10 January 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Colm Shalvey

Four goals and 26 points, 18 scorers, just two yellow cards and none of the new black cards. To say last Sunday’s Power NI Dr. McKenna Cup opener in Clones was an open game would be an understatement.

Monaghan and Derry set up to attack and the forward lines were on top at both ends of the pitch; leading to a difficult 70 minutes for both defences. The fact that there were no black cards reflected the free-flowing approach taken by the teams and it also had something to do with the lack of intensity on show, with both teams clearly in the early stages of their development, particularly Monaghan, who had just one challenge match and a small amount of training done prior to this clash. Derry are a bit further advanced at this stage, having been training when Monaghan were on their team holiday in New York and having participated in – and won – the Ó Fiaich Cup last month.

There were a couple of positives on Sunday for Malachy O’Rourke and co., not least of which were the performances of debutants Ryan Wylie and Paudie McKenna.

Wylie made a couple of fine interceptions at the back and even got forward to score a goal just before half-time, giving him the extremely rare distinction of …

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