Previews (April 29-May 2)
Nicky Rackard Cup Round Two
Fingal v Monaghan, Saturday, 2.30, Swords
Monaghan begin their Nicky Rackard Cup campaign away to Fingal on Saturday.
Both teams are playing their first games in this year’s competition after getting a bye through the first round. Monaghan were relegated from Division 3B of the National Hurling League despite a final-day win over Mayo, while Fingal finished in mid-table after winning three and losing three of their six games. The sides clashed in round one, when Fingal had a comfortable win. The teams’ last meeting in the Rackard Cup saw the north-Dublin side edge through after extra-time.
Stephen Lambe, Trevor Hilliard, Mickey McHugh, Éanna Mac Suibhne and Gary Boyd should play key roles for Monaghan, while Martin Ormonde, Cian O’Mahony, Peter Daly, Aidan McInerney and Dara de Búrca are among the main men for Fingal.
Senior Football Challenge
Monaghan v Meath, Monday, 4.00, Inniskeen
Monaghan take on Meath on Monday as part of a major fundraising weekend in Inniskeen.
Both counties will be expected to use the match to give opportunities to fringe players. Eamon McEneaney’s Monaghan team, who beat Sligo in a challenge match last Monday, are five weeks away from their Ulster SFC game against Tyrone. Meanwhile, Séamus McEnaney’s Meath, who just stayed up in Division Two of the NFL, are preparing for their Leinster championship opener against either Kildare or Wicklow.
There is also action in the Senior, Intermediate and Junior Football Leagues over the weekend. On Friday in the Drumlin Group of Credit Unions Senior Football League, joint-leaders Ballybay and Truagh have away games against Castleblayney and Truagh respectively, while Magheracloone host Monaghan Harps and Latton face Doohamlet. The game between Inniskeen and Scotstown has been postponed due to Inniskeen players’ involvement in Monaghan’s Nicky Rackard Cup game on Saturday.
In the Monaghan Electrical Intermediate Football League, the action starts on Thursday when Carrickmacross host Aughnamullen. On Friday, leaders Currin are at home to Drumhowan, south-Monaghan rivals Donaghmoyne and Corduff go head-to-head, Éire Óg will be looking to get off the mark when they play Rockcorry and Seán McDermotts are up against Tyholland. There are also two IFL games on Sunday, when Currin travel to Corduff and Drumhowan take on Seán McDermotts.
In the Gerry’s Takeaway, Ballybay Junior Football League, Emyvale and Clones have home advantage against Aghabog and Oram respectively. The games between Cremartin and Killeevan and Toome and Killanny are off because of the county hurling match.