The Ulster championship will see Monaghan and Fermangh meet in the preliminary round of the competition on May 20th. Monaghan will enter the game as favourites after a good league campaign saw them retain their Division 1 status for 2018.
Ballybay’s Dessie Ward will make his championship debut for Monaghan after Malachy O Rourke revealed his starting 15 on Thursday night. Karl O Connell moves to the centre of the Field to replace the injured Darren Hughes while Vinney Corey returns at centre half back for his 48th championship outing.
The team in full is Rory Beggan in Goals, Fintan Kelly, Drew Wylie and Ryan Wylie in the full back line with Colin Walsh, Vinney Corey and Neil Mc Adam in the half back line. Kieran Hughes and Karl O Connell are at the centre of the field with Gavin Doogan, Shane Carey and Dessie Ward in the half forward line. Conor Mc Carthy, Jack Mc Carron and Conor Mc Manus complete the starting 15.
Alan Gunn attended a recent press night held by the Monaghan team
Captain of the side Colin Walshe admitted the inclusion of a number of new faces both on the panel and in the backroom staff had brought an extra hunger to the side.
Full Back for the side Drew Wylie remarked that while it was a good league, they were still disappointed not to make the final
For the manager Malachy O Rourke it is a time of the year to look forward too.
Throw in on Saturday evening is at 7pm in St Tiernachs Park Clones and we will have full live commentary on Shannonside Northern Sound.