Tyrone pull clear of relegation zone with victory that leaves Monaghan praying for a miracle

Tyrone's Darragh Canavan scored three points from play and turned creator for his side's second goal. Pic Philip Walsh.
Tyrone's Darragh Canavan scored three points from play and turned creator for his side's second goal. Pic Philip Walsh.

Allianz National Football League Division One: Monaghan 0-13 Tyrone 2-15

From Andy Watters at Clones

TWO first half goals for the Red Hands and two second half red cards for Monaghan dictated the course of a game that leaves Tyrone well placed for survival and the Farneymen on the brink of relegation.

Monaghan have been there before of course and survived and they’ll need another Houdini act in Mayo next week to cheat the Division One reaper once again. Meanwhile, a point will do for Tyrone against Armagh next Sunday and the Red Hands will go into that game with back-to-back wins under their belts.

They never trailed in this game and restricted Monaghan to a single score (their first) from play with a disciplined, workmanlike performance that pleased their management. So too did their haul of 2-15 which included 1-11 from play with the goals coming from Peter Harte (a penalty) and Cormac Quinn after some wizardry from Darragh Canavan who helped himself to three points.

The game was in its third minute by the time a Red Hand touched the ball. The hand was Brian Kennedy’s and his interception sent Tyrone on a lightning break that ended with Conn Kilpatrick applying a cool finish to open the scoring.

Kilpatrick’s Edendork clubmate Darren McCurry doubled Tyrone’s early advantage before Kieran Duffy replied with Monaghan’s only score from play.

Darragh Canavan reaped the rewards of a committed Quinn chase (he ran 30 yards to win a 50-50 ball) when he slotted over Tyrone’s third but a pair of Micheal Bannigan frees left it level after 10 minutes.

Tyrone surged ahead with an incisive move that tore open the Monaghan defence. First Kilpatrick raced into space to collect Morgan’s kick-out and then he picked out McCurry’s darting run.

McCurry was forced wide but Michael McKernan gave him support and launched the ball into the Monaghan square where Kennedy was there to catch and as he turned to shoot he was dragged down by Francie Hughes.

It was a clear penalty which Peter Harte rifled into the corner and Tyrone led 1-3 to 0-3.

With Padraig Hampsey picking up McCarron, Tyrone challenged Monaghan to break them down and the home side worked the ball left and right patiently and drew the fouls they wanted.

Bannigan registered a third free and it was 1-4 to 0-5 when Beggan landed a trademark 45 but the Monaghan ’keeper was soon picking the ball out of his net for a second time.

Artistry from Darragh Canavan created Tyrone’s second major. The Errigal Ciaran forward jinked inside his marker and then played the most inch-perfect of handpasses to Quinn who buried his shot into the net.

As they do, Monaghan fought back with the next three points through Dessie Ward, Bannigan and a Shane Carey mark but Canavan’s second point left Tyrone three up (2-5 to 0-8) at the break.

The second half had barely got going when Monaghan were dealt a self-inflicted hammerblow. McCarron, who had been yellow-carded in first half injury-time, tripped Kieran McGeary with his hand and was black-carded and then red-carded, making an already difficult task practically impossible for Monaghan.

Tyrone kicked on with a Kennedy point and a Kilpatrick mark and Monaghan responded by throwing in their talisman Conor McManus.

But Hampsey picked his pocket brilliantly in Monaghan’s next attack and Tyrone countered again at blistering speed. Canavan fisted over the bar to bring Tyrone’s total to 14 (2-8) and then Monaghan were reduced to 13 when Killian Lavelle was red-carded after an altercation with Conor Meyler, who was jeered by the home fans when he got back to his feet.

Karl Gallagher landed a mark and McManus nailed a free to rekindle Monaghan hopes but as icy sheets of rain blew across the ground, McCurry and the Donnelly brothers added points as Tyrone began to cruise out of sight.

Two McManus frees left it 2-11 to 0-12 but McCurry spun on the Hill side and kicked a fine score in reply and another from the eager corner-forward sent a few of the Monaghan faithful shuffling for the exit.

Those who left missed a Ruairi Canavan dummy and points for McManus, Morgan and Niall Devlin but the game was up by then and Monaghan now need a miracle in Castlebar next weekend.

Monaghan: R Beggan (0-1 45); T McPhillips, K Duffy (0-1), F Hughes; J Irwin, D Ward (0-1 mark), R O’Toole; D Hughes, K Lavelle; S Carey (0-1 mark), M Bannigan (0-4 frees), C McCarthy; S Jones, K Gallagher (0-1 mark), J McCarron

Subs: S O’Hanlon for Irwin (22), C McManus (0-4 frees) for S Jones (38), K O’Connell for F Hughes (38), D McElearney for Ward (60), A Mulligan for Carey (62)

Yellow cards: Irwin (4), F Hughes (15), McCarron (34)

Black card: McCarron (36)

Red cards: McCarron (36), Lavelle (45)

Tyrone: N Morgan (0-1 45); M McKernan, P Hampsey, C Quinn (1-0); C Meyler, N McCarron, P Harte (1-1, 1-0 penalty); B Kennedy (0-1), C Kilpatrick (0-2, 0-1 mark); F Burns, K McGeary, J Oguz; D McCurry (0-4, 0-2 frees), M Donnelly (0-1), D Canavan (0-3)

Subs: N Devlin (0-1) for McCarron (38), R Canavan for McGeary (55), L Rafferty for Oguz (60), R Donnelly (0-1) for Meyler (60), M O’Neill for D Canavan (67)

Yellow card: McKernan (60)

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan)