An admirable second half from Monaghan in the Ulster Football final took the game to Tyrone, but was just not enough to snatch the Anglo-Celt Cup for the first time since 2015.
The opening half was a cagey affair, with Tyrone just managing to keep themselves ahead throughout the first quarter. After the water break, that lead widened until Monaghan found themselves five-points down at the midway point.
Turning into a much more lively fixture when the teams reemerged, Monaghan took two early points before two frees and a forward mark for Conor McManus and Karl McMenamin had David McCague’s men right back in contention.
😀🏆 – at Croke Park pic.twitter.com/G7sJRelyzW
— Tyrone GAA (@TyroneGAALive) July 31, 2021
With only the smallest of margins separating the sides for much of the remainder, it came down to the final minutes of the game for Monaghan to take their equaliser. On the defensive, a brilliant turnover gave Monaghan their opportunity, but a quick Tyrone retreat was enough to frustrate their last challenge to the right of the post and wide.
Taking their 16th provincial win, Tyrone saw out the game 0-16 to 0-15 and will now meet Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Earlier, Waterford’s hopes of returning to an All-Ireland Hurling final is still alive after claiming a win over Tipperary in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
A quick start for the Déise shot them into a four-point lead within five minutes of the start, but as the half progressed very little separated the counties.
Going into half-time, Liam Sheedy’s men were trailing by just one, with both side’s claiming two goals in the opening 35 minutes.
— Waterford GAA (@WaterfordGAA) July 31, 2021
After the restart, Waterford showed their teeth, stretching the difference to four points within sevens minutes before a moment of brilliance from Stephen Bennett gave his side their third goal of the afternoon.
Pushing on, Waterford added three points to their tally before the water break, compared to Tipp’s two.
The Premier county fought back to reduce the deficit to two with the game all put over, however, a goal from Neil Montgomery made sure Waterford held on to see the semi-finals, the game finally ending 4-28 to 2-27.
In the day’s second Hurling semi-final, Cork bested Dublin 2-26 to 0-24 in Semple Stadium to claim the last remaining semi-final spot.
Goals from Tim O’Mahony and Shane Kingston in the first half gave Cork an eight-point lead going into the break, which proved too much for the Dubs to claw back despite taking 13 points in the second half.
The win means Cork will face either Limerick or Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-finals, which will be played next weekend.
Elsewhere, in the Nicky Rackard Cup final, Mayo defeated Tyrone on a scoreline of 2-27 to 1-14, while Fermanagh got a big win over Cavan to claim the Lory Meahger Cup, finishing 3-26 to 1-17 in Croke Park.