Monaghan edge Tyrone in a cagey clash
The home side maintained their winning run despite facing a strong Tyrone team
Monaghan’s Fintan Kelly is chased by Colm Cavanagh of Tyrone during their Allianz League meeting. Photo: Declan Roughan/Inpho
Monaghan 0-15 Tyrone 0-14
Monaghan kept their winning run intact but only by the tightest of margins against a resilient Tyrone in this fairly low key and at times scrappy affair in Castleblayney on Saturday night.
Tyrone fielded their strongest team in the league so far with six changes from their previous game against Kildare including the return of influential midfielder Colm Cavanagh, with Michael McKernan, Ronan McNamee, Kieran McGeary, Colm Cavanagh, Conal McCann and Richard Donnelly coming in for Hugh Pat McGeary, Tiernan McCann, Rory Brennan, Ciaran McLaughlin, Cathal McShane and Padraig McNulty.
Monaghan made four changes with Ryan Wylie coming in for the suspended Barry Kerr, Vinny Corey for a first start for Karl O’Connell, Shane Carey for Paudie McKenna, Fintan Kelly for Dermot Malone and Sigerson star Conor McCarthy for Conor McManus.
Despite the very cold conditions Monaghan made a bright start and had four points on the board inside the opening seven minutes. Fintan Kelly chipped in with three and Shane Carey pointed a free before Tyrone opened their account thanks to Cavanagh in the ninth minute. Monaghan continued to dominate the outfield exchanges but mistakes and wrong options helped Tyrone to gain a foothold and they battled back to parity by the 35th minute with four unanswered points. They then took the lead for the first time in stoppage time with a pointed free from Lee Brennan to leave the half time score Tyrone 0-7 Monaghan 0-6.
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 points lead entering the final five 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.
MONAGHAN: R Beggan 0-3 (2f), C Walshe 0-1, C Boyle, R Wylie, D Mone, D Wylie, V Corey, D Hughes, N Kearns, S Carey 0-1 (1f), 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 Sluden 0-1, P Harte 0-1, L Brennan 0-8 (7f), 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 MC Nulty for R Donnelly (69).
Referee: C Lane (Cork).