17 May 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Playing for your county must be a brilliant feeling when young football fans want your autograph during a pre-championship open night at Cloghan. by COLM SHALVEY

There was a Friday feel-good feeling around Cloghan last week as the county’s youngsters got the chance to ‘meet their heroes’ at the Monaghan open night. Counties across the country welcomed supporters last weekend for the second year of the GAA’s national rollout of the open nights.

Young Gaels turned out in large numbers to meet the Monaghan players and take part in skills competitions, while there was also a DJ and face-painting to keep the crowd entertained.

Despite heavy showers affecting much of the county last Friday, Cloghan stayed dry for the evening, which added to the positive atmosphere, as did the presence of Allianz National Football League Division Three and Ulster Minor Football League trophies.

The senior and minor footballers, who are both in the middle of final preparations for their championship bows in the next few weeks, were in high demand for autographs and photos.
Complimentary posters and wristbands were handed out to those who attended.

Senior manager Malachy O’Rourke got some good news on the injury front last week with Owen Lennon and Dessie Mone playing full 60 minutes for Latton and Clontibret respectively and Tommy Freeman inching closer to his comeback from his broken jaw.

There was also some bad news, however, as Dermot Malone had to undergo keyhole surgery on an old knee problem, which flared up again in the National League Final, when he was replaced just short of the half-hour mark.

On the playing fields, the county’s senior hurlers were in action last Saturday, when they lost to Tyrone in Killyclogher.

Monaghan were expected to be on the receiving end of a Tyrone backlash after they had relegated their neighbours in an Allianz National Hurling League Division 3A play-off last month and so it proved, as Seán Óg Grogan (2-2) and Damien Casey (0-8) put Joey Morris’s side to the sword.
Monaghan were strengthened by the return of Séamus Loftus and Deaglán Crowe and a debut for new recruit Tadhg Campbell for that game, but they fell away in the second half, being held scoreless for 24 minutes.

Monaghan have another chance to qualify for the Nicky Rackard Cup semi-finals when they take on Sligo in Inniskeen this Saturday afternoon and if they can produce a more complete performance this time, they can do enough to keep their …

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