Following the postponement of their scheduled clash with Antrim, Monaghan’s minor footballers continue their defence of the Ulster league Jim McGuigan Cup against Down on Saturday at 12 noon in Inniskeen.
Having lost by a point against Derry in round one, Monaghan will be looking to build on their win over Armagh. Down have three wins to their credit, including a comprehensive defeat of Antrim last time out. Monaghan can call on the likes of Jason Irwin, Karl Gallagher, Shane Hanratty and Liam McDonald from last year’s Ulster-winning panel, while they also welcome back their Ballybay Community College Rice Cup contingent as they look to stay in contention in Section A.
The round-three U-16 Buncrana Cup game is also against Down at Páirc Grattan, with a 2pm throw-in. Monaghan are bidding for a first win after losing to Derry and Armagh, while Down have won one out of three to date.
On the club scene, the Senior, Intermediate and Junior Football Leagues begin on Saturday.
Senior champions Scotstown are away to Castleblayney, while SFL holders Truagh go to Clontibret and the runners-up from both competitions in 2018, Ballybay and Carrickmacross, go head-to-head. Newly-promoted sides Currin and Doohamlet are up against Inniskeen and Latton, respectively.
Arguably the tie of the opening round in the IFL takes place in Inniskeen, where Magheracloone meet Donaghmoyne. Cremartin are away to Aughnamullen, with the other promoted team, Emyvale, facing a longer trip to Killanny. Monaghan Harps meet Corduff, while there is a north-Monaghan derby between Seán McDermotts and Tyholland.
There are also derby pairings in the JFL via Rockcorry v Aghabog and Toome v Oram, while Blackhill return to the junior ranks with a testing tie against Clones. Drumhowan have home advantage against Éire Óg, with Scotstown’s juniors facing Killeevan.
The U-19 and U-17 Football Leagues get underway on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively, with the Silver Hill Foods Senior Hurling League starting on Thursday. All-Ireland Club JHC finalists Castleblayney start their defence of the SHL away to Inniskeen, while Clontibret face Truagh and Carrickmacross host Mattock Rangers.