Ulster MFC final: Monaghan retain title with two-point win over Tyrone

Darragh Dempsey
Darragh Dempsey scored 0-5 in Monaghan's final win

Monaghan successfully defended their Ulster MFC title with a two-point win over Tyrone in an exciting final at the Athletic Grounds.

Michael Hamill scored the crucial goal for the Farneymen 12 minutes into the second half after Michael McGleenan had netted for the Red Hands.

Monaghan, who scored five goals in their semi-final win over Donegal, fired 17 wides as they won the decider 1-13 to 1-11.

They beat Derry in last year's final.

Luke Donnelly and Michael McGleenan fired over early scores for Tyrone in a lively opening and the Farney county responded with points from Kyle Connolly and Darragh Dempsey.

Tyrone were breaking quickly from deep and, when Mark Devlin drilled between the posts from 45 yards, they led by 0-5 to 0-2.

Monaghan full-back Ronan Boyle set up an inspiring Eoin Duffy score to narrow the gap to a point, before skipper Jason Irwin brought them level at the end of the opening quarter.

With the creative influence of Karl Gallagher increasing, the holders went in front for the first time through Diarmuid Marron.

After conceding five in a row, the Red Hands drew level through Donnelly, but it was Monaghan who led by 0-9 to 0-8 at the end of a terrific opening half.

The second period started in sensational fashion, with McGleenan seizing possession from the throw-in and powering through the middle to drill his shot to the net for a stunning goal.

Tyrone found a new gear after the interval and went three clear with a fourth from Donnelly before Hamill's goal in the 43rd minute turned the game.

Monaghan continued to press but their shooting let them down, and a string of wides kept their opponents in the frame before Dempsey converted a 45-metre free.

Midfielder Conor McKernan kept them moving forward, and after Ciaran Daly had narrowed the gap to a point, Dempsey sealed it for Monaghan.

Monaghan: J Kirk; S Slevin (0-1), R Boyle, S Hanratty; C Maguire, E Duffy (0-1), D Treanor; C McKernan, K Gallagher (0-1); K Connolly (0-1), D Marron (0-1), M Hamill (1-1); D Dempsey (0-5, 1f, 1 '45), J Irwin (0-2), L McDonald.

Replacements: T Kierans for Marron (41), D Kerley for McKernan (62)

Tyrone: F Coney; C Cuddy, M McCann, S Sweeney; J Donaghy, N Devlin, S O'Donnell (0-1); S Donaghy, M McGleenan (1-1); R Campbell, M Devlin (0-3, 1 '45), S Daly; A McGrath, D Fullerton (0-1), L Donnelly (0-4, 2f).

Replacements: S Gallagher for Donaghy (44), R Canavan for Donnelly (48), C Daly (0-1) for M Devlin (50), R McHugh for Campbell (60), E Neill for O'Donnell (60)