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NFL: Tyrone 1-16 Monaghan 1-6

April 9th, 2012

Allianz National Football League Division Two

Tyrone 1-16 Monaghan 1-6                                      8/4/12



Monaghan’s NFL fate was sealed in Omagh on Sunday as a heavy defeat saw them relegated from Division Two. Tyrone led from start to finish, with Kyle Coney in inspirational form, scoring eight points. Monaghan briefly threatened a comeback when Ciarán Hanratty found the net in the first minute of the second half, but they never got closer than four points and a very late goal by Cathal McCarron sealed a seventh successive win for Tyrone. Coney, McCarron, Peter Harte, Justin McMahon, Colm Cavanagh and PJ Quinn were to the fore for Mickey Harte’s side, while Dessie Mone and Paul Finlay were best for Monaghan, who gave Pete Dooney a NFL debut as a substitute and Conor McManus a first appearance of the year late on.

It took Tyrone just 20 seconds to take the lead through Colm Cavanagh, after good work by Ronan McNabb. Kyle Coney kicked his first point from a 30-metre free after a foul on Cathal McCarron and he added his first from play at the end of a well-worked move involving McNabb, Ryan McMenamin and Stephen O’Neill. Seán Cavanagh had a goal disallowed in the tenth minute, but Coney increased Tyrone’s lead with a point after more good approach play by McNabb and Peter Harte. Coney tapped over a 20-metre free for a foul on Owen Mulligan and although Paul Finlay got Monaghan off the mark with a 30-metre free after a foul on Dick Clerkin, Mulligan replied with a similar effort following a foul on O’Neill. Harte fired a shot just over the bar after a one-two with Coney, who added a fine point after taking a pass from Colm Cavanagh. Finlay gave Monaghan some hope by booting over a brace of 45-metre frees after fouls on Dick Clerkin and Owen Lennon, but he missed a much more scoreable free soon after and he also had a shot turned around the post by Tyrone keeper Pascal McConnell at the end of an attack involving Neil McAdam and Darren Hughes. Seán Cavanagh kicked the last point of the first half to give Tyrone a 0-10 to 0-3 lead at the interval.

Monaghan got off to a stunning start to the second half, as within 15 seconds of his introduction, Ciarán Hanratty got his hands on the ball from a McAdam pass and raced past a couple of Tyrone defenders, before sliding the ball beyond McConnell for the first goal scored against the Red Hands in this year’s league. Mulligan was denied by Mark Keogh at the other end, following an unselfish pass by Harte, before Monaghan sub Tommy Freeman hit an upright with a chance to close the gap to three. A Seán Cavanagh point from play and a Coney free increased Tyrone’s lead and although Finlay and Freeman converted 30-metre frees for fouls on Freeman and Lennon, Coney responded in kind after a foul on Mark Donnelly. Mulligan tapped over a 20-metre free for a foul on Aidan Cassidy, before Cathal McCarron got forward from wing-back to add his name to the list of Tyrone scorers. Freeman finally got Monaghan’s first point from play when he sent over after linking up with fellow sub Conor McManus, but Tyrone finished with a flourish, adding 1-1 to their tally deep into injury-time. McCarron got the goal with a cracking finish after he had been released by Colm Cavanagh, before Mulligan won and scored another close-range free, with the foul seeing Donal Morgan sent off for a second yellow card. Westmeath’s win over Derry meant that Monaghan and Meath finished bottom of the division and will play in the third tier in 2013.


Tyrone: P McConnell; A McCrory, Justin McMahon, PJ Quinn; C McCarron (1-1), P Harte (0-1), R McMenamin; M Murphy, C Cavanagh (0-1); R McNabb, Mark Donnelly, S Cavanagh (0-2); K Coney (0-8, 5f), Stephen O’Neill (Capt.), O Mulligan (0-3f).

Subs: C Gormley for McMahon (H-T), N McKenna for S Cavanagh (inj., 41), A Cassidy for Murphy (46), P McNiece for O’Neill (66), D Carlin for Quinn (70).


Monaghan: M Keogh; D Mone, V Corey, K Duffy; David Hughes, D Wylie, D Malone; O Lennon, D Clerkin; S Gollogly, Darren Hughes (Capt.), N McAdam; P Finlay (0-4f), K Hughes, C McGuinness

Subs: D Morgan for Duffy (23), T Freeman (0-2, 1f) for Malone (34), C Hanratty (1-0) for McGuinness, P Dooney for Gollogly (both H-T), C McManus for Clerkin (64).


Referee: M Higgins (Fermanagh).



Monaghan manager Eamon McEneaney had to admit that his team were well beaten on the day and that he is now under pressure to turn things around ahead of the Ulster Senior Football Championship first-round game against Antrim in Clones on May 27. “Obviously, we’re very disappointed. We’re at a low ebb in terms of confidence, but the championship will be another day and we have to regroup and come back strongly for that. Obviously, people are going to look at it and they are going to say that it wasn’t a good day for us. I accept that and I accept that the buck stops with me. All I can do is regroup them (the players) and get them back into training so we can make some impact on the championship.” ”

McEneaney said the absences of some key players during the league campaign had cost his side dearly: “The loss of so many players has killed us over the past while. Conor McManus and Tommy Freeman in particular have been huge losses. When confidence is low and you don’t get off to a good start, it puts you on the back foot.”

McEneaney said he believes Tyrone are right up with the best in Ireland right now: “Tyrone were always very dangerous and from what I have seen, they are probably one of the top two or three teams in the country at the minute. It was always going to be difficult to beat them. They didn’t even have a huge amount of play. They are just a very good side and they play good football.”


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