16 August 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Frustration was the word of the day as Monaghan saw their All-Ireland Senior Football Championship hopes sunk by Tyrone last Saturday at Croke Park. by COLM SHALVEY

First, let’s get this out of the way. Leaving aside all the controversy, Tyrone were the superior team all over the pitch and were fully deserving of their win.

Monaghan set up the same way as for their Ulster final win and they again patiently moved the ball around, but this time they showed none of the energy and pace that saw them open up the Donegal defence and instead their attacking play was laboured. Tyrone, in contrast, were able to do what Donegal couldn’t do at the other end in Clones last month. A young, energetic Tyrone team had the pace and power to drive through the Monaghan defence and that was shown clearly by the way they were able to shoot from closer in to goal, whereas almost all of Monaghan’s shots from play were long-range efforts. Monaghan did manage superb points from Dessie Mone and Kieran Hughes early on and their shooting from distance was generally good, but they always seemed to have to work harder for their scores than Tyrone.

Tyrone were able to turn possession from kick-outs into quick attacks all too easily and this was a platform that led to several scores. This was never seen more clearly than on a few occasions in the second half when Monaghan got what should have been inspirational points from Conor McManus and substitute Owen Duffy (two), only for Tyrone to go straight down the pitch and respond each time. Monaghan were also able to keep the ball from their own restarts, with the only one of Rory Beggan’s kick-outs to go awry being punished by a Seán Cavanagh point, but they were less effective than their neighbours at turning that possession into meaningful attacks. Unsurprisingly given the teams’ records at both scoring and conceding goals, there was barely a sniff of a goal chance for either…


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