CAN MONAGHAN RE-LIGHT THEIR FIRE IN PORTLAOISE?

13 July 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By JOHN GRAHAM
The dust has now settled even though all of the arguments and discussions may not have been settled, in the aftermath of Monaghan’s dismissal from the Ulster senior football championship by Down back on June 24th as attention now turns to their trip to Portlaoise on Sunday to see if they can extend their championship season with a run in the qualifiers. This will be a first ever championship meeting between the two counties and as such it lends significance to the occasion but the only significant matter on the minds of the Monaghan players and team management will be to secure a victory that would give Monaghan at least one further outing in the All Ireland championship. Laois have already had their first outing in the All Ireland qualifiers when they beat near neighbours and keen rivals Carlow in the first round a couple of weeks back.
Laois in fact 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.
Laois had a disappointing Leinster championship this year losing to Longford in their opening game in the provincial series back on May 20th, the first time that they had lost to Longford in the Leinster championship in 44 years.
Things looked good for Laois at half-time in the Longford game when they led by six points but Longford put in a strong second half and the Laois tactic of crowding midfield and then trying to move the ball through quick passing movements just did not pay the dividend that it was expected to.
They recovered from that setback however to defeat Carlow in the first round of the qualifiers back on June 30th, 1-10 to 0-9 the final score at the conclusion.
The game against Carlow was quite a physical encounter by all accounts with the Carlow manager …

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