What a day it was in Clones on Sunday, Aprril 2nd 2017 when the Monaghan seniors
took on Dublin in the National Football League Division 1 with a place in the final
on the table. Dublin has been classed as 'unbeatable', 'class', and 'invincible'
but Monaghan showed that they can be overcome and were it not for a couple of mistakes
in the dying minutes of this game Monaghan would have toppled the unbeatables. It
was a great day to be a Monaghan supporter and witness the passion, energy, skill
and determination of the Monaghan players. They put their hearts and souls into it
and had the fitness to sustain constant attacking movements and intercept an advancing
Dublin squad. The loss of Darren Hughes unsettled the team somewhat but they soon
got back in their stride. It was a hard decision and is not an occasion where the
Black Card was meant to be used as far as I am concerned and it was not applied for
worse offences later in the game, when, in my estimation, it was the proper penalty.
It was a tough physical game but the Monaghan lads showed that they wanted to play
football despite the physicality of their opponents. Final score was 2 - 15 to 1
- 15., just one score between them. It would have been nice to win but perhaps it
is best not to have another tough game within a week and the Championship looming
on the horizon. It does send out a message to all Ulster teams and beyond - Monaghan
has new players and already they are stepping up to the mark for the county and Monaghan
has the potential of recovering the Anglo Celt Cup. We have much to look forward
to but well done to players and management on a terrific performance against this
Dublin side. During the interval in Clones the U10's got an opportunity to display
their talents and to play in front of a big crowd. All of them I'm sure have the
hope of one day representing Monaghan.