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Ronan MacNamee, Tyrone, and Stephen O'Hanlon, Monaghan, in Allianz Football League action at Healy Park.
Ronan MacNamee, Tyrone, and Stephen O'Hanlon, Monaghan, in Allianz Football League action at Healy Park.

Allianz FL D1: Tyrone secure important victory


Allianz Football League Division One

TYRONE 1-16 MONAGHAN 0-12

By Michael Devlin at Healy Park

Peter Harte led the way for Tyrone who finally got their Allianz Football League into gear with a seven point win over Monaghan at Healy Park.

For Tyrone it was welcome return to their 2018 form. The Red Hands have been facing criticism regarding their poor attacking displays in this year’s league campaign, but they responded in impressive fashion by putting up a 1-16 total, 1-8 of that coming from play.

It was Monaghan’s third successive defeat, and that eye-catching opening weekend win over Dublin now seems like a distant memory. The Farney men will be disappointed with a second half performance that failed to merit a score until the 61st minute, to which Tyrone had already moved out of sight.

Tyrone led 1-7 to 0-7 in a half that was, for the most part, played at a blistering pace. Niall Morgan kicked the first score from a free in the opening minute, before Harte collected a smart Liam Rafferty pass to fire home a goal.

Monaghan came hurtling back and rifled off four points without reply, with Malone kicking over their first. Stephen O’Hanlon was in spritely form in the inside line, but the main man in the Monaghan attack in the early stages was undeniably McManus.

The Clontibret man Conor McManus was giving fellow 2018 All-Star Padraig Hampsey the run-around landing three points in a row in the first quarter before McShane halted the procession with a Tyrone point at the other end.

McManus was in irresistible form though, and he resumed order to add his fourth of the night to move Monaghan level after leaving three Tyrone players chasing shadows.

Harte tapped over two routine frees before Donnelly brothers Richie and Mattie combined to tee up Niall Sludden for a score as the hosts opened up a three-point cushion on 22 minutes.

The immediate restarts from Niall Morgan and Rory Beggan’s kickouts never allowed the high tempo to drop, and two Jack McCarron points bookended another Harte free.

Tyrone had an opportunity for another goal when Ben O’Donnell ghosted in to go one-on-one with Beggan, but he blazed it over the crossbar rather than nestling it in the Scotstown man’s net.

The crowd were being treated to a great show thus far, but Dessie Ward’s altercation with Ronan McNamee saw him sent to the sin-bin on 33 minutes, and for the remainder of the half an extended period of Tyrone keep-ball between the 65’ lines raised more than a few groans from the spectators.

Brannigan issued a yellow card to Mattie Donnelly in a ragged five-minute period, and though Ward returned to the fray to restore Monaghan to their full complement, it was Tyrone who were looking more of a threat as McGeary registered his first point of the night before Harte (2) and McShane extended their lead to seven points.

Niall Morgan was in action at the other end when he did well to thwart O’Hanlon, and minutes later the Edendork man found his range to land a huge free.

Harte was typifying Tyrone’s growing confidence as the minutes ticked away, and the Errigal Ciaran man found the target again in the 52nd minute before nearly adding a second goal, his delightfully cheeky chip just landing past the wrong side of the post. Conor Meyler also threatened Beggan’s goal after after he snapped on a loose ball with Beggan back-tracking, but his effort just dropped over the cross bar.

McShane posted another from a free before Monaghan eventually ended their long scoring drought with a Ryan McAnespie point, his team’s first score since the 29th minute. Three frees from McManus made the score-line slightly more respectable as the game moved into the final five minutes.

McAnespie and substitute Declan McClure traded scores, but all in all it was a welcome win for Tyrone, and a defeat that now puts Monaghan in relegation jeopardy.

Scorers for Tyrone: Peter Harte 1-6 (3fs, 1m), Cathal McShane 0-3 (2f), Niall Morgan 0-2 (2fs), Niall Sludden 0-1, Ben O’Donnell 0-1, Kieran McGeary 0-1, Conor Meyler 0-1, Declan McClure 0-1.

Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McManus 0-7 (3fs, 1m), Jack McCarron 0-2 (1f), Ryan McAnespie 0-2, Dermot Malone 0-1

TYRONE: Niall Morgan; Liam Rafferty, Ronan McNamee, Michael McKernan; Tiernan McCann, Padraig Hampsey, Ben McDonnell; Brian Kennedy, Richard Donnelly; Matthew Donnelly, Niall Sludden, Frank Burns; Cathal McShane, Peter Harte, Kieran McGeary. Subs: Conor Meyler for L. Rafferty (HT), Declan McClure for B. Kennedy (62), Connor McAliskey for R. Donnelly (66), Harry Loughran for N. Sludden (68)

MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Kieran Duffy, Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie; Dessie Mone, Barry Kerr, Gavin Doogan; Darren Hughes, Stephen O’ Hanlon; Ryan McAnespie, Jack McCarron, Shane Carey; Dermot Malone, Conor McManus, Dessie Ward. SUBS: Karl O’Connell for Barry Kerr (43), Conor McCarthy for J. McCarron (43), Vinny Corey for Carey (54), Owen Duffy for Malone (60), Michael Bannigan for Ward (66).

REFEREE: Ciaran Brannigan (Down).