CHAMPIONSHIPS: KNOCK-OUT PLACES UP FOR GRABS

2 September 2022 No Comments by The Northern Standard

COLM SHALVEY

The Monaghan Senior, Intermediate and Junior Football Championships reach a crucial point of the group stage this weekend as teams vie for places in the knock-out rounds. Scotstown will be expected to make it back-to-back wins in Group One of the Greenfield Foods SFC when they travel to Aughnamullen on Saturday. The holders fell to a first championship defeat since the 2019 county final in their opener against Ballybay, but a strong finish last time out saw them get the better of previously-unbeaten Donaghmoyne. Ballybay can secure top spot in the group and a direct route to the semi-finals if they can win in Clontibret, who need to back up a big victory over Aughnamullen to set up a decisive last game at Scotstown.

This game will feature the SFC’s top two scorers to date, with Shane McGuinness on 2-11 in three games for Ballybay and Conor McManus having 1- 13 to his name from Clontibret’s two outings. Ballybay pipped Clontibret by the minimum in the last two meetings of these teams, but the O’Neills have home advantage here and arguably a greater need for the two points on offer. Sunday’s action in Group Two features a top-of-the-table clash between Truagh and Inniskeen, where the winners will have one foot in the semi-finals.

Truagh have four points to their name despite slow starts against both Carrickmacross and Castleblayney, while Inniskeen are also bidding for a third straight win after they held off a late rally from Latton in round three. Both sides have been boosted by key players returning from having spent the summer in the USA, with Gary Mohan and Cormac McKenna back for Truagh, although Seán Jones saw limited…

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