26 March 2021 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Colm Shalvey reports

This year marks two decades since the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship underwent its biggest structural change in a century with the introduction of the qualifier system, which took place under the presidency of Scotstown man Seán McCague, who of course led Monaghan through the successful era of the late 1970s and ‘80s.

Those heady days were a distant memory for Monaghan by the turn of the century and the first few years of the qualifiers would prove to be dismal for the county. A heavy loss to Armagh in 2001 was followed another meek showing on home soil against Louth 12 months later.

Monaghan got their first qualifier win at the third time of asking at the expense of Westmeath in June 2003, but a loss to Meath and another day to forget against Longford in extratime in 2004 meant Monaghan had lost four of their first five games in the ‘back door’ system, having scored 2-61 and conceded an…

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