanted to make it an exciting finish, we let Tyrone back in and we were clinging on a bit at the end for a one point win”.
Monaghan: R Beggan 0-3 (3f), C Walshe 0-1, C Boyle, R Wylie, D Mone, D Wylie, V Corey, D Hughes, N Kearns, S Carey 0-1 (f), F Kelly 0-3, D Ward 0-1, J McCarron 0-2 (2f), T Kerr, C McCarthy.
Subs: K O’Connell for D Mone (43), Kieran Duffy for C Walshe (46), C McManus 0-3 (2f) for T Kerr, O Duffy 0-1 for S Carey (53), K Hughes for J McCarron (65), D Malone for C McCarthy (69).
Tyrone: N Morgan, M McKernan 0-1, R McNamee, C McCarron, C Meyler, P Hampsey, K McGeary, C Cavanagh 0-1, M Donnelly 0-1, C McCann, N Sludden 0-1, P Harte 0-1, L Brennan 0-8 (8f), R Donnelly 0-1, C McAliskey.
Subs: HP McGeary for C McCarron (22),M Bradey for C McAliskey (46), D Mulgrew for C McCann (56), D McCurry for D Mulgrew (Black Card 60), P McNulty for R Donnelly (69).
Referee: C Lane (Cork).