12 April 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Kingspan Breffni, 2-00pm, Saturday

It is often said that a week is a long time in politics and based on that a year is a long time in sport and the past year has seen a dramatic downturn in the fortunes of the Monaghan senior hurling team. This time last year Monaghan were preparing for the division 3 A final against Fingal when they finished top of division 3A having been undefeated in all of their games up until that date.

A quick fast forward to this week sees a completely different picture, as a depleted Monaghan have finished pointless at the bottom of division 3A having lost all of their five matches and instead of being in the shake-up they are involved in a relegation dog fight with Tyrone to decide who drops through the trap door into the basement of division 3B for next season.

Tyrone are in somewhat similar circumstances although they come into this relegation play off having taken the points off Monaghan in their league meeting earlier on although that was a game where Monaghan were in contention for long periods and had they taken a few more of the chances they created they could well have reversed the result.

Having suffered that defeat Monaghan went into their final game against Fermanagh looking for their first points and again a match that they were in for long periods but the concession of an early goal and a few missed opportunities left then finishing the round robin part of the league with nothing to show for their efforts as far as points in the division 3A league table and were concerned.

That is not to say though that it is all doom and gloom even though Monaghan have struggled and are working from very limited resources because team manager Joe Morris has instilled an increasing work ethic and their tactics and team play have improved with each match. Speaking after the Fermanagh game he was confident that Monaghan could generate a further degree of improvement before facing into this relegation play-off where victory will ensure division 3A survival while defeat will consign the losers to division 3B.

There is also the possibility that Monaghan could have a couple of players who have been previously unavailable back on the panel for this game and any additions of that nature certainly give the team management options.

As far as this game is concerned Monaghan have …

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