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Tyrone second-best as Monaghan are worthy winners

TYRONE manager Mickey Harte accepted that his side were ‘flattered’ by the four point losing margin that they suffered in Castleblayney on Sunday afternoon.

Monaghan eased to a 1-12 to 0-11 Division One victory to secure their first league points of the campaign.

An insipid and ragged showing from Tyrone saw them fall to their first defeat in 2020, and Harte admitted afterwards that it was a bad day at the office all round, with a series of late consolation scores failing to mask the nature of their loss.

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“It was very disappointing. We probably felt we didn’t play particularly well in the first half and hoped we’d play better in the second but it didn’t transpire that way. I suppose it was a challenging game because it was always nip and tick but once they got the goal I suppose the game was allowed to be played on their terms then.

“So we have to put our hands up there is days like that when you got out and expect to do better and you think you have prepared to do better but it doesn’t go your way.”

A fine goal in the 45th minute from wingback Karl O’Connell helped Monaghan establish a significant advantage which duly reflected their overall supremacy up to that juncture, and the expected Tyrone rally never remotely looked like materialising in the closing quarter.

The outcome was all but settled long before the final whistle, though that didn’t prevent tempers boiling over in the dying stages, with Monaghan’s Kieran Hughes and Tyrone’s Mark Bradley both picking up straight red cards, and Farney corner back Kieeran Duffy also receiving his marching orders for a second caution.

Tyrone trailed by just a point 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval, with Frank Burns, Niall Sludden and Kiran McGeary putting over some quality scores for the visitors.

However, the Red Hands were unable to improve after the break and despite some late consolation points, the visitors were well beaten on the day.

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