Lory Meagher Cup round one
Monaghan v Cavan
Sunday, Inniskeen, 2pm
By Shaun Casey
NEW Monaghan manager Arthur Hughes oversaw a positive league campaign as his men secured their status in Division 3A.
They begin their Lory Meagher journey on Sunday when they host near neighbours Cavan in Inniskeen.
“It is nice to start at home. Our league campaign showed that we’re better on the road, the two games that we won were on the road but if you’re going to win anything your base is at home and that’s where you have to win, you have to make it your fortress.
“We’d like to get our first win in Inniskeen on Sunday. Cavan beat Monaghan last year, so we won’t be taking anything for granted.
“I know they (Cavan) hadn’t the league campaign that they hoped for but championship’s different and it’s on the day.
“They got to the Lory Meagher final last year so from a high of getting to a final to not winning in the league, it’s hard to weigh them up. It’s on the day, if you play well on the day you win, if you don’t, you don’t.”
Hughes lined out for both Armagh and Monaghan during his playing days and has taken some former Farney teammates into his management team.
“I came in as a new manager along with a management team consisting of two coaches, Aidan Morgan, Jimmy Lacey and Declan Crowe was the strength and conditioning, the four of us would have hurled together with Monaghan.
“We said we need to bring a bright new approach to the county because they went a couple of years without winning any games and they were only winning relegation play-offs.
“We gathered up the best players in the county and we went for it, and we had a couple of good results.
“We had a good result in the first game of the league in Warwickshire, we beat them by a point, and we beat Louth in a tight game.
“Yes, we got a hammering against Armagh, and we got it tight against Tyrone and Roscommon, but they were good learning games for us too, you’re not going to win every game. We took something out of every game we’ve played and it’s going well at the minute.”
It took a bit of time for Hughes and his team to get together, but he’s happy with the progress they are making.
“With Covid and all, every county had the same problem trying to get started and we had boys playing for their clubs in the Ulster Championship and it was hard to get off the ground.
“With a new management team in, getting in and me getting to know the boys, we were slow starting. We had a bit of work done before Warwickshire and we were just wary about games coming too quick for us, but we played well so it was good to get the ball rolling.
“Ever since then we’ve moved on and we’re climbing the ladder every game we’ve played.”