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Tyrone and Monaghan clash is sure to crank up the heat

Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke
Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke
John Campbell

By John Campbell

The Kildare-Kerry and Dublin-Fermanagh All-Ireland quarter-final ties produced one scarcely credible statistic last Sunday - not a single card was brandished in either game.

And in the case of the Dublin-Fermanagh tie, Jim Gavin's side were awarded just four frees while the Ernemen benefited from 21.

While the outcome of both games were never in doubt and the intensity not quite what might be expected from a cutting-edge Championship fare, it will be a different story tomorrow when Tyrone and Monaghan clash.

Sligo whistler Martin Duffy will be the man in charge and he will certainly have his work cut out in controlling what promises to be a feisty, fractious tie.

Recent meetings between the sides have provided fireworks and with Monaghan eager to drive on in the All-Ireland series having won their second Ulster crown in three years and Tyrone anxious to build further on the fine form they have shown through the qualifiers, the stage is set for a passionate shoot-out.

Referee Duffy has taken charge of a number of high-profile matches of late and will certainly require all his experience in what will be a turbulent atmosphere.

In the Ulster quarter-finals last year, Monaghan won by 1-12 to 0-14 while in the last eight of the All-Ireland in 2013, Tyrone were victorious by 0-14 to 0-12.

But any suggestion that Saturday's game is in the nature of a 'deciding rubber' is quickly downplayed by Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke.

"This is another major Championship match and we are viewing it in that context," stated O'Rourke. "It is a new ball game between two sides who will be fiercely committed and very keen to reach the semi-finals. There is a keen rivalry there but it is a healthy Championship rivalry no matter what anyone thinks."

Belfast Telegraph


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