Monaghan’s time to bounce back from losing run

By Michael McMullan

MONAGHAN face a tricky fixture as they bid to get back to winning ways this weekend.

The Farney men take on Roscommon on Sunday at Dr Hyde Park on the back of heavy defeats at the hands of title contenders Kerry and Derry.

Monaghan are now in their tenth successive season in Division One – a tally only bettered by Kerry – and they will be hoping for a change in fortunes.

While the 3-17 to 0-13 scoreline from Saturday’s defeat at Celtic Park makes for grim reading, it was Derry’s second goal that rubber-stamped the defeat after 50 minutes.

Monaghan lost Stephen O’Hanlon to injury and had to play without a host of regulars including Micheál Bannigan and Killian Lavelle who, despite being listed, didn’t take part.

On the flip side, Derry, the top performing team in the country at the minute, were in rampant form.

Ryan Wylie’s runs forward helped Monaghan back into the game in the third quarter before Derry’s goals arrived.

The other plus points were a return for Dessie Ward with Darren Hughes also togged out, taking part in the warm up.

Monaghan were the talk of the opening round of the league when their potency saw them overturn Dublin at Croke Park.

After Sunday, Vinny Corey’s side will have games with Galway (H), Tyrone (A) and Mayo (H) to give themselves a chance of beating the drop.

Roscommon are also in the relegation conversation having just a draw with Galway to show for their efforts.

Being at home in Dr Hyde Park and yet to field their full side, the Rossies will be targeting Sunday in a big way.

There will be plenty of momentum swings to come after Sunday but this is a huge afternoon in the survival race.

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