5 April 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A win in Omagh is the only guarantee of survival for McEneaney’s men
in a fascinating finale. by COLM SHALVEY

For the third year in a row, Monaghan go into the final round of the Allianz National Football League with their fate up in the air and possibly depending on other results. The only thing for certain is that Monaghan need to beat league leaders Tyrone in Omagh on Sunday if they are to ensure they stay up.
In 2010, Monaghan hung on to Division One status by a single point and last year they were relegated by a similar margin, while this year they find themselves battling against relegation from Division Two.
Monaghan could still stay up on score difference even if they lose, provided that Louth and Westmeath also lose to Meath and Derry respectively, so the calculators could be needed once again on Sunday, but Eamon McEneaney’s side must put all of that out of their heads and go for the win. However, that will, of course, be a tall order.
The Tyrone county board are giving out free Easter eggs to the first 500 Under-16s at Healy Park on Sunday, but the Red Hands won’t be handing out anything for free on the pitch. Mickey Harte’s men have been in imperious form this year, winning each of the 11 competitive games they have played. Tyrone won five out of five on their way to Dr. McKenna Cup success and they have secured promotion in the Allianz League with a ruthless run of six consecutive victories.
Peter Harte has been one of the players of 2012 to date and his incredible goal-scoring form has seen him score five goals in Tyrone’s league campaign, as well as two in successive games as Ulster won the interprovincial championship. Harte has been playing at centre half-back, but Monaghan will have to neutralise his influence if they are to stop Tyrone’s attacks at source.

The fact that Tyrone can afford to take the Errigal Ciarán out of the forward line shows the embarrassment of riches they have in attack, where Martin Penrose, Stephen O’Neill, Seán Cavanagh and Owen Mulligan are battling for places with the new breed like Kyle Coney and Mark and Matthew Donnelly, even though rising star Ronan O’Neill is out …

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