13 May 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

It’s May, the longer evenings are here, the weather is (finally) getting better, which can only mean one thing: championship football is just around the corner. by COLM SHALVEY

All codes of county teams are expected to be represented at the pre-championship open night in Cloghan tomorrow night (Friday) from 7.30 to 9.30pm. The silverware won by Monaghan sides so far this year; namely the National Football League Division Three, the Ulster Minor Football League and the Ulster Minor Hurling League Division Two will be on display. There will also be a DJ, face-painting, skills competitions, penalty shoot-outs and ample photo and autograph opportunities with the county players. The development plans for the upcoming improvements to the Cloghan Centre of Excellence will be on display on the night.

On the playing field, the senior hurlers are first out when they take on Tyrone in the Nicky Rackard Cup at Carrickmore this Saturday. Both teams struggled in Division 3A of the Allianz National Hurling League, with Monaghan beating their neighbours in a relegation play-off last month, but Tyrone caused the biggest upset of last weekend’s opening round when they beat Louth.

Tyrone had conceded five goals when losing to Louth – who finished just a point outside the top two – in the league, but they stepped up their game to dig out a two-point win last Saturday.

In the wake of the relegation play-off, there should be an extra bit of bite to this match and Monaghan will need to be at the top of their game, particularly as the Red Hand County are …

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