Allianz National Hurling League Division 3A
Monaghan v Donegal, Sunday, 2.00, Castleblayney
Monaghan and Donegal will both be looking to build on winning starts to the NHL when they clash at Castleblayney on Sunday.
Monaghan won away to neighbours Tyrone in round one, while Donegal had a convincing victory over Louth. Last Sunday saw Donegal give first starts to Armagh’s 2016 Nicky Rackard All-Star forward Declan Coulter and Tipperary native Davin Flynn, both of whom are now working and living in the county. That duo hit a combined nine points, while Danny Cullen, Lee Henderson and goal-scorers Cathal Doherty and Kevin Campbell were also prominent.
Donegal, who were relegated from Division 2B last spring, have knocked Monaghan out of the Nicky Rackard Cup four times in five years and also beat them in the 2016 Ulster SHC Shield Final. Peter and Mark Treanor, Brian McGuigan, Éanna Mac Suibhne and new Dónal and Colm Meegan should be to the fore for Monaghan.
Under-21 Shamrock Cup Final
Monaghan v Derry, Sunday, 2.00, Cremartin
Monaghan and Derry’s Under-21 footballers contest the Shamrock Cup Final in Cremartin on Sunday.
Wins over Derry and Armagh, either side of a three-point defeat away to Louth, saw Monaghan through to the final of the Cremartin tournament for the 10th time in 11 years. Derry, who are a new face in the competition, recovered from an understrength team losing in Cloghan first time out to get the better of Armagh and Louth.
Derry should be backboned by their 2015 Ulster MFC-winning team, although rising star Conor Glass was recruited by AFL team Hawthorn. Ben McKinless, Niall Keenan, Conor McGrogan, Danny Tallon, Oisín Duffin and Barry Grant have featured for Derry seniors, while Shane McGuigan is preparing for an All-Ireland Club SFC Final with Slaughtneil.
Monaghan manager Ciarán McBride introduced senior panellists Mikey Murnaghan, David McAlister, Stephen Finnegan and Niall Kearns for their mid-week win, along with the likes of Barry Kerr, Stephen McCabe and James Wilson. Another county senior, Barry McGinn, is on Sigerson Cup finals-weekend duty with UCD.
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division One
Monaghan v Galway, Sunday, 2.00, Clones
Monaghan senior ladies also have a home game this Sunday when they take on Galway at St. Tiarnach’s Park.
Paula Cunningham’s side recovered from a first-round loss to Dublin with a comeback win over Mayo last time out, sealed by Caoimhe Mohan’s late goal. Meanwhile, Galway have been involved in two one-point games so far, finishing on the right side of the result against neighbours Mayo, before being pipped by Donegal.
The Ulster champions should be able to select an experienced team featuring three Courtney sisters (Sharon, Cora and Rosemary) and three McAnespie sisters (Ciara, Aoife and Eimear), as well as the likes of Caoimhe Mohan, Ellen McCarron and Gráinne McNally. Róisín Leonard, Ailbhe Davoren, Megan Glynn and Dora Gorman will be expected to play key roles for Galway.