Barry McGinn the danger man as Monaghan bid to end long wait for Ulster final

EirGrid Ulster U21 FC semi-finals:
Barry McGinn the danger man as Monaghan bid to end long wait for Ulster final

Monaghan v Armagh, Páirc Esler, Newry (R Barry, Down), 8pm:

Both teams are bidding to bridge fairly sizeable gaps to their last provincial final appearance at this level; 2009 for Armagh, 2007 was when Monaghan last featured in the decider.

The Farneymen had it all their own way in their quarter-final, running out 15-point winners in a game where opponents Fermanagh failed to register a single score in the second-half.

Centre-forward Barry McGinn, who top-scored with 1-5, will take watching this evening, as will Dessie Ward (wing-back) and Conor McCarthy (full-forward).

Armagh enjoyed a similar stroll in the park when putting 5-16 past Down in their quarter-final outing.

Rising Crossmaglen talent Oisin O’Neill kicked 1-6 from midfield while their full- forward line of Cathal McKenna, Shane McPartlan and Conor Martin hit 4-10 between them. Whichever defence can assert themselves could be decisive given the high tallies posted by either side last time out.

Verdict:

Monaghan

Tyrone v Donegal, Celtic Park, Derry (B Cassidy, Derry), 8pm:

A repeat of last year’s decider which Tyrone shaded by a point. Both sides received fairly stiff examinations in their respective quarter-final fixtures and so will have a decent idea of where they stand heading into this evening’s game.

Starting members from last year’s All- Ireland winning team, Lee Brennan, Cathal MacShane, and Frank Burns, were to the fore in Tyrone’s 2-10 to 0-10 win over Cavan.

Tyrone were sluggish out of the blocks, as is to be expected in your first competitive game of the new season, but can’t afford such a lethargic start here.

Donegal required a Stephen McBrearty free in the fifth minute of second-half stoppages to see off Derry last time out. Midfielder Caolan McGonigle will need a big game tonight as will key forwards Jamie Brennan and McBrearty.

Verdict:

Tyrone

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