Saturday 31 July

Monaghan v Tyrone, Croke Park, 4pm

ONLINE

Live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and RTÉ News Now app

TV

Live coverage of Monaghan v Tyrone on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, coverage commencing at 3.30pm.

RADIO

Live commentary on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1.

ATTENDANCE ALLOWED

The switch to Croke Park allows a maximum crowd of 18,000 attend.

WEATHER

Saturday, will begin mostly cloudy with just occasional bright spells and isolated light showers. Showers will become more frequent during the afternoon before easing later as some good evening sunny spells develop. For more, see met.ie.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Tyrone making positive start to life post-Harte

The first year since 2002 that Mickey Harte is not the supremo in Tyrone and the county have returned to the Ulster final.

Fearghal Logan, a member of the 1995 Tyrone team which were edged out in a controversial All-Ireland decider, has waited a long time for his chance to step up to the senior job, guiding the Tyrone U21s to an All-Ireland title in 2015.

As was the situation pre-Harte, it's a co-manager scenario, with Logan taking the reins alongside three-time All-Ireland winner Brian Dooher (Art McRory and Eugene McKenna were in charge back in the early noughties).

Tyrone's league form wasn't too auspicious - a win, a loss and a draw in the northern section being followed by an unmerciful battering by Kerry in Killarney (though the latter are making a habit of that) in the semi-final.

The concession of 6-15 may have left some supporters pining for the return of Harte.

Conor Meyler in possession against Donegal

However, they've been far steelier come championship. The new gung-ho approach was reined in slightly and they easily smothered the Cavan attack, handily dispatching the defending champions by eight points in Kingspan Breffni Park. Darren McCurry registered a tidy haul of 0-10, five coming from play.

The semi-final win over Donegal has largely been analysed through the prism of Michael Murphy's first-half sending off, probably the decisive moment of the game.

Nonetheless, Tyrone were particularly slick in the final quarter, Niall Sludden, Kieran McGeary and substitute Tiernan McCann all especially eye-catching in the later stages, slipping over three points apiece.

Exuberant Monaghan aiming for first title in six years

An emotional summer for Monaghan football following the death of U20 captain Brendan Óg Duffy and they're back in a first provincial decider since the last win in 2015.

While the world at large was enraptured by their thrilling two-point victory over Armagh in the semi-final in Newry, Jim McGuinness has since castigated both sides for their defensive naivety.

Monaghan ran through Armagh's lightly manned defence with bewildering ease in the first half, Jack McCarron being given maximum freedom to showcase his flair as they racked up four goals in half an hour.

From this commanding position, they proceeded to surrender an eight-point lead over the course of the second half, Tiernan Kelly's 61st-minute goal nudging Armagh in front.

Conor McManus slips over a levelling free against Armagh

In the end, it took the wiles of Conor McManus to pull Monaghan out of the fire, the hall-of-fame corner-forward manufacturing three frees in short order in the closing stages, edging them back in front by the finish.

It further bolstered Monaghan's clutch reputation following their league relegation play-off win over Galway in similar-ish circumstances in June.

However, the 2-21 in the scores conceded column doesn't bode well with Tyrone coming down the tracks.

Couldn't be separated in league

Monaghan, needing a win to avoid the relegation play-off, appeared set for victory in Healy Park in Division 1 North on 30 May.

However, Tyrone reeled off four points on the trot to steal in front before Ryan McAnespie levelled it at the death (0-14 to 0-14). The draw was of more use to Tyrone at the time.

It was a particularly black-card heavy affair - four in total over 70 minutes.

Back to the mid-noughties

While it was almost a century since the Connacht final wound up in Croke Park, the Ulster final has graced HQ in recent memory.

During the peak Celtic Tiger years of the mid-noughties, the Clones capacity wasn't deemed sufficient to meet the heavy demand for tickets in Ulster and the provincial decider travelled south.

Armagh winning a third Ulster title in a row in 2006

These were the years of Armagh domination in the Anglo-Celt, with three wins from three in the Croker finals (2004-06). Donegal were beaten in the finals of '04 and '06, Tyrone were overcome, after a replay, in the middle one.

However, Armagh failed to add Sam in each of those years and in 2005, Tyrone returned to sicken them in the semi-final, going on to stun Kerry in the final.

Last five championship meetings
2018: Tyrone 1-13 Monaghan 0-15 (All-Ireland SF)
2018: Monaghan 1-18 Tyrone 1-16 (Ulster SFC)
2015: Tyrone 0-18 Monaghan 0-14 (All-Ireland QF)
2014: Monaghan 1-12 Tyrone 0-14 (Ulster SFC)
2013: Tyrone 0-14 Monaghan 0-12 (All-Ireland QF)

TEAMS

Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Kieran Duffy, Conor Boyle, Ryan Wylie; Karl O'Connell, Dessie Ward, Ryan McAnespie; Darren Hughes, Killian Lavelle; Stephen O'Hanlon, Aaron Mulligan, Micheál Bannigan; Conor McCarthy, Jack McCarron, Conor McManus.

Tyrone - yet to be announced

Follow all the championship matches this weekend with our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app.

Watch Tipperary v Waterford live on RTÉ One or RTÉ Player from 1pm Saturday, and Monaghan v Tyrone live on RTÉ2 or RTÉ Player from 3.30pm. Dublin v Kildare is on RTÉ2/Player from 3.30pm Sunday.

Watch highlights of all the weekend's action on The Sunday Game at 9.30pm on RTÉ2.

Listen to live and exclusive national radio commentaries on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday and Sunday Sport.