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Ulster U21 Championship: Tyrone leave it late to book place in final

By Declan Smyth

Tyrone 0-11 Monaghan 1-07: Tyrone are through to the Ulster U21 Championship final after winning a gripping encounter with Monaghan in a keenly-contested encounter at Brewster Park in Enniskillen last night.

After taking three games to get the better of Down in the previous round Tyrone were sluggish at the start and a quick-moving Monaghan took full advantage.

Full forward Keith McEnaney fired over two superb points and Monaghan could have been further in front had Dermot Malone and Daniel McKenna not been guilty of missing gilt-edged chances.

Then, in the 15th minute a long ball forward from Peter O’Hara was flicked on by McEnaney into the path of Christopher McGuinness, who burst through before expertly finishing to the net, past keeper Niall Morgan.

They were to score just once more in the first half though as Tyrone gradually began to come into the game.

Good play from Ronan O’Neill saw him laying the ball out for wing back Niall Sludden to open their account before Paddy McNeice knocked over a free from the right wing.

Red Hands full forward Mattie Donnelly then showed great strength to burst through for a well taken point, and when Ronan O’Neill knocked over a fine free, the deficit was trimmed to the minimum.

It was Monaghan who had the final say of the opening period with a superb effort from out on the wing from midfielder Pete Dooney to leave his side 1-3 to 0-4 in front at the break.

Mattie Donnelly levelled matters on the restart but the superb McGuinness quickly had Monaghan back in front again.

Donnelly edged Tyrone back in front again but another brace from McGuinness saw Eamon McEnaney’s side lead, going into the final quarter.

Peter Harte and McGuinness exchanged points before a Kyle Coney ‘45’ levelled matters, with time running out.

It looked as though it was going to take extra time to decide the tie but substitute John McCullagh proved to be the Tyrone hero with an injury time point to send them through to next week’s final against Cavan.

Tyrone: N Morgan, R Pickering, R McNamee, F McQuaid, N Sludden [0-1], P Harte [0-1], T McCann, N McKenna [0-1], R Donnelly, P McNeice [0-1], S McGuigan, D McNulty, K Coney [0-2], M Donnelly [0-3], R O’Neill [0-1]. Subs – C Gervin for McNeice, R McNabb for McNulty, M Slane for Pickering, J McCullagh [0-1] for McGuigan

Monaghan: R Beggan, C Walshe, F Kelly, E Coyle, S Dooney, K Duffy, D Millar, P Dooney [0-1], P O’Hara, P Boyle, D Malone, P O’Hanlon, C McGuinness [1-4], K McEnaney [0-2], D McKenna. Subs – J McCarron for McEnaney, K Mooney for Millar, M Hanratty for S Dooney

Referee: F Cleary, Fermanagh

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