1 March 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Nothing less than a win on Sunday will do if Monaghan’s promotion bid is to get back on track. Mnaghan are unbeaten on home soil since Kerry won in Inniskeen on 2011. by COLM SHALVEY

After a decidedly mixed start to their Allianz National Football League Division Three campaign, Monaghan need to find some consistency as Sligo come to Clones this Sunday. Monaghan were unable to build on their impressive opening-round dismantling of Meath last time out, when they fell to a hugely disappointing defeat in Cavan, so manager Malachy O’Rourke will be demanding a much-improved performance against the Yeats County. Conor McManus and Dessie Mone will both miss out on Sunday through suspension – McManus as a result of his straight red card against Cavan and Mone after he received his second double-yellow dismissal of the year in the same match. Paul Finlay should return to the Monaghan attack, which could also be boosted by a first start of the year for Tommy Freeman, who will be sharper after getting a couple of weeks of training done. Even though he was short of fitness, the Magheracloone man was still the main threat of a misfiring Monaghan forward line when he came on in the Cavan match.
Christopher McGuinness will be pushing for a starting place, while Stephen Gollogly could also come into contention to play some part, although Jack McCarron is doubtful due to injury, as is Peter O’Hanlon, who hasn’t played since getting injured in DCU’s Sigerson Cup quarter-final against Queen’s.
Monaghan will need all available forwards to step it up in the absence of McManus, who has accounted for almost a third of the team’s total scores so far this year if you leave out the Fermanagh match, which the Clontibret forward played no part in.
At the other end, Monaghan will hope that Colin Walshe and Darren Hughes can carry on the form which saw both impress last weekend when captaining teams to win national titles. Conor Galligan and Martin McElroy are the …

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