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Sludden goal proves crucial as Tyrone end 10-year wait for All-Ireland final place

12 August 2018 16:11
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Sludden goal proves crucial as Tyrone end 10-year wait for All-Ireland final place

Monaghan were denied by a point in a pulsating finish at Croke Park.

THERE WAS ONLY one green flag raised but it proved critical to determining the outcome of this All-Ireland semi-final.

At a juncture when Monaghan had just edged in front, Niall Sludden pounced for the vital strike in the 64th minute when he sidefooted a shot to the net after Tiarnan McCann’s hit had produced a heroic block from Darren Hughes.

It provided Tyrone with a vital cushion and they needed it. The three-point advantage they possessed entering injury-time was whittled away as Monaghan bagged late points from Kieran Hughes and Drew Wylie. But there was to be no last-gasp equaliser to rescue Malachy O’Rourke’s side as they slipped to another narrow loss to Tyrone in Croke Park.

The sides had been deadlocked at 0-8 apiece at the break, Monaghan entering their dressing-room in a positive state after drawing level. Conor McCarthy was the source of their hope, weaving a path through the Tyrone defence for a pair of points from play to close out the first half.

Tyrone had made all the hard yards early on. They chalked four points on the board inside the first four minutes with Colm Cavanagh, Niall Sludden, Connor McAliskey and Frank Burns all on target. When Cathal McShane swung over a point in the 11th minute, they were 0-5 to 0-2 to the good and flying high.

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