Previews (February 27-28)
Allianz National Football League Division One
Dublin v Monaghan, Saturday, 7.00, Croke Park
The Allianz NFL resumes after a three-week break on Saturday evening when Monaghan take on Dublin under lights at Croke Park.
Both of these teams have two wins to their name, as Monaghan have beaten Roscommon and Down, while All-Ireland champions have made a strong start by defeating Kerry and Mayo. Monaghan have lost three times to Dublin under Malachy O’Rourke, although they did have a great contest with the eventual league winners at the semi-final stage last year, eventually losing out by the narrowest of margins
The Monaghan team named for this game shows two changes from the win over Down, with Ryan Wylie and Kieran Hughes (in for his first county start of 2016) replacing Conor Boyle and Ryan McAnespie. O’Rourke will be looking for big performances from the likes of Conor McManus, Darren and Kieran Hughes, Colin Walshe and Drew and Ryan Wylie. Dublin have made three changes from the victory in Castlebar, as Paul Flynn comes in for his first appearance of 2016, along with Cormac Costello and Cian O’Sullivan, with Jonny Cooper, Ciarán Kilkenny and Paul Mannion dropping out of the starting team.
Dublin: Stephen Cluxton (Capt..); Philly McMahon, Michael Fitzsimons, David Byrne (St Olaf’s); James McCarthy, Cian O’Sullivan, John Small; Denis Bastick, Emmet Ó Conghaile; Paul Flynn, Diarmuid Connolly, Tomás Brady; Dean Rock, Paddy Andrews, Cormac Costello.
Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Colin Walshe, Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie; Kieran Duffy, Fintan Kelly, Karl O’Connell; Neil McAdam, Darren Hughes; Shane Carey, Dermot Malone, Thomas Kerr; Owen Duffy, Kieran Hughes, Conor McManus (Capt..).
Subs: Mark Keogh, John McCarron, Conor Boyle, Niall McKeown, Dessie Mone, Paudie McKenna, Ryan McAnespie, Pádraic Keenan, Conor McCarthy, Barry McGinn, Daniel McKenna.
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division One
Monaghan v Tyrone, Sunday, 2.00, Drumhowan
Monaghan’s senior ladies bid for their first win of 2016 when they host Tyrone on Sunday.
A new-look Monaghan team started their campaign with defeats against Galway, Dublin and Armagh, but an improved performance last Sunday has increased optimism. Tyrone are also in search of their first points.
New manager Paula Cunningham will be looking for big performances from the likes of Cora and Sharon Courtney, Gráinne McNally, Therese Scott, the McAnespies and Ellen McCarron if Monaghan are to claim their first points. Like Monaghan, Tyrone are short some of their most experienced players, including Gemma Begley and the Donnelly sisters.
Meanwhile, Patrician High School, Carrickmacross contest a Danske Bank Ulster Colleges MacLarnon Cup semi-final against St. Louis, Ballymena in Lurgan on Saturday.