Ulster SFC: Tyrone 1-16 Monaghan 1-18

By Cian MurtaghBBC Sport NI at Healy Park
Malachy O'Rourke attempts to dampen Farney euphoria after deserved win over Tyrone
Ulster Championship quarter-final: Tyrone 1-16 Monaghan 1-18
Tyrone scorers: McAliskey 0-6, McKernan 1-1, Brennan 0-3, Sludden 0-2, McShane 0-1, Hampsey 0-1, Donnelly 0-1, Harte 0-1
Monaghan scorers: McManus 0-6, Beggan 0-4, Corey 1-0, McCarron 0-2, Kelly 0-1, Wylie 0-1, McAnespie 0-1, McCarthy 0-1, Mone 0-1, Walshe 0-1

Monaghan are in pole position to win the Ulster title after dethroning 2016 and 2017 champions Tyrone in a gripping tussle at Healy Park.

Vinny Corey's goal in first-half stoppage time helped Malachy O'Rourke's side to break the Tyrone stranglehold.

With the game still in the balance in the final minutes, Conor McManus showed his class with four crucial scores to ease his side ahead.

Michael McKernan scored a late consolation goal for 14-man Tyrone.

The Red Hands will now join the likes of Mayo and Armagh in the qualifier draw.

The home side were seeking their third consecutive provincial title but a first-half injury to Mark Bradley robbed them of their most potent scoring threat, while Peter Harte was shown a late red for a foul on Ryan Wylie.

The Farney men will advance to a semi-final showdown against Fermanagh but Tyrone now face a long, hard summer if they are to reach Croke Park.

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte accepts Monaghan 'won on merit' in Ulster SFC tie

Tactical arm wrestle

Monaghan had won just one of their last five championship meetings with Tyrone and so it was no surprise the visitors began with a conservative approach.

In contrast, Tyrone chose to rotate a two man inside forward line with championship newcomer Lee Brennan proving to be a real handful.

The Farney men started with intent as Kieran Hughes came out to midfield to win the throw-in before Fintan Kelly came charging onto a blind pass to fire over the opening score.

But Tyrone quickly established control with Connor McAliskey's superb long range score the pick of the early points as the home side eased into a two-point advantage.

Even without the presence of Mark Bradley, who pulled up with a hamstring injury in the 18th minute, Mickey Harte's charges appeared to have dampened the Monaghan spirit as the rain began to fall and the umbrellas were unfurled.

Corey breaks the deadlock

Monaghan had a couple of half-chances for a goal in the opening exchanges but their three-pointer, when it came, was a decisive one.

Mattie Donnelly had just cancelled out Rory Beggan's huge free into the teeth of the wind as Tyrone seemed certain to hold a two-point advantage at the break.

But Monaghan responded with an incisive raid down the left and Corey exchanged passes with Darren Hughes before rolling the ball into the net.

Tyrone were reeling and fell further behind just before the break when full-back Drew Wylie came marauding forward to convert an excellent score.

Suddenly it was Monaghan who led by two points - 1-07 to 0-8 - and the travelling support began to believe.

Conor McManus top-scored for Monaghan with six points
Conor McManus top-scored for Monaghan with six points

McManus masterclass

Tyrone's second half began with the loss of another key player. There had been questions over Colm Cavanagh's fitness at the start of the game and the All-Star midfielder had been unusually quiet before he was replaced by Declan McClure.

Jack McCarron and Brennan traded early scores at the start of the second period before Tyrone began to claw back the deficit and when McAliskey pointed a fine free to draw the hosts level it felt as though the game could go either way.

Instead, McManus took charge of proceedings.

The Monaghan star had been kept relatively quiet in the first half - a block deep in his own territory was the stand-out moment - but he kicked four superb scores in the closing minutes, two of them from play, to wrestle the momentum away from the hosts.

One swirling free from the left sideline, which floated on the breeze before curling inside the post, was celebrated with a fist pump and a joyous roar at the crowd as he could sense a famous victory was within his grasp.

Tyrone attempted to respond but Peter Harte's dismissal for a late hit on Ryan Wylie did nothing to help their cause and McKernan's goal, which came from a ricochet off a high, dropping ball, barely raised a ripple from the departing crowd.

Tyrone: N Morgan; P Hampsey (0-1), R McNamee, C McCarron; T McCann, F Burns, P Harte (0-1); C Cavanagh, M Donnelly (0-1); C McShane (0-1), N Sludden (0-2), C Meyler; L Brennan (0-3), C McAliskey (0-6), M Bradley.

Replacements: M O'Neill, R Brennan, R Donnelly, C McCann for R O'Neill 61, D McClure for C Cavanagh 35, A McCrory, HP McGeary for T McCann 53, K McGeary for L Brennan 55, M McKernan (1-1) for C McCarron 40, P McNulty, R O'Neill for M Bradley 18.

Monaghan: R Beggan (0-4); D Mone (0-1), D Wylie (0-1), R Wylie; K Duffy, V Corey (1-0), K O'Connell; N Kearns, D Hughes; F Kelly (0-1), J McCarron (0-2), D Ward; R McAnespie (0-1), K Hughes, C McManus (0-6).

Replacements: C Forde, C Boyle, B Kerry, N McAdam, P McKenna, D Malone for C McManus 76, O Duffy for J McCarron 61, D Garland, S Carey, C McCarthy (0-1) for D Ward 42, C Walshe (0-1) for D Mone 64.

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