10 August 2023 No Comments by The Northern Standard

COLM SHALVEY takes a look at the contenders

The Monaghan Football Championship season gets underway this weekend with full rounds in the Greenfield Foods SFC, McElvaney Recycling IFC and Universal Graphics JFC. The championships are set to follow a similar format to the last few years, with a round-robin series to be followed by knock-out stages. The top teams in each group will again advance straight to the semi-finals, with second- and third-placed teams contesting quarter-finals, leaving the rest to battle against relegation. We take a look here at the teams in all three divisions.


Aughnamullen retained senior status last year after back-to-back promotions under Gabriel Bannigan. They finished the group stage of the league in a decent vein of form, but losses to Truagh and Magheracloone in the relegation play-offs ramp up the pressure ahead of the championship. After a strong season in the county colours, Mícheál Bannigan will be pivotal for Lee Conlan’s side. For the first time in a decade, Ballybay enter the SFC as defending champions. It may be a tall order to retain the county title for a first time since the 1950s, with the fitness of 2022 Player of the Year Dessie Ward set to be key.

Paul Finlay had signalled his intention to retire after last year’s success, but he is back on board, while Cavan men Seánie Johnston and Mícheál Lyng have taken the management reins from Down duo Jerome Johnston and Mark Doran. A tame quarter-final loss to Corduff brought an end to a promising league campaign for Clontibret, who can still be a real force in the championship when at full-strength. They managed to top their group in the most dramatic fashion last year, only to exit at the semi-final stage against eventual winners Ballybay.

An unblemished Intermediate campaign in 2022 saw Corduff promoted as double winners, with Galbally eventually ending their Ulster Club IFC bid at the…

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