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U-21 Shamrock Cup Final – Monaghan 0-10 Tyrone 2-12

TYRONE lifted their third Shamrock Cup with a convincing victory over defending champions Monaghan in Oliver Plunkett Park, Emyvale on Wednesday night. The visitors led from start to finish against an out of sorts Monaghan who made too many errors and took the wrong options on numerous occasions.

The eventual winners raced into an early two point advantage before the home side got off the mark with Kevin Mooney point on eight minutes. However with Monaghan wasting good possession Tyrone pulled away and all but wrapped up the contest with an unanswered 1-3, the goal coming from midfielder Niall McKenna on 17 minutes when the Monaghan defence failed to clear their lines.

Two converted frees from Daniel McKenna and Christopher McGuinness reduced the deficit back to five points on 23 minutes. Peter Harte stretched that lead with a super effort and then in the third minute of added time at the end of the opening half the Tyrone forwards cut open the home defence and Diarmuid McNulty fired to the net. The half time score read Monaghan 0-3, Tyrone 2-6.

McGuinness and McKenna raised the white flag again on the resumption to give the Monaghan boys hope but Tyrone showed their quality to quickly end any thoughts they may have had of getting back into the contest. The lively Ronan O’Neill, Mattie Donnelly and Paddy McNeice all split the posts, the latter making sure all six forwards were on the score sheet.

Jack McCarron landed two frees and corner back Kieran Duffy fired over a fine point to keep Monaghan hanging with 13 minutes remaining. Harte replied at the other end before Monaghan created a goal scoring chance with 10 minutes left but McGuinness drove wide with just Tyrone custodian Niall Morgan to beat.

Both sides traded two points apiece as Tyrone ran out eight point winners and look the side to beat ahead of the beginning of next months Ulster championship.

Monaghan: Rory Beggan, Kieran Duffy (0-1), Fintan Kelly, Eoghan Coyle, Sam Dooney, Colin Walsh, Ryan Courtney, Peter O’Hara, Peter O’Hanlon, Pauric Boyle, Dermot Malone, Kevin Mooney (0-1), Daniel McKenna (0-3, 2f), Christopher McGuinness (0-2, 1f), David Miller.

Subs: Keith McEnaney for Coyle, Jack McCarron (0-3, f) for Courtney, Mark Hanratty for Boyle, Stephen McElroy for Mooney, Aodhan Og McAnespie for Kelly

Tyrone: Niall Morgan, Finbarr McQuaid, Sean Warnock,Micheal Slane, Kevin Mossey, Ryan Pickering, Stefan McKenna, Niall McKenna (1-0), Ruairi Keenan, Paddy McNeice (0-2, 1f), Peter Harte (0-3), Diarmuid McNulty (1-0), Ronan O’Neill (0-4, 3f), Sean McCullagh (0-2, 1f), Mattie Donnelly (0-1).

Subs: Niall Gavin for O’Neill, Ronan McNamee for Keenan, Shea McGuigan for Mossey, Caolan Daly for Donnelly, Aaron McCarney for McNeice

By Alan Gunn