Monaghan challenge ahead for Minors

Monaghan host the Armagh Minors on Saturday afternoon and both teams are searching for their opening win of the campaign.

Armagh lost to Down by four points last weekend, while Monaghan open their account against the Orchard County.

A second half goal from Gavin O’Rourke handed Armagh a lifeline in round one. But Down proved too strong on the day.

Seven players in total got on the scoresheet, with Diarmaid O’Rourke and James McCooe hitting 0-2 each.

Caomh Agnew, Eoin Duffy, Fionn O Tuathail, Eoin Duffy and Aaron Garvey all chipped in with a point apiece.

Armagh were missing their captain and Carrickcruppen youngster Shea Loughran, who is currently out injured.

Goalkeeper James McBennett also excited the game through injury and was replaced by Michael Finnegan. McBennett could miss out this weekend.

Aidan O’Rourke should have the same hand to pick from when the Orchard youngsters travel to Castleblayney.

It’s the same venue where the Armagh Minors met Monaghan twice last season, in both league and championship.

Monaghan, managed by former Farney footballer Dermot Malone, were victorious on both those occasions.

The home side were 11-points better off during the league meeting while they won the championship encounter by nine.

Photo Credit: Finbar Burns

O Tuathail came on as a sub in the league game and was the only member of the current panel that played that evening.

Come championship time, O Tuathail was part of starting line up and kicked a point as Armagh lost out.

Monaghan went on to reach the Ulster and All-Ireland finals but came up against an all-conquering Derry side.

Still, that experience will surely stand to the Monaghan youngsters as they begin their campaign for 2024.

Both sides will be keen to capture their first points of the season. A loss here will see Armagh finish bottom of their group.