herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Farney dare to dream big

A SLIVER of light and an inch of space is all Conor McManus (inset) needs to get a shot away and he is well-used and well-able to generate both for himself in the claustrophobic environs of Ulster's most populated defences.

Whether Donegal allow him even that much, we'll see in Clones on Sunday.

But this year - more than the others in the tenure of Malachy O'Rouke's hugely progressive reign thus far - has highlighted the charms of a cabal of experienced Farney campaigners.

Dick Clerkin, Stephen Gollogly and Colin Walshe were all summoned from reserve to bail out Monaghan in Breffni Park in a sticky Ulster opener and they're precisely the old heads for the long road required if this team are to achieve something truly profound.

They know how to beat Donegal already and thus, their long range shooters are absolutely vital if they're to make it a second Ulster title in three years. Beyond that, it may just depend on just how much the Ulster championship has taken out of them.

KEY QUESTION: Can they find their form in Croke Park?

Though their consistency in Ulster of late is hugely impressive, the All-Ireland won't be won in Clones.

Following the high of their provincial title in 2013, they withered to Tyrone in the All-Ireland quarter-final and a year ago, capitulated to Dublin.

monaghan

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