Mickey Harte relief at Red Hands victory over Monaghan

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte was relieved after the Ulster SFC champions started their defence of the title with a 1-13 to 1-11 win over 13-man Monaghan.

"The first round of the Ulster championship is always going to be difficult and I'm just relieved we have progressed," he said.

"Monaghan came to do a job on us - they came close to doing it and they made life difficult for us.

"Conditions were difficult and things boiled over a bit but that happens."

It was Harte's first championship game since the death of his daughter Michaela in January.

"Obviously it was very difficult but I feel Michaela was with me in a different way today," he added.

Monaghan manager Eamonn McEneaney praised his team, which was reduced to 13 men after Dick Clerkin was red-carded in the first half followed by Dessie Mone's dismissal in the dying minutes.

"I'm proud of the way the boys fought to the very end, especially after playing with 14 men for most of the game," he said.

"Tyrone showed their experience and class although I was heartened by how our young players performed.

"We will gather ourselves, go again and when the qualifiers come we will have regained our composure."

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