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Farney aim to banish errors

By John Campbell

Enniskillen schoolteacher Malachy O'Rourke is grateful that he can maximise his summer vacation by channeling all his energies into preparing Monaghan for Sunday's Ulster final meeting with Donegal.

It's a re-run of last year's decider between the counties which Monaghan won by 0-13 to 0-7, but their dominance wasn't quite fully reflected in the final scoreline.

But while O'Rourke's team have already beaten Tyrone and Armagh in the Ulster series, he is adamant that "loads of work" has still to be done before battle is engaged with a Donegal side still carrying considerable hurt from last year when their ambition of landing three successive provincial crowns was jettisoned by an inspired Farney county side.

Without quite scaling the heights, Monaghan have nonetheless shown this summer that they have matured further and that their acquaintance with success – they added the Division Two title to their Ulster crown earlier this year – has honed confidence.

O'Rourke currently has injury worries surrounding Kieran Hughes, Dermot Malone and Owen Lennon but later today he is expected to give an insight as to the overall strength of the resources he will have available.

O'Rourke is placing particular emphasis on the elimination of the mistakes which he feels have infiltrated his team's play lately.

"There are things that you talk about in training such as spreading the play and not getting boxed up," points out O'Rourke.

"It's all part of management to hammer those things through and you hope that by telling people about it often enough, it will sink in and then they will be able to do the positive things on auto-pilot."

"We are getting through loads of work because we have a real battle on our hands."

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