Allianz National Football League Division Three
Monaghan v Sligo, Sunday, 2.00, Clones
Monaghan will attempt to get their NFL campaign back on track when they host Sligo in Clones on Sunday.
Monaghan started off with a comprehensive win over Meath, but a disappointing defeat in Cavan last time out means a good performance is needed in this match against a Sligo team going in on the back of a win against Antrim, after they had narrowly lost their opener against neighbours Roscommon.
The Monaghan team for Sunday shows four changes from the Cavan defeat. Tommy Freeman, Christopher McGuinness and Karl O’Connell all make their first starts of this year’s league and Paul Finlay returns to the starting team, with Neil McAdam, Pádraig Donaghy, the injured Jack McCarron and the suspended Conor McManus making way. Vincent Corey, Stephen Gollogly and Matthew McKenna are among the substitutes for the first time this season.
The main men to watch in the Sligo attack are Adrian Marren and Mark Breheny, while Kevin Walsh’s side will also be looking for big performances from midfielder Stephen Gilmartin and defenders Ross Donovan and Charlie Harrison.
Monaghan need to put the Cavan game firmly behind them and take full points from this game to restart their bid for promotion.
Monaghan (v Sligo): Mark Keogh; Colin Walshe, Fintan Kelly, Kieran Duffy; Dessie Mone, Darren Hughes, Karl O’Connell; Owen Lennon (Capt.), Dick Clerkin; Gavin Doogan, Kieran Hughes, Owen Duffy; Christopher McGuinness, Paul Finlay, Tommy Freeman.
Subs: Rory Beggan, Ronan McNally, Conor Galligan, Martin McElroy, Vincent Corey, Neil McAdam, Matthew McKenna, Pete Dooney, Stephen Gollogly, Stephen Smyth, Pádraig Donaghy.
Ladies National Football League Division One
Monaghan v Donegal, Sunday, 2.00, Truagh
Monaghan’s senior ladies will bid for a third win out of three when they welcome Donegal to St. Mellan’s Park on Sunday.
Monaghan have started off with wins over Cork and Meath, while Donegal have lost two of their three games – against Laois and Mayo – although they showed when beating Dublin in round two that they can be dangerous opposition.
Cathriona McConnell has carried her All-Star 2012 form into this year, scoring goals in each of Monaghan’s first two league games, while Ellen McCarron, Sharon Courtney, Ciara and Aoife McAnespie, Christina Reilly and Caoimhe Mohan are also key players. Geraldine and Nicole McLaughlin and Hegarty are crucial to Donegal, who will also be hoping that goalkeeper and captain Róisín McCafferty will be fit after she went off injured against Mayo.
Monaghan have held the advantage over their Ulster rivals in recent years and that should continue here.
Domestic club games for 2013 get underway this weekend, with the new format of the Platinum Tanks Reserve Football Leagues coming into effect. There are two games in the six-team RFL Division 1A, with Magheracloone hosting Latton on Saturday and Scotstown making the short trip to play Monaghan Harps on Sunday. In Division 1B, Drumhowan and Tyholland have home advantage against Truagh and Doohamlet respectively on Sunday. The Division 2A matches see Inniskeen host Killeevan under lights on Saturday evening, before Emyvale travel to Carrickmacross and Corduff entertain Donaghmoyne on Sunday. Corduff take on Toome under lights in Division 3 on Saturday, while Aghabog, Blackhill and Feargal O’Hanlons have home games against Killanny, Clontibret and Éire Óg respectively on Sunday.
The Quinn’s Corner Ulster Club Football Leagues continue on Sunday, with Castleblayney away to Tyrone side Eglish in the SFL and Aughnamullen at home to Greenlough (Derry) in the IFL. Meanwhile, Truagh host Ballymachugh from Cavan in the Táin Club Hurling League Division 5B on Saturday.