Tyrone vs Monaghan: Team news and five keys battles which could decider Sunday’s Ulster SFC quarter-final

Division One rivals Tyrone and Monaghan go head-to-head in what could be the pick of the first round games in the provincial series.

The Red Hands were being tipped for relegation midway through the League after three defeats from their opening four games.

However, they rediscovered their form to win three on the bounce, including a round six defeat of Monaghan in Clones.

Read more: Kyle Coney insists Tyrone always believe they are genuine All-Ireland contenders

That eight-point loss left Vinny Corey’s men in danger, but the Farney defeated Mayo in Castlebar to earn a tenth successive season in the top flight next season.

Conor McManus also returned to action against Kevin McStay’s men last month, scoring 1-7 and is a massive boost for Monaghan.

Fellow attacker Jack McCarron has had his injury problems again in 2023, but is set to start while veteran midfielder Darren Hughes also got some game time in the latter stages of the League campaign.

Tyrone’s only injury concern in the build-up to the game was Darragh Canavan, who came off early in the round seven win over Armagh with an ankle injury.

However, the move was only a precaution from the Tyrone management and the Errigal Ciaran star is named to start with brother Ruairi on the bench.

The return to fitness of Ronan McNamee is also a huge boost for Tyrone and he is named at full-back after a fine game against Armagh last time out.

We take a closer look at the key battles which could decide the outcome of Sunday’s game.

Team line-outs:


  1. Niall Morgan

  2. Michael McKernan 3. Ronan McNamee 4. Padraig Hampsey

5. Conor Meyler 6. Peter Harte 7. Cormac Quinn

8. Brian Kennedy 9. Conn Kilpatrick

10. Frank Burns 11. Michael O’Neill 12. Kieran McGeary

13 Darran McCurry 14. Mattie Donnelly 15. Darragh Canavan


  1. Rory Beggan

  2. Thomas McPhillips 3 Kieran Duffy 4. Ryan Wylie

5. Conor Boyle 6.Dessie Ward 7.Ryan O’Toole

8. Darren Hughes 9. Killian Lavelle

10. Stephen O’Hanlon 11. Micheál Bannigan 12. Conor McCarthy

13. Jack McCarron 14. Karl Gallagher 15. Conor McManus

Key battles

Darren McCurry (Tyrone) vs Conor Boyle (Monaghan)

Darren McCurry has been Tyrone’s leading attacker for the last number of seasons and was their top scorer in the League once again.

The Edendork ace is well capable of winning his own ball and Monaghan’s Conor Boyle might be the man to track his movements on Sunday.

Boyle has been playing more as a half-back this term, but he is still a fine man-marker having played full-back last season.

Darragh Canavan (Tyrone) vs Ryan Wylie (Monaghan)

Darragh Canavan has brought his excellent club form to the county colours this season. Was one of the best players on the pitch when these sides met in the League and looks poised to have a big Championship for the Red Hands.

Ryan Wylie has the speed and the temperament to mark Canavan and will need to be on top of his game on Sunday.

Conn Kilpatrick (Tyrone) vs Killian Lavelle (Monaghan)

Conn Kilpatrick is another who has rediscovered his best form in recent weeks and seems more at home alongside Brian Kennedy at midfield.

Has the potential to cause havoc with his runs forward and Killian Lavelle will be hoping to nullify the Edendork ace on Sunday.

Lavelle was sent off in the League meeting last month so will have a point to prove this weekend.

Jack McCarron (Monaghan) vs Ronan McNamee (Tyrone)

Ronan McNamee made his first start of 2023 when thrown in at the deep end against Armagh. Not only did he finish the game, but he also kicked two points from play.

He might pick up Jack McCarron on Sunday and will hope to put the Monaghan attacker on the back foot by surging forward when he can.

Conor McManus (Monaghan) vs Padraig Hampsey (Tyrone)

Class is permanent and there are fewer classier forwards in the game than Conor McManus. Returned to the starting line-up and kicked 1-7 to help Monaghan defeat Mayo in round seven and retain their Division One status.

He has form with Padraig Hampsey and they’ll renew acquaintances on Sunday with the Coalisland defender looking sharp in recent outings as well.


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BelfastLive – Co Tyrone