THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY – SENIORS TASTE DEFEAT AS MINORS SAVOUR VICTORY

9 August 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Heartbreak Hotel and Seventh Heaven both had visits from Monaghan’s loyal band of football followers over the course of an emotional weekend. by COLM SHALVEY

A big weekend for Monaghan football brought agony on the Saturday and ecstasy on the Monday as the seniors and minors experienced contrasting fortunes in their All-Ireland quarter-finals.

The emotions felt on both days were written all over the faces of the loyal Monaghan supporters who travelled to both Croke Park and Longford on Monday as they left the grounds. The senior match ended in a cacophony of boos for the way Tyrone had gone about winning the game, while the final whistle of the minor match saw a sea of white and blue make their way onto the Pearse Park pitch to celebrate another big step forward for the Under-18s.

The ‘Farney Army’ first descended in their thousands on Croke Park for Saturday’s SFC last-eight clash with Tyrone. Hopes were high that, just a few weeks after getting one monkey off the backs by winning a first Ulster title since 1988, the seniors could bury the Tyrone hoodoo, particularly when they flew out of the starting blocks, but Mickey Harte’s side gradually worked their way into the game and they were never headed from the 25th minute on.

It may have taken some cynical acts, most obviously Seán Cavanagh’s desperate, full-stretch rugby tackle which hauled down Conor McManus just outside the square on 48 minutes, but Tyrone, to use a cliché, ‘got over the line’ and as the Clontibret man himself acknowledged: “It’s done now, whether it’s fair play or not. Tyrone are in an All-Ireland semi-final and we’re not; that’s it.”

The big talking point from Saturday evening was Joe Brolly’s sharp criticism of Tyrone just after the end of the match. While the manner of Brolly’s outburst garnered most of …

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