Big match reaction
After the battle to finish a weekend where everyone could gorge on league football with no restrictions, Tyrone and Monaghan provided one of the most wildly, unpredictable and entertaining clashes. Nobody deserved to lose. An argument could also be fashioned that neither deserved the win either.
“We probably thought we had won it at the end, with that controversial point or maybe it wasn’t a point or whatever, but maybe we were lucky we survived,” was a pretty fair summation of it all by Tyrone’s joint-manager Brian Dooher.
“Monaghan had a few good chances before that they didn’t take, so maybe all in all, it wasn’t far away from where it should have been.”
Tyrone looked sluggish at times here and are clearly just taking their time to get going. That’s only natural.
“I suppose we are a wee bit behind the curve in terms of a preparation and fitness point of view. That game will stand to them going forward,” Dooher stated.
“I think we stood up well at the end, with the amount of tackles and turnovers and you have to give all the credit to the players.”
At what stage do you park 2021 completely?
“Every year you go out with the aspiration to be the best you can be and doing the best you can.
“We are probably no different from any other team. You go out to win every game and we are not looking any further ahead.
“The Ulster Championship is far from my mind now. It is the National League and it’s Armagh next weekend.”
And ahead of that game, Tyrone were able to roll the likes of Niall Sludden, Brian Kennedy and Cathal McShane out for the first time properly this year.
“It was important to get those boys back out on the field and give them gametime, the ones who didn’t get the McKenna Cup,” added Dooher.
For a man who made a beeline to have a word with the referee at half-time, Monaghan manager Seamus McEnaney was more reflective at the final whistle.
“For us it was a great game of ball. Conditions were tough even if the ground itself was in good condition,” he said.
"It was hard to play and I thought Joe McQuillan refereed really well because it was a hard game to referee and with an awful lot at stake. For us to take a point here in Omagh is a big result for us.
“The positive for Monaghan is that we showed great character and went at Tyrone in the last 10 minutes and apart from bad execution, I thought we did a lot of things right.”
The results over the weekend shows how competitive this is.
“This is the best Division One campaign in 25 years. This is the cream of the cream in division one as far as I’m concerned. I think there’s going to be an outrageous battle for teams to stay in it and stay on top of it.”