Photos with thanks to Damien McAnespie – http://www.dmcaphotography.com/
GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final: Tyrone 0-18 Monaghan 0-14
Tyrone will play Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final after a hugely impressive win over Monaghan at Croke Park on Saturday evening.
Tyrone produced a defensive masterclass to outwit and outfight a Monaghan side many had fancied to fight it out with the elite in the last four.
However, Tyrone led by 0-7 to 0-5 at the break and always managed to keep in front in the second half, holding on to win by four in the end.
Monaghan imploded in the closing stages and lost Darren Hughes and Paul Finlay to red cards, while Tyrone had Ronan McNamee sent off in a tempestuous conclusion.
Tyrone were dealt a blow when they lost centre-back Joe McMahon to an injury early on, but his brother Justin was a more than adequate replacement.
By that stage, the sides were level at 0-2 apiece, Kieran Hughes and Dessie Mone having kicked two excellent long-range scores for Monaghan, bypassing the Red Hands’ packed defence.
But Monaghan got lost after that and their tactic of attacking down the wings, which yielded a huge dividend against Donegal in the Ulster final, wasn’t working and Tyrone were 0-6 to 0-3 ahead after 27 minutes when Peter Harte kicked a fine score from play.
By that point, Tyrone had lost Conor Meyler to a black card after a collision with Kieran Hughes, but Mickey Harte’s side remained dogged and relentless in their tackling.
Conor McManus barely saw the ball in the opening half, but when he did get an opening on the half hour mark, the Clontibret genius sent a fine shot over from an impossible angle to end a poor spell for the Ulster champions.
McManus then struck another great score just before the break, nailing a chance from a long-range free after Cavanagh was penalised for a foul on Neil McAdam, which saw the Tyrone captain yellow carded.
Tyrone led by 0-7 to 0-5 at the break and scored three without reply in the first 10 minutes of the second half, McCurry (2) and McAliskey putting the Red Hands into a double scores lead by the 45th minute.
Then, with both defences tiring, the game opened up and McManus (two frees) and two brilliant points from sub Owen Duffy brought Monaghan back into the game and gave them hope.
But Tyrone were always one step ahead, with Ronan McNabb and and then full-back Ronan McNamee extending the Red Hands’ lead to six.
Monaghan cut the deficit back to three in over six minutes of added time and were looking for an equsalising goal in a manic conclusion, but Mattie Donnelly hit a vital insurance score late on to seal Tyrone’s passage to the last four.
Scorers for Tyrone: D McCurry 0-6 (0-3f, 0-1 45), C McAliskey 0-5 (0-4f), M Donnelly 0-2, Joe McMahon, P Harte, S Cavanagh, R McNabb, R McNamee 0-1.
Scorers for Monaghan: C McManus 0-7 (0-5f), O Duffy 0-2, D Hughes, D Mone, F Kelly, D Clerkin, P Finlay (0-1f) 0-1.
Tyrone: N Morgan; R McNamee, C McCarron, R McNabb; T McCann (B Tierney 78), Joe McMahon (Justin McMahon 8), A McCrory; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly; M Bradley (R Donnelly 67), P Harte, C Meyler (C McCann 23, P McNulty 46); D McCurry, S Cavanagh, C McAliskey (R O’Neill 58).
Monaghan: R Beggan; C Walshe, V Corey (D Wylie h/t), R Wylie; K O’Connell, N McAdam (D Malone 49), D Mone; O Lennon (D Clerkin h/t), F Kelly; R McAnespie (O Duffy h/t), S Gollogly (P Finlay 52), K Duffy (C McGuinness 60); D Hughes, K Hughes, C McManus.
Referee: M Duffy (Sligo).