Monaghan 0-13 Tyrone 0-11

Monaghan won their first Ulster U21 Football title since 1999 with a 0-13 to 0-11 win over All-Ireland champions Tyrone at the Athletic Grounds.

Five Lee Brennan points helped Tyrone to a 0-07 to 0-06 interval lead, with Barry McGinn hitting three Monaghan scores.

But the Farney men displayed hunger and courage, with Conor McCarthy and McGinn hitting the scores that carried them to victory.

In front of a crowd of 4,332, Monaghan goalkeeper Conor Forde came to his side's rescue early on with a brilliant double save from Sean Fox, whose second effort from the rebound was pushed away thanks to the razor-sharp reflexes of the Scotstown man.

Tyrone got men back quickly to establish a strong defensive cordon, forcing their opponents to shoot from distance, but Fearghal McMahon made one of those efforts count with a fine point to bring his side level in the ninth minute.

Cathal McShane and Lee Brennan slotted over points to ease the Red Hands into a 0-03 to 0-02 lead by the 13th minute, but the holders were struggling to secure possession from their own kick-outs and they were punished by Barry McGinn and Conor McCarthy, who shot two points in the space of 30 seconds.

But Brennan set the game alight with two wonderful scores, one of them sliced over from a sideline ball to nudge Tyrone back in front.

Breaking with pace from deep, Tyrone went two clear with another Brennan special, but the strong running of McMahon and McGinn began to put the All-Ireland champions under pressure with Aaron Lynch and Niall Loughman emerging at midfield.

McGinn landed another free to make it 0-06 each with five minutes of the half to play, but Monaghan suffered a blow when they lost one of their key defenders, captain Kevin Loughran received a black card.

Brennan’s fifth sent Tyrone in with a 0-07 to 0-06 lead, but their opponents hit a crucial spell of productivity in the opening stages of the second half, hitting three points in as many minutes to take a lead they never lost.

Monaghan's Ryan McAnespie with Tyrone's Sean Fox

Monaghan’s controlled intensity helped them frustrate the champions time and again, with Mikey Murnaghan, Dessie Ward and James Mealiff performing heroically at the back.

Turnovers, tackles and interceptions saw them emerge time and again with possession, which they turned into scores, for McCarthy and corner back Barry Kerr, who opened out a three-point lead.

Tyrone pressed desperately in the closing stages, pulling back scores through McShane and David Mulgrew, and just a point separated the sides deep into stoppage time when substitute Adam Treanor shot the insurance score.

Tyrone: S Fox, C McCann (0-01), M McKernan, S Hamill (0-01), C Byrne, F Burns, M O’Neill, C McShane (0-2, 1f), S Loughran, M Flanagan, M Kavanagh (0-01), D Mulgrew (0-01), L Brennan (0-05, 3f), R Coleman, S Fox.

Subs: D Gallagher for Coleman (h-t), S O’Donnell for McCann (39), R McGlone for O’Neill, B McDonnell for Flanagan, P McGirr for Byrne (60)

Monaghan: C Forde, B Kerr (0-01), M Murnaghan, K Loughran, D Ward, J Mealiff, N Rooney, N Loughman, A Lynch (0-01), R McAnespie, B McGinn (0-06, 5f), D Meegan, M O’Dowd, C McCarthy (0-03, 1f), F McMahon (0-01).

Subs: A Curran for Loughran (BC, 27), F Maguire for O’Dowd, B McBennett for McMahon, A Treanor (0-01) for Lynch (60)

Referee: N Cullen (Fermanagh).