CHAMPIONSHIPS ON FAST FORWARD AS CLUBS EYE THE PRIZE

24 August 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Colm Shalvey
The Monaghan football championships are in full swing, with 12 of the 30 teams in the senior, intermediate and junior competitions eliminated and the numbers remaining set to be whittled down by another four this weekend
Truagh and Magheracloone became the first teams to be knocked out of the Gormley uPVC Senior Football Championship last weekend. The first semi-final places in what looks to be a wide open competition are up for grabs this weekend, with Clontibret up against Castleblayney and Ballybay facing Currin.
Clontibret and Blayney, who produced the best Monaghan championship game for some years back in 2009 when they went to extra-time under lights in Emyvale, are evenly-matched, but the O’Neills should have enough if they can get the right ball to Conor McManus. Despite their lowly league position, senior newcomers Currin proved last time out that they can’t be written off, but Ballybay have been the most consistent senior team in the county in the last two years. They have lost just twice in 17 games this season and should have the firepower in Paul Finlay, Thomas Kerr and the McGuinness brothers to secure another semi-final appearance.
Latton survived a scare to edge past Truagh last Saturday, but having kicked 14 wides in that match and with Owen and Edmund Lennon to return, they will be confident of seeing off Monaghan Harps, who lost to Ballybay last Friday and are likely to be without Dean Fanning through suspension on top of some injury problems. The other back-door game sees Scotstown go up against Carrickmacross. Last year’s runners-up Scotstown were under severe pressure after losing to Currin and dropping into the relegation zone in the league, but four consecutive SFL wins and last Sunday’s championship demolition of Magheracloone put them on the right track once …

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