Sean Cavanagh comes off the bench to down 13-man Monaghan

Former Footballer of the Year scores three late points as Tyrone hold off late comeback

Tyrone’s Conor Meyler holds off the tackle of Conor McManus. Photograph: Inpho

Tyrone’s Conor Meyler holds off the tackle of Conor McManus. Photograph: Inpho

 

Tyrone 0-14 0-10 Monaghan

Tyrone maintained their unbeaten start to the league with a narrow win over 13-man Monaghan at Healy Park on Saturday evening.

Fintan Kelly and Dermot Malone were sent off early in the second half, but the visitors still out-scored their opponents by eight points to five in that second period.

However, Tyrone did enough to get over the line, with the help of the great Sean Cavanagh who came off the bench to shoot three late points.

Conor Meyler, Tiernan McCann, Darren McCurry and Frank Burns were all on target from distance as the home side established control early on.

And they were awarded a penalty in the 10th minute for a foul on Mattie Donnelly, but Peter Harte sent the spotkick wide of the posts.

When Jack McCarron finally opened his side’s account in the 25th minute, it looked as if Monaghan could find some rhythm, but Tyrone immediately got back on top, with McCann landing his second, and Harte kicking three. Two of them from frees, the other a spectacular effort from distance.

Tyrone led by 0-9 to 0-2 at the break, and Monaghan suffered a double blow with the double dismissal.

But they responded with courage, displaying admirable resilience to take the game to Tyrone.

Goalkeeper Rory Beggan slotted over a couple of long range frees, and a fabulous fetch and point from Kieran Hughes, now pushed up to full forward, narrowed the gap to three points.

Cavanagh’s introduction was crucial for a Tyrone side just hanging in there, with the former Footballer of the Year hitting three vital scores, two of them spectacular efforts from play, to steady the ship.

Monaghan continued to fight back, with points from McManus and McCarron, but the Red Hand held on.

Tyrone: M O’Neill; P Hampsey, R McNamee, C McCarron; T McCann (0-2), J McMahon (0-1), F Burns (0-1); C Cavanagh, D McClure; C Meyler (0-1), K McGeary, K McGeary, P Harte (0-4, 2f); D McCurry (0-2), M Donnelly, R O’Neill.

Subs: S Cavanagh (0-3, 1f) for Donnelly (blood 15-21), C McShane for Burns (45), S Cavanagh for McClure (51), A McCrory for McCarron (59), C McCann for O’Neill (61)

Monaghan: R Beggan (0-2, 2f); F Kelly, D Wylie, R Wylie; K Duffy, N McAdam, R McAnespie; O Coyle, K Hughes (0-2); T Kerr, D Malone, G Doogan; K O’Connell, J McCarron (0-4, 2f), C McManus (0-2, 1f, 1 ‘45).

Subs: D Ward for Duffy (h-t), C McCarthy for Kerr (h-t), S Gollogly for Doogan (61), J Mealiff for McAnespie (61)

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).

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