Allianz National Football League Division One
Kerry v Monaghan, Sunday, 3.00, Killarney
Monaghan will be chasing a return to winning ways in the Allianz NFL Division One when they make the long trip to Killarney to face high-flying Kerry on Sunday.
Monaghan kicked off with a good win over Dublin, only to lose out narrowly to both Roscommon and Galway, before slipping to a third straight defeat against Tyrone. Meanwhile, Kerry are bidding for a fifth consecutive win after beating Tyrone, Cavan, Dublin and Galway.
Monaghan took a win and a draw from their clashes with Kerry last year, while they have won on their last two league visits to the Kingdom, but Peter Keane’s new-look side are in fine form.
Malachy O’Rourke has named a team showing two changes, with Colin Walshe and Karl O’Connell in for Kieran Duffy and Shane Carey. Kerry also have a pair of changes, as Brian Ó Beaglaíoch and Kevin McCarthy replace Shane Enright and Diarmuid O’Connor. Seán O’Shea has been in fine form for the Kingdom, with Stephen O’Brien, Paul Murphy, Dara Moynihan, Gavin O’Brien and Tom O’Sullivan also showing well. Monaghan will need big performances from the likes of Conor McManus, Walshe, Drew and Ryan Wylie, O’Connell and Darren Hughes.
Kerry: Shane Ryan; Peter Crowley, Jack Sherwood, Brian Ó Beaglaíoch; Gavin Crowley, Paul Murphy (Capt.), Tom O’Sullivan; Jack Barry, Mark Griffin; Dara Moynihan, Seán O’Shea, Gavin O’Brien; Kevin McCarthy, Tommy Walsh, Stephen O’Brien.
Subs: Brian Kelly, Shane Enright, Diarmuid O’Connor, Jason Foley, Tomás Ó Sé, Graham O’Sullivan, Michael Geaney, Conor Geaney, Jonathan Lyne, Killian Spillane, Denis Daly.
Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Colin Walshe (Capt.), Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie; Dessie Mone, Barry Kerr, Karl O’Connell; Darren Hughes, Gavin Doogan; Ryan McAnespie, Jack McCarron, Stephen O’Hanlon; Dermot Malone, Conor McManus, Dessie Ward.
Subs: Shane Garland, John McCarron, Colm Lennon, Vincent Corey, Neil McAdam, Owen Duffy, Shane Carey, Conor McCarthy, Micheál Bannigan, Barry McGinn, David Garland.
Allianz National Hurling League Division 3A
Louth v Monaghan, Sunday, 1.00, Darver
Monaghan will be aiming for a third straight win in the Allianz NHL when they make the short trip to Darver to face Louth on Sunday.
Monaghan hurling has been boosted recently by Castleblayney’s run to the All-Ireland Club JHC Final, where they fell just short, although that had a short-term knock-on effect on the county team’s prospects in the league. Monaghan started their campaign with defeats against Armagh and Roscommon, but the return of several Blayney players – including top scorer Fergal Rafter and the Treanor brothers – helped them get off the mark in a thriller away to Tyrone, before seeing off Lancashire last Sunday. Louth’s only win to date came against Lancashire, while they lost to Armagh, Tyrone and Roscommon.
Trevor Hilliard has named a Monaghan team with six changes from round four, with Cillian Sherry, Pearse McKenna, Paddy Finnegan, Cathal Power and Shane and Cormac McNally in for Paddy Collins, Gareth Brennan, Éamonn Collins, Pádraig McGahon, Luke McKenna and Conor Gernon. Darren Geoghegan, Gerard Smyth, Andrew and David Kettle should be among the main men for Louth.
Monaghan: Cillian Sherry; Pearse McKenna, Jamie Guinan, Colin Merrick; Stephen Lambe, Peter Treanor, Paddy Finnegan; Mark Treanor, Kevin Crawley; Cathal Power, Conor McKenna, Cormac McNally; Shane McNally, Taidhg Campbell, Fergal Rafter (Capt.).
Subs: Niall Butler, Éamonn Collins, Pádraig McGahon, Patrick Bermingham, Luke McKenna, Dylan Mulholland, Conor Gernon, Eoin Leonard, Craig Callan, Emmet Walsh, Gareth Brennan.
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division One
Monaghan v Cork, Sunday, 3.00, Inniskeen
Sunday also sees Monaghan’s senior ladies bid to get off the mark when they host Cork in Inniskeen.
Monaghan have fallen short against Westmeath, Galway and Donegal so far, while Cork lost to Tipperary and Galway, either side of a win over Westmeath.
Monaghan manager Niall Treanor has made two changes, with Alanna McCarey in for Brídín Tierney in goals and Éadaoin Treanor replacing Eva Woods at corner-forward. Monaghan will need big performances from Cora Courtney, Aoife, Ciara and Eimear McAnespie and Muireann Atkinson against a Cork side led by seven of last year’s All-Ireland runners-up, including Orla Finn, Áine O’Sullivan, Shauna Kelly and Eimear Scally. The inclusion of Scally is among two changes to the Cork starting team, with Sarah Leahy also in and Marie Ambrose and Libby Coppinger dropping out.
Monaghan: Alanna McCarey; Lisa Flynn, Niamh Kerr, Sarah Boyd; Rosemary Courtney, Aoife McAnespie, Shauna Coyle; Muireann Atkinson, Hannah McSkane; Chloe McBride, Cora Courtney (Capt.), Eimear McAnespie; Éadaoin Treanor, Leanne Maguire, Ciara McAnespie.
Cork: Martina O’Brien; Sarah Leahy, Shauna Kelly, Aisling Kelleher; Dáire Kiely, Melissa Duggan, Eimear Kiely; Aisling Hutchings, Laura O’Mahony; Áine O’Sullivan, Niamh Cotter, Orlagh Farmer; Eimear Scally, Sadhbh O’Leary, Orla Finn.
Meanwhile, Monaghan’s U-17 and U-16 footballers are in action in Lavey, Co Derry on Saturday. The minor side begin their defence of the Ulster league Jim McGuigan Cup at 12 noon, with the likes of Jason Irwin, Karl Gallagher, Shane Hanratty, Darragh Dempsey and Liam McDonald returning from last year. It’s a 2pm throw-in for the U-16s in their Buncrana Cup opener, also against Derry.
After winning Tuesday’s O’Doherty Cup Final, Ballybay Community College progress to the All-Ireland series, where they face Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin from the Connemara Gaeltacht at the semi-final stage of the Masita-sponsored Rice Cup on Saturday (1pm in Clooneen, Roscommon).
On the club scene, the 2019 season begins with action in all divisions of the Platinum Tanks Reserve Football Leagues over the weekend.