Ulster SFC: Farney dethrone Red Hands

May 20, 2018

Monaghan's Conor McManus looks to dispossess Niall Sludden of Tyrone during the Ulster SFC quarter-final in Omagh

Holders Tyrone are out of this year's Anglo-Celt Cup race after suffering a 1-18 to 1-16 defeat to Monaghan at Omagh.

On a rainy evening at Healy Park, Mickey Harte's men (who had Peter Harte sent off in injury time) had drawn level though a Connor McAliskey free with five minutes left but a run of late points from Conor McManus (4) and substitute Colin Walshe got the spirited visitors - who had ten different scorers - over the line and into a provincial semi-final meeting with Fermanagh despite a last-gasp scrambled Tyrone goal.

With 15,029 in attendance, the game exploded to life in injury time at the end of the first half when visiting centre back Vinny Corey and full back Drew Wylie registered a goal and a point respectively to give Malachy O'Rourke's charges a 1-7 to 0-8 interval advantage, despite having played into the wind.

Throw-in was put back 30 minutes due to extra time in the curtain raiser and the winners made two late changes to their starting XV as Dessie Mone and Ryan McAnespie came in for Walshe and Conor McCarthy. Points from Cathal McShane, McAliskey and Niall Sludden - off the outside of this right boot - had the Red Hands ahead by three points to one inside five minutes, Fintan Kelly having opened the scoring.

A McManus free reduced the deficit but it was soon a three-point game thanks to Padraig Hampsey and Lee Brennan (free): 0-5 to 0-2 after ten minutes. Goalkeeper Rory Beggan (free) hit back for Monaghan and Jack McCarron clipped over a superb point on 20 minutes.

Mattie Donnelly nonchalantly cancelled out a second Beggan monster free after the hosts had moved two clear thanks to frees from McAliskey and Brennan but, in the second minute of first-half injury time, the Farney County reclaimed the lead when veteran Corey raided forward with intent and took a return pass from debutant Niall Kearns to snatch a wonderful Monaghan goal - 1-6 to 0-8.

Tyrone supporters were breathing a sigh of relief when goalkeeper Niall Morgan escaped with just a yellow card after a coming together with McCarron in the wake of that Monaghan three-pointer but a superb strike from the overlapping Wylie doubled the difference before the short whistle.

The Farney boys made a perfect start to the second half with points from McCarron (free) and the outstanding McAnespie to double their lead. Brennan replied from a free and a Beggan free struck the woodwork before substitute McCarthy speared over with his first touch off that trusty left foot.

Two McAliskey points in a minute halved the deficit again, only for Beggan to hammer over a '45' after Morgan had pushed Karl O'Connell's shot wide off the post - 1-11 to 0-11 after 48 minutes. Back came Tyrone again with points from Harte and Sludden but a fourth Beggan point - from another '45' - meant Monaghan led by two points with 15 minutes remaining.

Incredibly, Mone somehow managed to smack over a wonderpoint from a nigh-on-impossible angle close to the end line for the boys in blue but the hosts replied immediately through substitute Michael McKernan followed by a brace of McAliskey frees - 1-13 to 0-16 after 65 minutes.

Monaghan captain Walshe came off the bench to win a free, which McManus brilliantly converted, before pointing himself as the visitors led by two with as many minutes of normal time left.

McManus calmly nailed a last-minute free to leave a goal between the teams as it was announced that there would be five minutes of injury time. Clontibret ace McManus then stepped forward to swivel and arrow over a stunning point from the sideline on his wrong side as the gap went out to four in the second minute of added time.

The Red Hands' day went from bad to worse as Harte was shown a red card deep into added time after clattering Drew Wylie and McManus raced home to take his point in the 75th minute to leave five between them. McKernan netted a consolation goal with the last touch of the game but his team are heading for the first round of the Qualifiers.

Monaghan - R Beggan (0-4, 2f, 2'45); 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, 1f), D Ward; R McAnespie (0-1), K Hughes, C McManus (0-6, 4f). Subs: C McCarthy (0-1) for D Ward, O Duffy for J McCarron, C Walshe (0-1) for D Mone.

Tyrone - N Morgan; P Hampsey (0-1), R McNamee, C McCarron; T McCann, F Burns, C Meyler; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly (0-1); C McShane (0-1), N Sludden (0-2), P Harte (0-1); L Brennan (0-3f), C McAliskey (0-6, 2f, 1'45), M Bradley. Subs: R O'Neill for M Bradley, D McClure for C Cavanagh, M McKernan (1-1) for C McCarron, K McGeary for L Brennan, HP McGeary for T McCann, C McCann for R O'Neill.

Referee - D Coldrick.

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