WEAKNESS EXPOSED

1 March 2024 No Comments by The Northern Standard

COLM SHALVEY TALKING POINTS

No strangers to a relegation battle in their ten-year stint in Division One of the Allianz NFL, Monaghan find themselves in familiar territory with just over half of the current campaign gone. The openingnight fireworks at Croke Park feel like quite a while ago now, given the downturn in results and form since then, with Monaghan’s score difference taking a bit of a battering over the course of three straight defeats. While some teams have managed to step up their performance levels in recent weeks – exhibit A being Dublin’s Con O’Callaghaninspired dismantling of Kerry – Monaghan have looked flat in contrast, clearly hampered by a lengthy injury list.

The pace and directness that lit up that win over the Dubs has been marked absent of late, with injuries to its main architects (Stephen O’Hanlon and Mícheál Bannigan) not helping Monaghan’s cause. Vinnie Corey couldn’t hide his frustration at his team’s looseness in possession, which saw them concede 20 turnovers, being called for no fewer than nine technical fouls, six in the first half alone. It was the second game in a row that Monaghan had been comprehensively beaten on the turnover count. Referee Brendan Griffin didn’t endear himself to the travelling support at times, while he also awarded Roscommon a controversial goal just after the restart, having consulted with his umpires.

None of that should distract from Roscommon being deserving winners, however, for a result that saw them inch out of the relegation zone on score difference ahead of Connacht rivals Galway. Speaking of Galway, they are the visitors to Clones this Sunday for a pivotal match for both teams. Like Monaghan, Galway have had to battle against a series of injuries so far this year, leaving the two…

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