Cadbury’s Ulster Under-21 Football Championship Semi-Final
Monaghan v Tyrone, Wednesday, 8.00, Enniskillen
Monaghan take on Tyrone in the rescheduled Ulster Under-21 FC semi-final on Wednesday night at Brewster Park. The game was due to have been played on March 23, but was delayed due to Tyrone’s first-round game against Down going to two replays.
Monaghan had a 1-12 to 1-8 win over Derry in their only game in the competition to date almost three weeks ago, while Tyrone eventually got past Down at the third attempt last Wednesday, when they won by 1-15 to 1-10. The teams are no strangers to each other, as they have already met twice this year in the Shamrock Cup. Monaghan won the first of those meetings, but Tyrone got their own back in the final of the Cremartin-organised competition. The sides also clashed in the Ulster MFC Final in 2008, when Tyrone won by three points on their way to All-Ireland success.
Monaghan can call on four players with inter-county senior experience – Dermot Malone, Kieran Duffy, Christopher McGuinness and Colin Walshe, who captains the team – with the latter three currently holding down regular places on the senior side. Kieran Hughes, who starred for the seniors last year, is also eligible but is set to miss out as he continues to recover from a long-term injury and Daniel McKenna is also a doubt after injury forced him to miss the Derry game. David Millar, Fintan Kelly and Keith McEnaney should also play big parts for Monaghan.
Tyrone are odds-on favourites to win the Ulster championship and second favourites for the All-Ireland and it isn’t hard to see why. Raymond Munroe, who managed the minors three years ago, has an abundance of talent to call on, including forwards Ronan O’Neill, Kyle Coney and Paddy McNiece, midfielder Niall McKenna and backs Ryan Pickering and Ronan McNamee, as well as the versatile Peter Harte. The Red Hand county will also hope to have Ronan McNabb and Diarmuid McNulty available after recent injuries.