DERBY DUEL BIG WEEKEND ATTRACTION

10 February 2017 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Colm Shalvey

The famous old rivalry of Monaghan and Cavan makes its return to the Allianz National Football League Division One in front of what should be approaching a full house in Castleblayney this Sunday.

It’s a first league meeting of these neighbours since Cavan won in Division Three back in 2013, but Monaghan have had two dramatic one-point Ulster SFC wins since then. Both of Monaghan’s NFL games in Blayney since the return of county football to St. Mary’s Park after an absence of almost a decade have also been thrillers: a one-point loss to Cork in 2015, followed by a cliff-hanger win over Donegal that secured Division One status at the end of last year’s league campaign.

Cavan are back in the top flight of the NFL for the first time in 15 years and the excitement of a spring taking on the top teams was reflected in the huge crowd that turned up for their opening game against Dublin last Sunday.

Cavan were unable to upset the odds in that game – falling to a seven-point defeat against the All-Ireland champions – but they will be determined to get off the mark in what is always a competitive derby match. They are, of course, now managed by Mattie McGleenan, who guided…
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