SIXTH TITLE IN TEN YEARS

1 February 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Tyrone 4-11
Monaghan 1-10
BY JOHN GRAHAM
TYRONE again proved Monaghan’s bogey team as they retained their Dr McKenna Cup title making for a sixth victory in 10 years.
The score line would indicate that Tyrone won comfortably in the end and they probably did but the final outcome does not do justice to the contribution by Monaghan in this tough, uncompromising battle that was played in atrocious weather conditions in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh, on Saturday evening last.
The result though must be taken in the context that Monaghan simply conceded too many goals and were forced to play the entire second half with 14 players following the red card dismissal of Ronan McNally a minute into stoppage time at the end of the first half following an altercation with Peter Harte.
In the overall context and given the nature of the exchanges which were always tough, it was probably a harsh enough red card as Derry whistler Barry Cassidy allowed quite a bit of leeway and some ferocious tackling, some of which bordered on the reckless at times without even issuing a yellow card.
Monaghan in fact ultimately finished the game with 13 players after Dessie Mone picked up a second yellow card a minute into stoppage time at the end of the match when he conceded a penalty but by then the result was assured and the McKenna Cup was on its way back to the O’Neill county.
The second half of the match was in stark contrast to the opening period during which Monaghan more than matched Tyrone in every aspect of the game, the swarming tackle and the use of the early long ball as well as crafting and finishing some excellent scores. In the run-in to half-time though was when the game effectively changed when …

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