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If you look at Monaghan’s games to date, they handily saw off Fermanagh in the Ulster quarter-final before having an absolute belter of a game with Armagh last time out. In the last few years, a lot of people have been giving out about the quality on show in the Ulster Championship and that the style some teams used was a bit negative. But, this season, Ulster has been the main Championship for football people to watch. We’ve seen some amazing games in it.
Monaghan got a massive start in that Armagh match, scoring four goals, and while Armagh came back into it and looked to be heading for a victory, Seamus ‘Banty’ McEnaney’s boys were able to turn a game that looked gone back in their favour. Any team with Conor McManus in their ranks, will always have a chance at winning a game.
Saturday 16:00 – Tyrone v Monaghan
RTÉ Two / BBC NI
Donie Buckley and Banty have this moulded in their own image now and they play off the cuff, hard football. They may be a small county, but they’ve been there knocking on the door with the last few years. They are not as over-reliant on McManus anymore as they were in the past, but he’s still the key player for them.
After getting over Armagh (and I fancied Armagh to be dark horses to win Ulster), I believe they’ll be really looking forward to playing Tyrone this Saturday and I fancy The Farney Army to sneak over the line here.
As I’ve mentioned above, I believe Monaghan will win here. However, it will only be by a point or two. The big question I have about Tyrone is, will Cathal McShane and Conor McKenna be fit enough to start? They are massive players for The Red Hands, how would be worth eight to 10 points extra on the scoreboard if they make it.
I know there has been a lot of talk since they got that hiding from Kerry in the National League that Tyrone were on a bit of a training camp, which is why the result finished how it did. But, I reckon they were gearing towards the Championship back then personally.
However, I believe Monaghan are the more battle-hardened of those two, and they can just get over the about get over the line to claim this one on Saturday.
I’m going to tip Conor McCarthy from Monaghan to net the first goal of the Ulster final this weekend. He was taken off after 35 minutes in the Armagh semi-final, but he was one of Monaghan’s main goalscoring threats in the National League. I just feel that little bit of hurt from being taken off in a big Championship game will drive him on to hunt a goal here.
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