Monaghan make the short trip to St Tiernach’s Park on Sunday aiming to make history and become the first side to make it three in-a-row of Ulster senior titles and their seventh in all.
Standing in their way will be Donegal who are looking their first title but stamped their mark on this year’s campaign with a highly impressive semi-final victory over Tyrone. Despite that 16 point, win they still enter the decider as massive underdogs against the league champions. Indeed this game is very much like last weekend’s clash between Kilkenny and Galway and everyone knows how that finished up so Donegal will take inspiration from that and will not fear the Monaghan challenge.
The sides have met at this stage before with Monaghan coming out on top in 2004 and have been the queens of Ulster football. However, that elusive three in-a-row had eluded them in the past with Armagh ending their hopes in 2006. The Orchard county, along with Tyrone, have also failed to claim a third successive title in the past.
Gregory McGonigle’s Monaghan defeated Tyrone the last day out with a superb all round performance. If Donegal are to overcome the odds they will be hoping their dynamic duo of Geraldine McLaughlin and Roisin Curran who between them hit 2-14 the last day are on fire again but they will be coming up against possibly the best full back line in the country at the present moment led by team captain Sharon Courtney.
The battle between Monaghan’s Nicola Fahy and Donegal centre half forward Roisin Friel will also be one to watch. Midfield area will be crucial and interesting with Amanda Casey and Cora Courtney up against Aoife McDonnell and Karen Guthrie. While Donegal forwards are dangerous, Monaghan’s too are lethal with so many danger areas and score getters. Experience in finals is of utmost importance and Monaghan’s Niamh Kindlon gives plenty of that to her side. The Magheracloone ace is in sparkling form at present and along with players like Cathriona McConnell, Therese McNally and Ciara McAnespie they have match winners.
The question is can Micheal Naughton’s Donegal rediscover their performance from the semi-final and will it be good enough to stop that elusive three in a row and stop Monaghan making history
Donegal and Monaghan have named their teams ahead of Sunday’s Ulster Senior Final clash.
Monaghan – Linda Martin, Grainne Mc Nally, Sharon Courtney, Christina Reilly, Therese Mc Nally, Nicola Fahy, Aoife Mc Anespie, Amanda casey, Cora Courtney, Ciara Mc Anespie, Laura Mc Enaney, Ellen Mc Carron, Cathriona Mc Connell, Niamh Kindlon and Caoimhe Mohan
Donegal – Niamh Mailey, Orlagh Carr, Kelly Wilson, Nicole Mc Laughlin, Aoife watters, Grainne Houston, Therese Mc Cafferty, Aoife Mc Donnell, Karen Guthrie, Kate Keaney, Roisin Friel, Karen Feeney, Roisin Curran, Geraldine Mc laughlin and Ciara D shovlin.