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Hughes is Monaghan’s key man

By John Campbell

When UUJ provided further proof in January that the university sides fully deserve their ranking in the Barrett Sports Lighting Dr McKenna Cup it was the inspirational Darren Hughes who perhaps did more than most to cement his team’s credentials.

Versatility is the keynote of Hughes’ contribution to any team he represents and no one has more cause to be grateful for this than Monaghan manager Seamus McEnaney.

Last weekend Hughes was switched from a defensive slot and brought to midfield in a bid to curb Tyrone’s Aidan Cassidy and although the latter left an indelible imprint on the game, the telling contribution that Hughes made had much to do with Monaghan’s one-point victory.

Should he manage a similar input against Dublin tomorrow night McEnaney and his assistants Paul Grimley and Martin McElkennon will have reason to be even more grateful as back-to-back wins will undoubtedly trigger a Monaghan assault on the league title as opposed to the relegation battle they were contemplating.

Even though his side is invading the lion’s den that is Parnell Park, Monaghan boss McEnaney is nothing if not positive.

“Look, we know we need at least six points to maybe survive in Division One. We have two of them and another couple tomorrow night would be a great boost. We have two more away trips so anything we get from now on in is going to be hard-earned,” he said.

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