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Monaghan win over Tyrone was about hunger and ending 26 years of hurt

By Ryan McMenamin

There may have only been one point in it at the end but I felt that Monaghan were worthy winners on the day.

Tyrone could have snatched a draw at the end but it they had done so it would have been very harsh on Monaghan.

Niall Morgan doesn't normally miss those frees and that was a difficult kick in the closing minutes but it would have been tough on Monaghan if they hadn't closed the game out.

They tackled superbly and got their match-ups right.

I was chatting to Ryan Porter last week and he was trying to write them off as being dark horses and that they weren't in as good a place as last year but I didn't buy into that as Ryan was just trying to keep the expectation level low. They probably didn't get the credit that they deserved last year when they were worthy champions and a lot of people felt that perhaps they couldn't replicate the sort of performance that they had against Donegal in the Ulster final.

Personally I thought that there was more bite on the Monaghan tackles and at half-time they could have been five or six points ahead.

In fairness Tyrone kicked a lot of poor wides.

In the first half Tyrone were too lateral and slow coming out of defence apart from Mattie Donnelly who was their best player on the day and really took the game to Monaghan especially in the first half.

I thought when Monaghan missed the penalty it would shake Tyrone up a bit but if anything it spurred Monaghan on.

Monaghan's defence tackled brilliantly and the Tyrone forwards coughed up the ball a lot and it wasn't until the final 10 minutes that they really turned the heat up on Monaghan.

On the day, in my eyes, the team who won it were the hungrier and wanted to prove a point.

The goal was of course a crucial score and when Monaghan got five in front it was always going to be difficult for Tyrone to peg them back in the soaring heat.

Tyrone did manage to close it to two but Monaghan were always able to respond and you could see by their reaction at the final whistle just what this win meant to them.

You probably can understand their reaction at the final whistle as it was 26 years since they beat Tyrone in the Ulster Championship and I know that during my time playing we turned them over at times when we perhaps shouldn't have.

There was a lot of hurt built up inside them but they have to go on from here, they are only in an Ulster semi-final. Donegal and Armagh will be waiting in the wings and no doubt they will have something to say about it.

Malachy O'Rourke and Ryan Porter seemed to have changed the mind set of this current Monaghan team and I don't think that they will now be getting too carried away having achieved this victory.

For Tyrone now it's the qualifiers with Louth and a great opportunity because the limelight is going to be off them and they can go away and take a good look at themselves and see what they can do better.

No disrespect to Louth but you would expect Tyrone to win that game but after that anything can happen as there will be a lot of dangerous teams in there.

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