19 July 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

“Grab the goals but don’t concede them” will be the game plan that secures the silverware. by COLM SHALVEY

Nothing beats being there’, says the advertising slogan from Croke Park and it’s an apt one for Monaghan supporters as the county’s senior and minor footballers go in search of a unique double Ulster final success in Clones on Sunday. Monaghan have never won the Ulster senior and minor championships in the same year and they will be seeking to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1988 Ulster SFC win by finally regaining the Anglo-Celt Cup.

The minors get proceedings underway at 2pm when they take on Tyrone in what looks like a finely balanced tie (see preview inside). At 4pm, it’s over to the senior final, when Monaghan will go in as clear underdogs against Donegal.

Donegal are not only All-Ireland champions, but they are chasing a first three-in-a-row of Ulster titles in their history and while that hasn’t been mentioned by Jim McGuinness and co. in public in the run-up to this match, it will surely be an extra motivation for them.

Much has been written and spoken about Donegal’s transformation under McGuinness and Rory Gallagher, but the bottom line is that they have gone from a team that was crushed by Armagh in a first-round qualifier at Crossmaglen in 2010 to going on a run which has seen them lose just once in the championship since (the infamous low-scoring 2011 All-Ireland semi-final defeat against Dublin).

Despite being relegated from Division One of the National Football League in the dying minutes of the final day, Donegal have bounced back to reach another Ulster final …

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