All-Ireland Football semi-final: Tyrone edge out Monaghan to make decider

Niall Sludden sends his shot past Rory Beggan to score Tyrone's goal against Monaghan
Niall Sludden sends his shot past Rory Beggan to score Tyrone's goal against Monaghan
All-Ireland SFC semi-final: Monaghan 0-15 Tyrone 1-13
Monaghan scorers: C McManus 0-7, C McCarthy 0-3, F Kelly 0-1, R Beggan 0-1, K Hughes 0-2, D Wylie 0-1
Tyrone scorers: C Cavanagh 0-1, N Sludden 1-2, C McAliskey 0-4, F Burns 0-1, C McShane 0-1, T McCann 0-1, L Brennan 0-1, P Harte 0-2

Niall Sludden's late goal helped Tyrone to a 1-13 to 0-15 victory over Ulster rivals Monaghan to set up an All-Ireland final against champions Dublin.

Tyrone dominated the first half but they fired seven wides and the teams went in 0-8 to 0-8 at the break.

A sixth point from Conor McManus put Monaghan in front for the first time but the Reds Hands hit back as Sludden drilled high into the net.

Monaghan closed to within one point but Tyrone held on for a deserved win.

Mickey Harte's side are through to their first All-Ireland decider since 2008 and it breaks a run of four successive semi-final defeats.

Monaghan squandered two goal opportunities in the first half as they fell just short of making their first appearance in the final since 1930.

Goals win matches

A late burst gave Tyrone victory over Donegal in last weekend's make or break Super 8s showdown and the Red Hands once again turned it on when it mattered most.

Monaghan were enjoying holding the lead for the first time in the game but it was short-lived as Tyrone stormed upfield to net the only goal on 64 minutes.

Tiernan McCann burst through and when his shot was blocked the ball fell into the path of Sludden, who cracked a powerful shot beyond Farney keeper Rory Beggan.

Monaghan's Karl O'Connell attempts to block this shot from Reds Hands forward Cathal McShane
Monaghan's Karl O'Connell attempts to block this shot from Reds Hands forward Cathal McShane

McManus reduced the gap to one but Tyrone now had the momentum and Peter Harte rattled over two quick points to stretch Tyrone's advantage.

Monaghan piled on the pressure with late points from Kieran Hughes and Drew Wylie leaving just a point between the side but Tyrone saw out the dying seconds to spark Red Hands celebrations.

Missing the target

Tyrone raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after three minutes at Croke Park but they failed to build on their impressive start.

Poor finishing let the Farney men back into the match with McManus displaying his trademark precision while Conor McCarthy popped over three first-half points.

Monaghan were also guilty of squandering chances with McManus going clear only to hesitate and allow the Tyrone defence to get back and clear the danger.

Vinny Corey also missed out for Monaghan as he caught the ball after it struck the uprights but saw his shot superbly saved by Niall Morgan.

Tyrone defender Tiarnan McCann feels the impact of a strong challenge from Shane Corey at Croke Park
Tyrone defender Tiarnan McCann feels the impact of a strong challenge from Shane Corey at Croke Park

The second half was a scrappy, disjointed affair but while it remained close it was always tense with Sludden's goal the turning point.

Can Tyrone beat the Dubs?

Harte and his players will enjoy the victory but they know a much tougher proposition lies ahead in the showpiece against the mighty Dubs at headquarters on 2 September.

Dublin are going for four straight Sam Maguire triumphs and they eased to a semi-final victory over Galway on Saturday.

Tyrone were thumped 2-17 to 0-11 by the Dubs at the semi-final stage last year and while the Red Hands also lost out in the last meeting between the teams in July, the margin was just three points.

It will require a monumental performance from the Ulster team to dethrone the champions but Tyrone have won all three of their All-Irelands finals under Harte.

Tyrone: N Morgan, M McKernan, R McNamee, K McGeary, T McCann, F Burns, P Harte, C Cavanagh, P Hampsey, M Donnelly, N Sludden, C McShane, L Brennan, R Donnelly, C McAliskey.

Replacements: M O'Neill, M Cassidy, H Loughran, C McCann, D McClure, A McCrory, HP McGeary, P McNulty, R O'Neill, R Brennan, M Bradley.

Monaghan: R Beggan; K Duffy, D Wylie, R Wylie; C Walshe, V Corey, K O'Connell; N Kearns, D Hughes; R McAnespie, S Carey, C McCarthy, D Malone; F Kelly, C McManus.

Replacements: C Forde, C Boyle, B Kerr, D Ward, N McAdam, K Hughes, O Duffy, P McKenna, D Mone, J McCarron, D Garland.