Nicky Rackard Cup Group 1 Round 1
Armagh v Monaghan, Saturday, 3.00, Athletic Grounds
Monaghan begin their Nicky Rackard Cup campaign on Saturday in an all-Ulster clash away to Armagh.
Monaghan, who reached the semi-final stage in each of the last two years, were boosted early this year by Castleblayney reaching the All-Ireland Club JHC decider. The return of their county contingent then helped them to finish their league campaign in good form, although they timed their run just too late to make the Division 3A Final. Armagh, who lost three consecutive Nicky Rackard Cup Finals between 2015 and 2017, were relegated from the Christy Ring Cup last summer. They reached the NHL Division 3A decider this spring, but lost out to Roscommon.
Armagh should be able to call on the likes of Danny Magee, Nathan and Odhrán Curry and Dylan McKenna, with Monaghan depending on big games from Fergal Rafter, Mark and Peter Treanor and Kevin Crawley.
Electric Ireland Ulster Minor Football Championship Round 2
Tyrone v Monaghan, Saturday, 6.00, Carrickmore
Monaghan’s minor footballers continue their defence of the Ulster MFC when they travel to Carrickmore to face Tyrone on Saturday.
After losing in extra-time in the Ulster MFL Final against their Round 2 championship opponents, Monaghan bounced back to start the championship with hard-earned wins over Down and Antrim. Tyrone, meanwhile, built on their league success by defeating Donegal in Ballybofey.
Monaghan can call on players such as Jason Irwin, Karl Gallagher, Shane Hanratty, Darragh Dempsey, Eoin Duffy and Liam McDonald from last year’s Ulster-winning panel. The likes of Daniel Fullerton, Mark and Niall Devlin, Shay Gallagher, Michael Quinn, Ruairí Campbell and Michael McGleenan could play key roles for Tyrone.
Monaghan’s U-20 footballers start their Development League campaign in Group 2 of the Leo Murphy Cup with a local derby against Armagh at the Athletic Grounds on Wednesday night.
On the club scene, the SFL, IFL and JFL revert to ‘two-point’ games for round six, minus county players.
Shoe City Senior Football League leaders Clontibret are away to Latton on Sunday, with nearest challengers Ballybay and Carrickmacross hosting Currin and holders Truagh, respectively. Scotstown face Inniskeen, while Monday sees Castleblayney make the short trip to Doohamlet.
Monaghan Electrical Intermediate Football League joint-leaders Donaghmoyne and Magheracloone host Killanny and Seán McDermotts, respectively on Sunday. Also down for decision are games between Aughnamullen and Monaghan Harps, Cremartin and Tyholland and Emyvale and Corduff.
Eurotech Junior Football League table-toppers Éire Óg welcome one of their nearest chasers, Rockcorry, to Smithborough on Sunday, while fellow top-four sides Aghabog and Drumhowan host Scotstown and Toome, respectively. Blackhill face Killeevan, while Clones meet Oram.
There is one game down for decision in the Platinum Tanks Reserve Football League Division 1A on Wednesday night, with Clontibret travelling to play leaders Scotstown.
The Silver Hill Foods Development Hurling League continues on Thursday, with Castleblayney and Truagh chasing fourth straight wins when they host East Cavan Gaels and Carrickmacross, respectively. The other fixtures are Latton v Clontibret and Mattock Rangers v Monaghan Harps.