TYRONE DERBY SETS SCENE FOR CHALLENGING LEAGUE SEASON

29 January 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan begin their Allianz National Football League Division One campaign with a local derby against Tyrone in Omagh this Saturday evening. by COLM SHALVEY

Having hung on to finally defeat Tyrone in the Ulster championship last summer for the first time in 25 years, Monaghan will be determined to prove that was no one-off this weekend in a game likely to spark much more interest than typical end-of-January fare. A first senior win at Healy Park since a league game in 1998 is on offer for Malachy O’Rourke’s side, as well as valuable points in a hugely competitive division.

Tyrone have, as usual, hit the ground running in 2015, retaining the Dr. McKenna Cup with five wins on the trot while Mickey Harte rotated a large panel, which was cut earlier this week with some high-profile players leaving for various reasons. There was surprise at the departures of Joe McMahon – a key figure in Tyrone’s 2013 All-Ireland quarter-final defeat of Monaghan, who missed last summer’s renewal of rivalries – and Kyle Coney, who tormented Éamon McEneaney’s men in confirming their relegation from Division Two in 2012. They were joined in being left off the league panel by Mark Donnelly, Dermot Carlin, Plunkett Kane and Kevin Gallagher. Coney …

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