25 April 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan head to Croke Park on Sunday looking to make history in the Allianz National Division 2 Final against Donegal. by COLM SHALVEY

No team of Monaghan men has ever won silverware at GAA Headquarters in consecutive years (although the ladies managed it in 1996 & ’97), but this group of players can achieve that if they can defeat their Ulster rivals this weekend, following last year’s Division Three success. Of more pressing importance is the need to get another competitive game under their belts ahead of the championship and also to keep the current momentum going, having currently won four on the trot.

A defeat away to Donegal left Monaghan on three points from as many games, following a draw with Down and a convincing win over Meath, but a strong finish to the campaign saw them beat Louth, Armagh, Laois and Galway. Donegal were top of the Division Two table from start to finish and although they experienced a slight wobble in the middle of the campaign with a draw against Meath and a loss to Down, Jim McGuinness’s side always looked near-certainties to secure a quick return to the top flight, following last year’s final-day relegation.

Monaghan should be stronger on Sunday than when they last met Sunday’s opponents, but the injury-enforced absence of the heretofore ever-present Gavin Doogan further limits Monaghan’s options around midfield, particularly with Owen Lennon and Darren Hughes also being less than fully-fit. Peter O’Hanlon has just one NFL start under his belt, although Kieran Hughes could be called into …

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