20 July 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Colm Shalvey
Monaghan will attempt to end the county’s long wait for an Ulster Minor Football Championship title when they take on Tyrone in the final in Clones on Sunday (throw-in at 12 noon). Standing in Monaghan’s way once again are near-neighbours Tyrone, who have proved an insurmountable hurdle at all levels in recent years, but the players must be prepared to do what Cavan did in last year’s decider and make past results irrelevant. Monaghan’s only two Ulster MFC Final appearances of the 2000s so far both resulted in losses to Tyrone (in 2001 and 2008), but this one gives Colin McAree’s side a chance to reverse recent trends and make history of their own.
Monaghan produced a fine second-half performance to ease past Antrim by 2-10 to 1-2 in the first round, before battling past Down in the semi-finals.
Tyrone emerged from a thrilling quarter-final against Armagh on a scoreline of 4-11 to 0-19 and they followed it up with a commanding performance in beating Derry by 0-15 to 0-6 last time out.
Tyrone’s margin of victory in the semi-finals raised eyebrows, as this year’s Derry side were highly rated, featuring a number of the St. Pat’s, Maghera MacRory Cup finalists and Rannafast Cup winners.

Tyrone already have silverware in the cabinet this year after they won the Ulster Minor Football League. Monaghan also finished top of their group in the league after wins over Down and Armagh, but they lost to Derry in the semi-finals.
Wing-forwards Pádraic Keenan and Ryan McAnespie will play key roles for Monaghan, while Ryan Wylie is a real leader in a settled defence, along with Fergal Malone, Mark Magee, Shaun Buckley, Barry Hanratty and Shane Conlon, while Brian Greenan and James McElroy make up a strong midfield partnership.
Fergal McGeough is the target man of the attack, which also boasts pace in Conor McCarthy, David McAlister and Adam Treanor.
Free-takers Keenan and McCarthy will be expected to lead the scoring, with the other forwards also expected to chip in.
Injuries have robbed Monaghan of Killian Rudden (ankle) and Conor Lavelle (collarbone), but they can still call on six players who will be keen to avenge on last year’s defeat against Tyrone and they have options on …

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