Monaghan eyes move towards championship

THE draws for the 2024 Monaghan Championships have been made.

Senior champions Scotstown, who reached the Ulster Club final last year and are currently top of the league, will once again begin the campaign as heavy favourites to continue their domination.

They begin their title defence against Ballybay a repeat of the 2022 decider, which Ballybay won to halt Scotstown’s three in-a-row bid.

Scotstown saw off the challenges of Aughnamullen and Corduff on their way to glory last season and both those two teams have been drawn into the same group as Scotstown and Ballybay, as have Cremartin.

In Group Two, last year’s beaten finalists Inniskeen are the main force. John McEntee’s side will be aiming to end a 76-year wait to get their hands on the Mick Duffy Cup.

McEntee will be coming up against his former side Clontibret, who he won a championship with in 2019, while last year’s IFC winners Killanny are in the same group, as are Donaghmoyne and Latton.

In the Intermediate Championship, Group Two looks to be the group of death as three of the top four in the Intermediate League table, Carrickmacross, Truagh and Monaghan Harps, are in the same section.

Truagh were relegated from the top tier last season but with Barry Dillon, who won the Sigerson Cup with UU earlier this year, now in charge, they’ll be keen to bounce back up at the first attempt.

Carrickmacross lost last season’s decider to Killanny and they currently lead the pack in the league via score difference. Emyvale and former Monaghan kingpins Castleblayney make up the rest of the group.

In Group A, Magheracloone are the standout name and they’ll be joined by Tyholland, Clones, Doohamlet and last year’s Junior champions Blackhill.

In the JFC, Group One is made up of Sean McDermott’s, Eire Og, Scotstown, Drumhowan and Aghabog while Toome, Rockcorry, Oram, Currin and Killeevan will face off in Group Two.

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