8 January 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A busy week beckons for Monaghan in the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup with crucial games against Armagh and Cavan. by COLM SHALVEY

Monaghan host Armagh in Clones on Sunday, before travelling to Cavan next Wednesday evening. Two wins would be needed for Monaghan to advance beyond the group stages for the first time since Malachy O’Rourke’s maiden year in charge in 2013, but the date that really looms on the horizon is the January 31 trip to Roscommon for the opening game of the Allianz National Football League Division One.

2016 got off to a false start for Monaghan in last Sunday’s heavy defeat at home to Ulster University. Monaghan never got going in Clones and although they led by 0-3 to 0-2 at the end of a scrappy opening quarter, they soon found themselves trailing after the students kicked six unanswered points between the 20th and 35th minutes. An Evan Regan free for UU was the only score of the first ten minutes of the second half, before Monaghan rallied to cut their deficit from five to just one.

Barry McGinn, who had kicked three points in the first half, got the goal when he slid home a rebound after fellow Monaghan man Rory Beggan had saved his initial effort. The teams were still separated by the minimum margin going into the final quarter, but a sharper, fitter UU side went on to outscore the hosts by 2-6 to 0-3 from then on. Caileán O’Boyle got the students’ first goal on 53 minutes and six minutes later, his high, hopeful ball in…


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