Hanratty bolsters 'Blayney's hopes
Ciaran Hanratty blazed an impressive trail through the Ulster Championship campaign this season with Monaghan before they eventually bowed out of the All Ireland race when they were pipped by eventual champions Kerry by a point in the quarter-finals.
The 20-year old DCU student made his mark early against Down and proceeded to carry a big threat in a Monaghan attack that matured and flourished as their championship odyssey unfolded.
Now the experience and confidence that Hanratty absorbed in Monaghan's colours is certain to stand him in good stead when he lines out with Castleblayney Faughs against Clontibret O'Neill's in Sunday's county championship final at Clones (3.30).
But while Hanratty's many-sided attributes have already won him warm praise within his own county, they will also earn him the closest possible attention from a Clontibret defence which does not tend to stand too much on ceremony and certainly does not yield much.
John Paul Mone. Dessie Mone, Conor McManus, Martin Corey, Paul McGuigan and Vincent Corey epitomise the competitive edge of a club that is determined to become the first ince 'Blayney themselves (2000/2001) to land back to back county titles.
But 'Blayney are far from being a one-man show, though. Dermot McArdle, Ciaran Hughes, Padraig McBennett, Ciaran Tavey, Martin McElroy and Cormac Brady help to bring stability to the team.
Between them, the Faughs and Clontibret have taken delivery of 49 Monaghan titles to date which reflects their positions of eminence in the county's charts.
Sunday will provide the Monaghan version of Le Crunch.