Red Hands grab Dr McKenna cup26/01/2013 - 21:32:28
Monaghan 1-10 Tyrone 4-11
Tyrone coasted to their second successive Dr. McKenna Cup title as they had 10 points to spare over Monaghan at the Athletic Grounds.
Peter Harte converted a last-minute penalty to put the seal on another satisfying display from the Red Hands, with Stephen O’Neill selected as the Power NI man-of-the-match.
It was Monaghan’s first defeat in five competitive outings under new manager Malachy O’Rourke, as their bid to win the early season Ulster competition for the first time since 2003 faltered.
The early signs in Armagh were good for the Farney men with Kieran Hughes netting in the 11th minute and Paul Finlay pointing for a 1-2 to 0-2 lead.
Tyrone captain O’Neill reduced the margin to the minimum and the reigning champions turned the screw coming up to half-time, watched by 4,845 spectators.
Mark Donnelly netted in the 27th minute after good approach work from Peter Harte, and O’Neill added a second Tyrone goal in injury-time with a typically stylish finish.
Monaghan were now 2-7 to 1-4 behind and their corner back Ronan McNally earned a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident before the break.
O’Rourke’s charges were scrambling to stay in touch, but Tyrone tightened their grip on the final with a Ronan McNamee point and a well-taken third goal.
Just two minutes in, O’Neill picked out Donnelly with a terrific pass and the corner forward flashed the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Mark Keogh.
A trio of pointed frees from Conor McManus, Finlay and Darren Hughes cut the gap to 3-8 to 1-7, but the concession of those goals was ultimately the difference.
Sean Cavanagh restarted the scoring for Tyrone and while Kieran and Darren Hughes and Owen Duffy added to Monaghan’s tally, it was not enough to derail Mickey Harte’s side.
Monaghan ended the game with 13 players - wing back Dessie Mone was dismissed for his second bookable offence - and Peter Harte’s penalty added a gloss to the final scoreline.
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