Allianz National Football League Division One
Galway v Monaghan, Sunday, 12.30, Pearse Stadium
Monaghan bid to continue their good form in the Allianz NFL when they travel to Salthill to face high-flying Galway in their rescheduled game on Sunday.
Having been edged out at home to Mayo in round one, Monaghan have bounced back with wins over Kildare, Kerry and Tyrone moving them up the table to third. Galway have returned to the top flight in some style via wins over Tyrone, Donegal, Mayo and Kerry, leaving them level with Dublin at the top.
Monaghan have three changes to their team that pipped Tyrone, with Kieran Duffy, Páraic McGuirk and Ryan McAnespie coming in for Colin Walshe, Drew Wylie and Shane Carey.
Monaghan will need the likes of Fintan Kelly, Ryan Wylie, Darren Hughes and Conor McCarthy to lead the way, while Galway will be looking to Damien Comer, Éamonn Brannigan, Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh, Shane Walsh and Barry McHugh to continue their good form.
The football is to be followed by a high-profile top-of-the-table Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B clash between All-Ireland champions Galway and Limerick, so supporters are advised to purchase tickets in advance for this attractive double-header.
Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Kieran Duffy, Conor Boyle, Ryan Wylie; Vincent Corey, Páraic McGuirk, Dessie Mone; Darren Hughes, Niall Kearns; Dessie Ward, Fintan Kelly, Ryan McAnespie; Jack McCarron, Thomas Kerr, Conor McCarthy.
Subs: Shane Garland, Drew Wylie, Karl O’Connell, Kieran Hughes, Neil McAdam, Paudie McKenna, Dermot Malone, Owen Duffy, David Garland, Conor McManus, Micheál Bannigan.
Allianz National Hurling League Division 3A
Monaghan v Louth, Sunday, 2.00, Castleblayney
The last round of the Allianz NHL Division 3A sees Monaghan host Louth in Castleblayney on Sunday.
Monaghan started off with a win over Longford and a draw with Roscommon, but back-to-back defeats against Tyrone and Warwickshire have dented their chances of progressing to the final. Louth lost to Roscommon first time out, but are unbeaten since then via wins over Tyrone and Longford and a draw with table-toppers Warwickshire.
Monaghan will need Fergal Rafter to continue his scoring form, with the support of Mark and Peter Treanor, Brian McGuigan, Martin Murphy and Jamie Guinan against a Louth side led by the prolific Clare native Niall Arthur, helped by the likes of Mark Molloy, Ronan Byrne and Shane Callan.
Monaghan start their Ulster U-17 Football League campaign against Armagh in Silverbridge this Saturday at 12 noon. Monaghan are in Group A, with home games against Cavan and Down to follow Saturday’s opener as the new minor age replaces the old U-18 grade. The Ulster U-17 Championship will start as early as April 21 for Monaghan, who will travel to Derry for the preliminary round.
Former Monaghan senior manager Séamus McEnaney is in charge of the minors, alongside his former county captain Damien Freeman from Magheracloone, as well as Tony Graham (Oram) and David McCague (Scotstown).
The county U-16 footballers also begin their Buncrana Cup campaign on Saturday. Drawn alongside Tyrone and Fermanagh, Monaghan travel to the Erne County’s Lissan training centre in round one.
The Platinum Tanks Reserve Football Leagues get underway on Saturday, a week later than scheduled.
The Division 1A fixtures are Donaghmoyne v Scotstown, Latton v Truagh and Magheracloone v Clontibret, while in Division 1B, it’s Castleblayney v Aughnamullen, Emyvale v Monaghan Harps and Killanny v Cremartin. Division 2A gets underway with Ballybay and Blackhill hosting Carrickmacross and Drumhowan, respectively, while Éire Óg and Tyholland travel to Aghabog and Clones in Division 2B. Seán McDermotts are in Oram on Friday in Division Three, where Saturday’s fixture is between Currin and Inniskeen.