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Sludden Goal Helps Tyrone To One-Point Win Over Monaghan

Tyrone 1-13 Monaghan 0-15

The line up for the All Ireland has been confirmed as a late showing from Tyrone got them over the line against Monaghan in a low-quality semi-final in Croke Park.

The game was in the balance going into the final 10 minutes until Niall Sludden found the net for Mickey Harte’s side with their old, reliable leaders showing their experience. Monaghan did bridge the gap to one point but Tyrone held on for a deserved win.

It was the typical low scoring, patient and slow start that was predicted for this fixture. Tyrone were far more clinical in the opening minutes with Niall Sludden and Colm Cavanagh slotting over their first points. Tyrone showed the extent of their evolution this summer as the movement of their forwards created so many attacking options for them. The brilliance of Conor McManus, and some ill discipline from Tyrone, kept Monaghan within touching distance as Tyrone took some poor scoring options.

Tyrone’s defence held firm as they were tested a number of times in front of goal. In one period they produced three blocks to deny Monaghan. Significantly, although Tyrone cleared the ball, Monaghan worked it back down to get a point out of the attack through Fintan Kelly. The slow build-up play from Monaghan may have frustrated the Croke Park crowd but it paid dividends for them as Tyrone were forced to foul, gifting a point to McManus.

As Monaghan made a number of poor scoring decisions, it looked as though Tyrone would pull away but a misplaced pass in defence allowed Conor McCarthy to snatch in for a point which he doubled minutes later to level the game and leave the momentum firmly in the grasp of Malachy O’Rourke’s men at half-time.

Again, it was a slow start to the game from the whistle with both sides guilty of poor shooting. Connor McAliskey nudged Tyrone back in front but it was eleven minutes into the second half before Rory Beggan resumed Monaghan’s scoring with a free. As the game ticked on, it became more scrappy with both sides living off the frees, some questionable, that the referee awarded. As 15 minutes passed without a score from Tyrone, Monaghan crept in front through a McManus free. Just as Tyrone fans were wondering where their inspiration would come from, their leaders stepped up. Peter Harte and Tiernan McCann combined to feed Sludden who fired the rebound shot into the back of Rory Beggan’s net.

Harte then knocked over a further free when the referee incorrectly punished Monaghan after Colm Cavanagh charged into a tackle. Substitute, Kieran Hughes and Drew Wylie reduced the gap to one point and crucially, Monaghan were denied a free when McAnespie went to ground. Tyrone held on to book their place in the final where they will meet Dublin.

Monaghan: Rory Beggan (0-1); Kieran Duffy, Drew Wylie (0-1), Ryan Wylie; Colin Walshe, Vinny Corey, Karl O’Connell; Niall Kearns, Darren Hughes; Ryan McAnespie, Shane Carey, Conor McCarthy (0-3); Dermot Malone, Fintan Kelly (0-1), Conor McManus (0-7, 5f).

Substitutions: Dessie Mone for Malone (42) Kieran Hughes (0-2) for Carey (50) Jack McCarron for Corey (67)

Tyrone: Niall Morgan; Michael McKernan, Ronan McNamee, Kieran McGeary; Tiernan McCann (0-1), Frank Burns (0-1), Peter Harte (0-2); Colm Cavanagh (0-1), Padraig Hampsey; Mattie Donnelly, Niall Sludden (1-3), Cathal McShane (0-1); Lee Brennan (0-1, 1f), Richard Donnelly, Connor McAliskey (0-3, 1f).

Substitutions: Harry Loughran for Burns (HT) Mark Bradley for Brennan (48) Rory Brennan for McNamee (50) Conall McCann for R Donnelly (57) Ronan O’Neill for McAliskey (63) Declan McClure for McShane (64)

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter