CLG Mhuineacháin - Official Monaghan GAA Website

Previews (March 29-April 3)

March 29th, 2012

In contrast to the county’s struggles in the Allianz National Football League Division Two, Monaghan’s senior hurling and ladies football teams have already secured places in the latter stages of their leagues ahead of home fixtures on Sunday.


Allianz National Hurling League Division 3A

Monaghan v Sligo, Sunday, 2.30, Inniskeen


Monaghan will bid to make it five games unbeaten in the NHL when they host Sligo at Páirc Grattan on Sunday.

Monaghan have had an impressive run so far with wins over Donegal, Fingal and Tyrone and a draw with Louth when they played a chunk of the game with 14 men and they are already assured of their place in the final, where they are set to play Fingal. Sligo have taken just one point to date, via a draw against Louth, while losing to Fingal, Tyrone and Donegal, so Sunday’s game is a top-versus-bottom fixture.

Mattie Lennon’s impressive start as Monaghan manager has been built around a core group of 11 players who have started all four matches and another quarter who have been given the nod in three games. The Armagh native is likely to stick with most of those, but he may give a few fringe players an opportunity to put forward their claims for involvement in the final. The exemplary free-taking of Mickey McHugh has been the main source of scores for Monaghan, whose team is given a strong spine by midfielders Gary Boyd and Trevor Hilliard, defenders Jim McHugh and Peter Treanor and forwards Stephen Lambe and Seán Leonard.

Sligo will be looking for big improvement as they build up for a relegation play-off and Monaghan should need no reminders of the Connacht side’s ability, as they beat them in the 2009 Division Four Final and in the Nicky Rackard Cup in ’09 and 2010, so there will be no cause for complacency. Sligo can call on hurlers of the quality of Keith Raymond, Damien and Mark Burke, Gary Cadden and Alan Cawley, but Monaghan should have enough in the tank to continue their fine form.


Monaghan NHL scorers 2012:


Mickey McHugh 0-33 (30f, 2 ‘65s)

Seán Leonard, Noel Morgan 1-5 each

Stephen Lambe 0-5

Martin Murphy, Gary Boyd 0-3 each

Paul Meegan, Trevor Hilliard 0-2 each

Éanna Mac Suibhne, Peter Treanor 0-1 each



Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League Division One

Monaghan v Kildare, Sunday, 2.00, Aughnamullen


Monaghan will be expected to round off their Ladies NFL Division One campaign and warm up for the semi-finals with a win at home to Kildare on Sunday.

Monaghan have lost just once so far this year, away to All-Ireland champions Cork, who have a 100% record to date and are the only team ahead of Gregory McGonigle’s side after six rounds. That defeat has come amid wins over Tyrone, Meath, Donegal, Laois and Dublin, leaving Monaghan on 15 points. Kildare have taken just one point, from a draw with Meath, while they have lost to Tyrone, Donegal, Laois, Dublin and Cork.

Ellen McCarron, who captained DCU in the O’Connor Cup last weekend, Caoimhe Mohan, Cathriona McConnell and Ciara McAnespie have been the main score-getters for Monaghan in this year’s league, while All-Star defenders Sharon Courtney and Gráinne McNally have carried forward their impressive form from last year. McGonigle may shuffle his pack a bit and give some players a chance to play their way into his plans for the semi-finals. Kildare will need Maria Moolick, Róisín Byrne and Grace Clifford on top form if they are to cause a shock.


Monaghan Ladies NFL scorers 2012:


Ellen McCarron 2-15

Caoimhe Mohan 4-8

Cathriona McConnell 2-14

Ciara McAnespie 3-8

Niamh Kindlon 0-9

Therese McNally 0-3

Isabel Kieran 0-2

Sharon Courtney, Natasha Mohan, Laura McEnaney, Eileen McKenna, Gráinne McNally 0-1 each



Ulster Minor Football League Group A

Armagh v Monaghan, Saturday, 12.00, Abbey Park


Monaghan’s minor footballers will seek to build on their winning start when they travel to the Armagh Harps grounds to take on the Orchard county on Saturday.

Monaghan started off with a two-point win at home to Down last week, when they held on in a nervy finish after an impressive first-half performance and Colin McAree and Noel Marron will hope that the team that flew out of the traps in Clones will bring that sort of form to Armagh, who played out a draw with Cavan in their opening game.

Ryan Wylie, Pádraic Keenan, Fergal McGeough, Conor McCarthy and Adam Treanor are big players for Monaghan, while Ryan McShane, Ethan Rafferty, Caolán Comiskey, Paul Campbell and Seán Connell should play key roles for Armagh.



The Eurotech Junior Football League gets underway on Sunday. The teams relegated from intermediate last year, Drumhowan and Éire Óg, start their campaigns with home games against Emyvale and Blackhill, respectively, while last year’s beaten league and championship finalists Clones host Oram and Killanny take on Aghabog.


There are two games in the Platinum Tanks Reserve Football League Division One on Friday evening, when Castleblayney face Truagh in Clontibret and Latton host Scotstown, followed by a full round on Sunday, when Latton, Magheracloone, Scotstown and Tyholland have home advantage against Clontibret, Truagh, Castleblayney and Monaghan Harps respectively. There are also two games in Division Two on Sunday, as Cremartin take on Corduff and Ballybay make the short trip to Doohamlet.


The GRM Minor Football League Division One continues on Tuesday, when Carrickmacross and Scotstown go head-to-head after both picking up big wins in the opening round, while Clontibret travel to Killanny and Castleblayney face Monaghan Harps in Toome.


The Gerry’s Prepared Veg. Under-12 Spring Leagues start up on Saturday.


Before all that, the Silver Hill Foods Development Hurling League, which replaces the reserve league, gets going on Thursday evening with fairly local games between Carrickmacross and Inniskeen and Clontibret and Truagh, as well as Castleblayney’s meeting with Fermanagh opposition Knocks Grattans.

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