Monaghan crash out of Division One after 10 years with defeat to Tyrone

Tense Ulster derby at Healy Park sees home side come out on top and ease relegation concerns

National Football League Division One: Tyrone 1-19 Monaghan 2-13

Monaghan crashed out of Division One after 10 years spent at the top level, losing out in a tense Ulster derby at Healy Park.

Not even a vintage performance from 36-year-old attacker Conor McManus could inspire the Farney men to yet another great escape.

On each of the last five seasons they have avoided the drop on the last day of the league campaign, but they will face Mayo at Clones next weekend with no way back.


Only Kerry have spent longer in the premier grade, but a proud era for one of Ireland’s smallest counties ended in despair.

The stakes were high in Omagh, with Tyrone also needing a to win to ease their own relegation concerns, and the relief for them was palpable.

Tyrone raced into a three-point lead through Darren McCurry, Darragh Canavan and Kieran McGeary, but Jack McCarron ignited the Farney challenge with a fifth-minute goal.

Monaghan were content to soak up the pressure, even when it meant conceding, confident they could respond on the break, with McManus keeping them to within two points at the end of the opening quarter.

But Canavan grabbed a brilliant breakaway goal, collecting on halfway to sprint clear, and beat Darren McDonnell with a screamer.

Monaghan responded through Conor McCarthy and McCarron, but Canavan and McCurry were on fire up front for the Red Hands, who went in at the break with a 1-11 to 1-6 lead.

But a magnificent display of finishing by 36-year-old McManus led Monaghan’s heroic push for salvation, even after Tyrone had stretched the advantage out to seven points through Ciaran Daly.

The Red Hand injury crisis eased with the arrival of Mattie Donnelly for a first appearance of the season, another returnee, Cathal McShane, hit the target.

McManus kept Monaghan in touch with a couple of wonderful scores, but there was no stopping Canavan at the other end as he kept daylight between the sides.

Monaghan lost defender Ryan O’Toole to a black card, but the numbers were instantly evened up as Tyrone midfielder Brian Kennedy also saw black less than a minute later.

And it was the men in last-chance saloon who struck a major blow with a 58th-minute goal, punched home by Killian Lavelle from an Andrew Woods assist.

Darren Hughes, Micheal Bannigan and Conor McCarthy drove the Farney challenge as they sensed the opportunity to survive, with McManus adding another couple to his tally, bringing his side to within a point with five minutes to play.

But Tyrone found another flourish for McCurry and Joe Oguz to push them clear.

Tyrone: N Morgan; C Devlin, P Hampsey, C Quinn; B Cullen, K McGeary (0-1), N Devlin; B Kennedy, A Donaghy; C Daly (0-1), S O’Donnell, J Oguz; D McCurry (0-7, four frees, 1m), D Canavan (1-7, three frees), K McGeary (0-1). Subs: M Donnelly for McGeary (41), R Canavan for McShane (56), A Clarke for Hampsey (64).

Monaghan: D McDonnell; R Wylie, K Duffy, R O’Toole; J Irwin, K Lavelle, C McCarthy (0-1); M McCarville, D Hughes; D Ward, M Bannigan (0-1), R McAnespie; C McManus (0-6, one free, 1m), J McCarron (1-4, four frees), C McNulty (0-1). Subs: K O’Connell for Irwin (h-t), G Mohan for McCarville (44), A Woods for McNulty (50), J Wilson for McAnespie (56), D Garland for Ward (68)

Referee: J Henry (Mayo).