Monaghan 1-16 Tyrone 3-07
Monaghan forwards Niamh Kindlon and Catriona McConnell combined to dump Ulster rivals Tyrone out of the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship on Saturday afternoon.
The dangerous forwards scored ten points between them to send Monaghan through to the last eight of the All-Ireland series.
But John Morrison’s charges, beaten All-Ireland finalists last year under previous boss Gregory McGonigle, must improve significantly for the business end of the season.
This was a stuttering performance from a side, who lost their Ulster crown against surprise packets Armagh last month.
At Glennon Brothers Pearse Park in Longford, the victors were ten points up, 1-12 to 0-5, early in the second half but Tyrone got back to within three points by full-time.
Monaghan allowed Tyrone to claim three second half goals – and the Red Hands were denied another when captain Gemma Begley saw her penalty well saved by Linda Martin.
Begley would later convert a second penalty, with that goal sandwiched between majors scored by Niamh O’Neill and Tori McLaughlin.
O’Neill found the net with a speculative long-range free while McLaughlin palmed home her goal at the death.
Monaghan did just about enough to get over the line but impressive goalkeeper Martin also did well to divert Aisling O’Kane’s second half strike over the crossbar, at a time when a Tyrone goal may have given them real hope of a comeback.
In truth, Monaghan never looked like losing this game but Morrison will be unhappy with the sloppy nature of their performance.
The Farney girls still managed to establish a 0-10 to 0-4 lead by half-time, and McConnell had the best goal chance of the first half when she saw a sixth minute effort well saved by Tyrone netminder Shannon Lynch.
Kindlon, a survivor from Monaghan’s last All-Ireland senior success in 1997, was in excellent form in that first half from frees and placed balls.
And Tyrone were left to rue Begley’s penalty miss after half-time, when a goal would have cut the deficit back to just three points.
Instead, Monaghan found the Tyrone net with their next attack, as substitute Muireann Atkinson toe-poked a loose ball home from close range to punish defensive indecision.
Meanwhile, draw for the TG4 All-Ireland ladies SFC quarter-finals has been confirmed.
Kerry have been pitted with Leinster champions Dublin, Mayo will lock horns with All-Ireland holders Cork, Monaghan are paired with Connacht champions Galway and Laois will take on Armagh.
Scorers for Monaghan: N Kindlon (2f) & C McConnell (1f), 0-5 each, M Atkinson 1-0, E McCarron & G McNally 0-2 each, C Courtney & T Scott 0-1 each.
Scorers for Tyrone: G Begley 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), T McLaughlin & N O’Neill 1-0 each, C Donnelly 0-2, E Hegarty, A O’Kane & L Conwell 0-1 each.
MONAGHAN: L Martin; J Geoghegan, Y Connell, E O’Rourke; A McAnespie, S Courtney, G McNally; A Finnegan, N Fahey; C McAnespie, E McCarron, C Courtney; T Scott, C McConnell, N Kindlon.
Subs: G McNally for A McAnespie (15), M Atkinson for C McAnespie (h.t.).
TYRONE: S Lynch; K Quinn, L McGillion, C Dooher; T McLaughlin, N Woods, A McShane; N O’Neill, G Rafferty; E Hegarty, G Begley, C Donnelly; A O’Kane, L Conwell, C McCrossan.
Subs: C Hunter for Dooher (15), D McCallan for McCrossan (41), E Teague for Conwell (41).