MONAGHAN RARING TO TAKE ON DOWN

4 February 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan will be aiming for a second Allianz National Football League Division One win in the space of a week when they host Down at St Tiernach’s Park, Clones, this Sunday. by COLM SHALVEY

hese teams are set to meet in the Ulster SFC quarter-finals later this year, but with National League points so valuable, thoughts of the summer will be put on the long finger. The sides experienced contrasting fortunes in round one last weekend, as Down fell to a heavy defeat at home to Donegal, while Monaghan came from seven points down at one stage to get their campaign off to a winning start away to Roscommon. Down were promoted along with Roscommon last year and their comprehensive loss in Newry last Saturday night has added to the expectations that they are in line for a swift return to Division Two. A brief spell in the third quarter was the only time that Down looked like they could put it up to Donegal, but after seeing an O’Hare penalty saved, the newcomers went on to receive a harsh lesson. Michael Murphy’s unerring free-taking helped Donegal hit the last five points of the first half, before goals by Ryan McHugh (two) and Paddy McBrearty saw Rory Gallagher’s side cruise clear.

The Mourne County’s new manager Éamonn Burns has had mixed news on the availability of a number of players for his second league game in charge. Burns told The Irish News earlier this week that they were intending to appeal the red card shown to Dónal O’Hare in the dying minutes of the Donegal game and he hopes to have Conor Maginn, Luke Howard and Gerard Collins back from injury. Caolán Mooney is sidelined by the hamstring injury that kept him out last weekend and his…

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