Tyrone booked their place in the semi-final of the Nicky Rackard Cup, but they had to work hard to secure victory against a battling Monaghan side and it was only in stoppage time at the end of the match when they hit an unanswered 1-2 that put something of a gloss on the result.
Fielding a stronger side than they did against Mayo with the return of Chris Kearns, Conor Grogan and Matthew Mulgrew, Tyrone found themselves under pressure in the opening stages, with Monaghan, leading by two points after eight minutes and ahead by one at the first half water break, 0-5 to 0-4. By half-time though Tyrone had turned it around with a goal by Bryan McGurk in the twenty seventh minute and the accuracy of Damien Casey, helping them to a six points half-time lead, Tyrone 1-12, Monaghan, 0-9.
Monaghan got off to a flying start to the second half with goal within a minute of the resumption by Aidan Burns bringing them to within three points but that was the closest they were to get in the second-half with play becoming a little untidy at times. Tyrone had extended their lead to 5 points by the second-half water break, 1-14 to 1-9 with points by Conor Grogan and Damien Casey from a free and approaching the end of normal time they had pushed six points clear, 1-16 to 1-10, with further points by Casey and Bryan McGurk either side of a converted free for Monaghan by Aidan Burns. Three m9inutes into stoppage time Monaghan had reduced the deficit to five as they exerted late pressure, but in driving forward they left gaps at the rear, which Tyrone exploited to good effect to hit 1-2 in the final three minutes of added time to seal a victory that looked a little bit more comfortable than it actually was, the goal by Kiefer Morgan, an excellent solo effort in the fourth minute of stoppage time, helping to seal the victory. Tyrone now play Donegal in the semi final.
Teams and Scorers: Tyrone: C McElhatton, L O Donghaile, D Rafferty, S P McKernan, J Ferguson, S Donaghy 0-1, C Munroe, D Casey 0-9 (4f), C Gross, C Kearns, B McGurk 1-3, K Morgan 1-1, B Molloy 0-1, C Grogan 0-3, M Mulgrew. Subs: T Morgan for J Ferguson (28), J McGurk for C Cross (49), S Muldoon for C Munroe (59), L Armstrong for M Mulgrew (65), J Kelly for B Molloy 70+6).
Monaghan: H Byrne, C Merrick, K Crawley, J Guinan, B Flanagan, P Treanor, C McNally, S McNally, D Crowe 0-1, A Burns 1-4 (0-3f), F Rafter 0-7 (3f), C Flynn, N Garland, M Treanor, P Finnegan. Subs: P McGahon for S McNally (47), P Malone for B Flanagan (66).
Referee: A. Ferguson (Fermanagh).