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Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 21 October, 2018
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Vintage O'Neill display gives Tyrone McKenna Cup victory

Monaghan would produce a rousing second half in Armagh, but the uphill struggle proved too great when reduced to 14 men.

Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/ Russell Pritchard

A SPIRITED SECOND half showing was not enough for Monaghan, who ended this one-sided McKenna Cup final  with 13 men at Armagh’s Athletic Grounds.

Tyrone saw off the south Ulster county with a comfortable 4-11 to 1-10 final scoreline after Ronan McNally was issued a straight red card on the stroke of half time.

By that stage, though, Mickey Harte’s men were already six points to the good, taking a 2-7 to 1-4 lead into the break thanks to some vintage flashes of Stephen O’Neill brilliance.

It was O’Neill’s goal that strengthened the Red Hand county’s advantage in injury time of the first half.

Peter Harte had struck Tyrone’s earlier goal to give his side the lead on 28 minutes after Monaghan had grabbed an early lead thanks to Kieran Hughes’ three-pointer in the 12th minute.

Monaghan’s cause was hurt further between O’Neill’s strike and the half time whistle as McNally was issued a straight red card for an off the ball incident.

©INPHO/Presseye/ Russell Pritchard

Six points and a one man better off than Monaghan, Tyrone’s second half was always likely to be untroubled. And, despite some atrocious playing conditions, they put the result beyond much doubt early in the second half.

Ronan McNamee got the scoreboard ticking again immediately after the resumption and Mark Donnelly fired in goal number three after another telling contribution from O’Neill.

Arm’s lenght

Conor McManus, Paul Finlay and Darren Hughes ensured some form of consolation for Monaghan as the trio pointed in succession midway through the second half, but there would be no comeback on this occasion. Sean Cavanagh and Kevin Gallagher scores kept the Farney men at arm’s length.

Monaghan’s disappointment was complete in the 70th minute as Dessie Mone conceded a late penalty and with it a second yellow card to reduce Monaghan to 13 men as Harte blasted in his second goal of the game.

That brought the second half scoreline to to 2-4 to 0-6 and the final result to a 10-point hiding for Monaghan as Tyrone got their year off to a successful start.

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Sean Farrell

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