6 July 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan play Laois who will be the fifteenth county that the Oriel county have played in the qualifiers. by JOHN GRAHAM
In the immediate aftermath of Monaghan’s bitterly disappointing loss to Down in the semi-final of the Ulster Senior Football Championship no one in the county, particularly the players and team mentors, wanted to even think about the qualifiers with Eamonn McEneaney acknowledging that day in Armagh that it would be nigh impossible to lift anyone’s spirits for the All Ireland series at that stage. A week later with the second semi-final completed Monaghan’s collective mind has settled somewhat with the players back with their clubs and concentrating on the various club championships, so interest had begun to build as to who Monaghan would be meeting in phase 2 of the championship. As it turned out Monaghan came out of the bowl against Laois who will be the 15th different county that Monaghan have played in the Qualifiers since the series was first introduced.
So far Monaghan have played Armagh (twice), Derry (twice), Donegal (twice), Kerry (twice), Kildare, London, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Tyrone, Westmeath, Wexford, and Wicklow.
Monaghan enjoyed their best run in the Qualifiers with four games in 2005, ultimately losing to Tyrone and the furthest they have got in the championship was to the quarter-final stage in 2007 when they went out to Kerry, a team that dismissed them from the series again the following year in 2008.

The game with Laois in Portlaoise on Sunday week next, July 15th at 3.00pm will be a first ever meeting between these two counties at championship level although they have met on quite a few occasions in the National Football League.
The draw for round 2 of the Qualifiers threw up quite a few interesting pairings and quite a few talking points, not least of which was the pairing of Cavan and Kildare where the Seanie Johnston factor is bound to play a part.
As the draw unfolded another interesting element began to surface in that seven of …

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