18 April 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan are counting down the days to what should be a cracking NFL Final on April 27th. by COLM SHALVEY

The countdown is now T minus nine days until Monaghan renew acquaintances with Meath in the Allianz National Football League Division Three Final at Croke Park. Monaghan’s last silverware, of course, came against the same opposition at the same venue in the final of the old NFL Division Two back in 2005, so the county’s supporters will be hopeful that is a good omen ahead of Saturday week’s clash.

This game will have a lot to live up to in terms of drama after the ’05 version saw Monaghan stun Meath with a last-minute goal from a Paul Finlay free (with the help of unfortunate Meath midfielder Mark Ward). In terms of preparations, the players have returned to their clubs for the time being for a busy run of games in the Senior, Intermediate and Junior Football Leagues, with games last weekend, last night (Wednesday) and this weekend before they return to the county set-up to finish off preparations for the league final.

Tommy Freeman will again be absent for April 27 as he continues to recuperate from the broken jaw suffered against Wicklow last month, but Kieran Hughes will be available, despite picking up two yellow cards in each of Monaghan’s last two league games against Roscommon and Antrim, as his two-week suspension runs out this weekend.

With Dessie Mone and Gavin Doogan expected to be fit after being late withdrawals from the team last time out, Monaghan look set to have a decent hand to play. Malachy O’Rourke and …

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