19 February 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

With nine days to go until Monaghan resume their National Football League campaign with a highly-anticipated Croke Park Clash with Dublin, attentions turn to U-21 and Colleges football this weekend. by COLM SHALVEY

Monaghan will attempt to win the Shamrock Cup for the first time since 2013 when they renew rivalries with Tyrone in Cremartin this Sunday.

Tyrone have won the Cremartin-run Under-21 tournament for the last two years, including a final win over Monaghan 12 months ago, and the Red Hand County are in the decider for the sixth time in a row. Tyrone’s only defeat in that run of final appearances came when Monaghan put them to the sword in 2013, but it’s a game that happened at a different level that summer that has much more relevance to this Sunday’s clash.

Monaghan, of course, came from eight points down in the 2013 Ulster MFC Final to pip Tyrone in a dramatic finish and end the county’s 68-year wait for a minor championship title, so these counties’ fortunes in this year’s Under-21 grade will be very much in the spotlight.

Tyrone have blazed a trail on their way to this final, following a fiery win over Monaghan by blitzing Louth with seven goals last weekend, while Monaghan have beaten Louth and Antrim, either side of that loss to their neighbours. A team showing 11 changes from the Tyrone game saw off a lacklustre challenge from Antrim and wholesale changes can be expected again…



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