9 April 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Kevin carney

Notwithstanding the palpable sense of foreboding that hung over St. Tiarnach’s Park at the final whistle last Sunday, there’ll be nobody in the Monaghan camp reaching for the panic button anytime soon.

All belonging to the Oriel can bet on their favourites staying calm, composed and compact ahead of the county’s NFL sem-final meeting with the Dubs for it’s been clear for quite a while now that O’Rourke and co. don’t do panic even when the air around them is clogged with the dust of a defence that’s just been demolished.

Despite losing an unbeaten run at Clones that stretched back to 2011, it’ll have been a case of ‘steady as she goes’ in the Monaghan camp in the past week; maintaining the same modus operandi that served Monaghan well after they travelled to Tralee on March 29th and chiselled out a first competitive win over Kerry in 27 years.

Contrary to what a lot of pundits have indicated in the past few days, Monaghan have every reason to be more hopeful than doleful in advance of their semi-final duel this weekend for, as good as Dublin were in Clones, there’s much more about this Monaghan squad than they showed in going down by 1-11 to 1-21.

Monaghan were good value for their third placed finish but the composure and steely self-assurance they showed in conceding just 10 points to the Kingdom went AWOL last weekend, especially in the crucial early stages of the game when they had the worst possible starts which is the antithesis of what an underdog needs if they are to cause an upset.

Dublin were impressive, without doubt, particularly going forward and the fact that they boasted 11 different scorers in the game is proof positive of their strength-in-depth in the area of the field which is the most important.
Ominously for all the teams charged with stopping the Dubs doing the seeming …

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