12 February 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Only table-toppers Donegal and second placed Dublin – both by dint of superior scoring differences – are looking down on Monaghan after two rounds of the NFL Div One campaign. by PATRICK SMYTH

Third-placed Monaghan followed up their opening round victory over top flight newcomers Roscommon by trumping Down, another promoted side, by 0-13 to 0-11 last Sunday in Clones.

Monaghan beat the Mournemen without first-choice players Dessie Mone and Kieran Hughes on board and are already well-placed to go on and repeat their achievement last year in reaching the national league division one semi-final.

However, Monaghan team-manager Malachy O’Rourke was quick to suggest that there’s much room for improvement as bigger guns lie in-waiting.

The Fermanagh native acknowledged after the game at St. Tighernach’s Park that his side had made life somewhat difficult for themselves in a game where they held a distinct advantage midway through the second-half but by the end were clinging on.

“I suppose 15 or 20 minutes into the second half we were in control of the game and then we made a few mistakes and they capitalised on them,” O’Rourke conceded.

“We missed a lot of chances as well so even though we were getting plenty of possession we weren’t punishing them on the scoreboard with the result that we were hanging on a wee bit at the end and we are just delighted to get the win and get the two points out of it”.

With Down now propping up the table with zero points to their name – with an inferior scoring difference compared to Mayo and Kerry just above them – the division two league is already taking shape.

Pointedly, the Monaghan manager refused to go down the road of writing off Down’s possible influence on the final state of the parties in the second tier come the year end:

“Down is a proud footballing county and they would have been very disappointed with…


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