All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final Group Stage Phase 1
Kildare v Monaghan, Sunday, 2.00, Croke Park
Monaghan enter the new ‘Super 8s’ series with a big clash with Kildare at Croke Park this Sunday.
Having beaten Tyrone in the Ulster quarter-finals, Monaghan then lost to Fermanagh, but they got their championship campaign back on track with comfortable qualifier wins over Waterford, Leitrim and Laois. Kildare were on a run of 12 consecutive defeats after they lost to Carlow in the Leinster quarter-finals, but they have turned their fortunes around in some style, with four straight wins in the qualifiers at the expense of Derry, Longford, Mayo and Fermanagh.
Monaghan beat Kildare by a point in an Allianz NFL campaign that ended with the Lilywhites being relegated from Division One, while Malachy O’Rourke’s side also edged the counties’ last SFC meeting in an extra-time epic at Sunday’s venue back in 2014.
Monaghan will be looking for the likes of Conor McManus, Rory Beggan, Darren Hughes, Karl O’Connell, Fintan Kelly and Ryan McAnespie to lead the way, with Kieran Hughes now also available after his recent injury. A revitalised Kildare side have seen Daniel and Neil Flynn, Tommy Moolick, Johnny Byrne, Kevin Feely, Peter Kelly, Fergal Conway and Paul Cribbin show good form during their run.
With games against Kerry and Galway to come – Monaghan host the Munster champions before travelling to Salthill – both teams will be targeting a winning start to the group.
Electric Ireland Ulster Minor Football Championship Final
Derry v Monaghan, Friday, 8.00, Athletic Grounds
Monaghan bid to win the Ulster MFC for the first time since their last final appearance in 2013 when they take on Derry in Armagh on Friday night.
Monaghan lost to Derry in extra-time in the first round, but wins over Antrim, Donegal, Down and Cavan have sent them through in a lengthy provincial campaign. Monaghan have already claimed silverware this year via the Ulster Minor Football League and they will be determined to add another trophy, which would be just the county’s second championship success at the minor grade since 1945.
Derry followed up their preliminary-round win by losing to Cavan in two bouts of extra-time, but comfortable wins over Armagh and Fermanagh got the Oak Leafers into the last four, where they got through a competitive derby against Tyrone.
Monaghan will hope to have big performances from Brendan Óg Ó Dufaigh, Aaron Mulligan, Andrew Moore, Seán Jones, Jordan McGarrell, Karl Gallagher, Lochlainn Power and Jason Irwin, while Derry should be led by Enda Downey, Iarlaith Donaghy, Eoghan Hawe, Conleth McGuckin and Eunan McElhennon in what promises to be another entertaining encounter.
TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship Group 2 Round 1
Monaghan v Armagh, Saturday, 12.30, Clones
Monaghan host Armagh in the Ladies SFC at St. Tiarnach’s Park on Saturday.
Both teams lost to back-to-back Ulster champions Donegal in the provincial series, while the league saw Monaghan stay up in Division One and Armagh miss out on promotion after winning four of their seven games in Division Two.
Monaghan will need big performances from experienced players such as the McAnespies, the Courtneys and Ellen McCarron, while Caroline O’Hanlon, Aimee Mackin, Aoife McCoy and Sharon Reel are key players for Armagh.
Monaghan: Linda Martin; Josie Fitzpatrick, Fiona Courtney, Rachel McKenna; Aoife McAnespie, Sharon Courtney, Hazel Kingham; Eileen McKenna, Eimear McAnespie; Rosemary Courtney, Muireann Atkinson, Cora Courtney; Ciara McAnespie, Niamh Callan, Ellen McCarron.
Armagh: Caroline O’Hare; Sarah Marley, Caoimhe Morgan, Sharon Reel; Mairéad Tennyson, Tiarna Grimes, Marian McGuinness; Clódagh McCambridge, Caroline O’Hanlon; Maebh Moriarty, Fionnuala McKenna, Lauren McConville; Aimee Mackin, Aoife McCoy, Kelly Mallon.