CLG Mhuineacháin - Official Monaghan GAA Website

Previews: Big weekend for ladies and hurlers

May 11th, 2012

Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League Division One Final

Monaghan v Cork, Saturday, 4.45, Parnell Park


Monaghan take on a familiar foe in the Ladies NFL Division One Final at Parnell Park in Dublin on Saturday.

The game is, of course, a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland SFC decider, where Cork ran out narrow winners against an unfortunate Monaghan team. On top of that, Cork are the only team to have beaten Monaghan so far this year, so, Gregory McGonigle’s side certainly won’t be lacking motivation this time. This mighty Cork team – winners of six of the last seven All-Ireland titles – have shown no signs of slowing down, winning all of their games to date in 2012 to go within one win of retaining their league crown.

Monaghan have named an unchanged team from their semi-final win over Dublin, meaning there is no place for Ellen McCarron, but it is still a line-up packed with enough talent to overturn last September’s result. The Farney girls already have the Dowd Cup in the trophy cabinet this year, but team captain Sharon Courtney has spoken about their desire for national silverware. The full-back will play a key role against Cork, as will the likes fellow defenders Gráinne McNally, Christina Reilly and Aoife McAnespie, Amanda Casey at midfield and forwards Therese McNally, Ciara McAnespie, Cathriona McConnell and Caoimhe Mohan. Cork have also picked a star-studded fifteen, which features players of the calibre of Juliet Murphy, Rena and Rhona Buckley, Ann-Marie Walsh, Deirdre O’Reilly and Briege Corkery, as well as Valerie Mulcahy on the bench.

24 of the players who started last year’s All-Ireland (13 from Monaghan. And 11 from Cork) have been selected for Saturday’s showdown, so this game should be a cracker. Monaghan may just have the hunger and ability to win a first NFL in 13 years.



Monaghan team: Linda Martin; Gráinne McNally, Sharon Courtney (Capt.), Christina Reilly; Laura McEnaney, Nicola Fahy, Aoife McAnespie; Amanda Casey, Isabel Kieran; Therese McNally, Cora Courtney, Ciara McAnespie; Cathriona McConnell, Niamh Kindlon, Caoimhe Mohan.


Cork: Elaine Harte; Ann-Marie Walsh, Deirdre O’Reilly, Rena Buckley (Capt.); Briege Corkery, Bríd Stack, Geraldine O’Flynn; Juliet Murphy, Norita Kelly; Annie Walsh, Ciara O’Sullivan, Grace Kearney; Nollaig Cleary, Rhona Buckley, Orlagh Farmer.


Monaghan Ladies NFL scorers 2012:


Cathriona McConnell 3-21

Caoimhe Mohan 5-11

Ellen McCarron 2-15

Ciara McAnespie 3-11

Niamh Kindlon 0-14

Laura McEnaney 0-4

Natasha Mohan, Therese McNally 0-3 each

Aoife McAnespie, Isabel Kieran 0-2 each

Amanda Casey, Sharon Courtney, Cora Courtney, Eileen McKenna, Gráinne McNally 0-1 each.



Nicky Rackard Cup Round Two

Monaghan v Donegal, Saturday, 2.30, Clones


Monaghan’s senior hurlers return to competitive action when they take on Donegal in the Nicky Rackard Cup on Saturday.

After the sad end to Monaghan’s Allianz National Hurling League Division 3A campaign – which saw the final against Fingal go unplayed after they had gone unbeaten through their five group games – the Farney men are back under new manager Morgan Lawlor and this is their first game since after they got a bye through last week’s first round of the third-tier championship. Lawlor, a former Kildare manager who has been coaching in Monaghan as part of the National Hurling Development Plan, has sought to put those difficulties behind him and move on with the panel.

Monaghan had a comfortable win over Donegal in the opening round of the league, but the north-westerners have been gradually improving as the season has progressed. They beat Sligo in a relegation play-off last month and they had an excellent, surprising win over Roscommon in the Rackard Cup last Saturday.

Gary Boyd, Mickey McHugh, Stephen Lambe, Paul Murphy, Brian McGuigan and Peter Treanor are among the key players for Monaghan, while Donegal will be looking for big performances from Niall and Kevin Campbell, Ronan and Enda McDermott and Lee Henderson. If Monaghan can get back close to the form they showed in the latter stages of the NHL, they should have enough to clear this hurdle.

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