Monaghan’s Under-21 footballers and senior hurlers and ladies are all in action this Sunday.
Under-21 Football Shamrock Cup Final
Monaghan v Tyrone, Sunday, 3.00, Cremartin
Monaghan will bid to regain the Shamrock Cup when they take on holders Tyrone in Sunday’s final at Cremartin.
Wins over Louth and Antrim, either side of a tame defeat against Tyrone, were enough for Monaghan to finish second behind their Ulster rivals. This takes Monaghan one step further than their Hastings Cup campaign, which ended with a shield semi-final loss to Kerry. This is an eighth competitive outing in as many weeks for Finbarr Fitzpatrick’s side in their extensive preparations for next month’s Ulster U-21 Championship and they will face a tough test on Sunday.
Ryan McAnespie, Kevin Loughran, Brian Greenan and Pádraic Keenan will be expected to play key roles for Monaghan, along with whichever combination of Conor McCarthy, Fearghal McMahon, Dónal Meegan and Alan McCahey that makes up the attack. The hosts may be without Ryan Wylie and/or Dessie Ward due to the Sigerson Cup weekend. Frank Burns, Lee Brennan, Ruairí McGlone, Kieran McGeary and Mark Kavanagh are set to lead Tyrone’s bid to win the Cremartin-organised tournament for the second consecutive year and a fifth time in total.
Allianz National Hurling League Division 3A
Monaghan v Roscommon, Sunday, 2.00, Castleblayney
Monaghan’s senior hurlers will attempt to build on a positive start under Trevor Hilliard when they play their first home game of the new era against Roscommon at St. Mary’s Park on Sunday.
Monaghan came from five points down to draw in Omagh last Sunday and they now take on Tyrone’s predecessors as Nicky Rackard Cup champions, Roscommon, who started the league with a convincing win over Louth. Monaghan shocked the Rossies a year ago in the league, but the Connacht side avenged that result in their Nicky Rackard Cup opener a couple of months later.
Monaghan have been boosted by the return of Stephen Lambe, Ronan Meegan and Fergal Rafter and the additions of Niall Garland and young Ronan Curran. Peter Treanor, Éanna Mac Suibhne and Mark Treanor (if fit) should also be central to Monaghan’s plans. Jerry and Gary Fallon, Naos Connaughton, Tomás Seale and Ian Delaney should be to the fore for the visitors.
Ladies National Football League Division One
Monaghan v Cork, Sunday, 2.00, Blackhill
Monaghan’s senior ladies host All-Ireland champions Cork in round three of the National League on Sunday.
After a disappointing opening-round defeat against Dublin, Monaghan enjoyed a first win of Peter Clarke’s reign in style against Tyrone a fortnight ago and they now renew their rivalry with the Rebelettes, who have won nine of the last ten All-Ireland titles. Cork have picked up where they left off once again with back-to-back victories against Mayo and Kerry seeing them shoot straight to the top.
Monaghan will need big performances from Cora and Sharon Courtney, Caoimhe Mohan, Ciara and Aoife McAnespie, Cathriona McConnell, Laura McEnaney and Gráinne McNally if they are to better a star-studded Cork team featuring the likes of Valerie Mulcahy, Geraldine O’Flynn, Rhona Ní Bhuachalla, Grace Kearney.
Patrician High School, Carrickmacross were due to be the first of two Monaghan sides to contest Danske Bank Ulster Colleges MacLarnon Cup semi-finals this Sunday, but their game against St. Malachy’s, Belfast has been postponed due to the death of Brendan Larney, father of Patrick. RIP.